Preparing Lifelong Learners for a Diversifying Economy Through Micro-Credentials and Laddering at Athabasca University

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // Learners need relevant and transformative skills to adapt to a world of increasing change and complexity. It is important to provide diverse opportunities to support lifelong learning. In response to the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs report and Alberta’s Recovery Plan to the Covid-19 pandemic, PowerED™ by Athabasca University, Ethically Aligned AI, and Athabasca University’s Faculty of Science and Technology developed three online, on-demand micro-credentials. The three micro-credentials, Ethics and Artificial Intelligence, Innovative and Diversified Energy Resources, and Energy Efficiency in Architecture Engineering (AEC) and Construction Industry, were funded by the Government of Alberta to provide job-ready skills in priority areas. Athabasca University’s PowerED unit is designing and developing these three micro-credentials in partnership with Athabasca University faculty and subject matter experts. PowerED™ is Athabasca University’s award-winning continuing education unit that provides an on-demand approach to the online learning experience which includes a mix of multi-media (videos, podcasts) interactive tools, case studies, gamification, competency assessment, downloadable materials, and AI simulations for immediate assessment. The micro-credentials are being designed to be flexible and can be accessed from any device that connects to the internet. Each micro-credential is made up of a set of modules and learners can combine different micro-credentials to develop specific competencies to focus on specific skill development requirements. Modules are being designed so that in the future, individual modules can be re-packaged into unique micro-credential offerings. In completing these micro-credentials, learners will be able to obtain relevant skills in key areas of employment. These micro-credentials will ladder into the BSc programs at Athabasca University, creating additional opportunities to continue learning in a flexible and accessible way. To facilitate this, we are developing a micro-credential framework at the institutional level that will also align with future frameworks in Alberta and Canada. // Paper ID 7264

Lifelong Learning,Micro-Credentials,Artificial Intelligence (AI),Online Learning
Caribbean and Americas