What is a FutureLearn Microcredential?
Microcredentials are created by or in collaboration with leading Higher Education institutions (HEIs) and industry/specialist partners and endorsed by employers to support upskilling, reskilling and lifelong learning, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Microcredentials are equivalent in length to one module of a degree programme (10-15 weeks’ study, 100-150 hours’ study commitment), they are aimed at a professional audience and are recognised for credit.
What is the Common Microcredential Framework (CMF)?
The Common Microcredential Framework was launched at the EADTU-EU Summit 2019, by the European MOOC Consortium in Brussels. It's founding platform partners include FutureLearn, France Université Numérique (FUN), OpenupEd, Miríadax, and EduOpen.
The move comes in response to demand from learners to develop new knowledge, skills and competencies from shorter, recognised and quality-assured courses, which can also be used to earn traditional university qualifications. The CMF establishes a framework for these goals to be achieved across Europe’s leading MOOC platforms and the universities within their networks. The ambition is to lay the foundations for a new international credential for universities to meet the needs of lifelong learners, globally.
To ensure microcredential courses are built to high quality standards, the CMF requires that microcredential courses are capable of earning academic credit. This requirement ensures courses must be developed within the university’s national qualification framework and, in Europe, in line with the European Qualification Framework (EQF), a common European reference framework whose purpose is to make qualifications more readable and understandable across different countries and systems.
For more information on the specifications required for a microcredential to adhere to the CMF, please see this article.
How do I submit a microcredential proposal?
Partners wishing to run a microcredential on FutureLearn are required to complete a detailed proposal, which will be assessed by FutureLearn. Please contact your Partnership Manager for the proposal form.
FutureLearn will review proposals on a rolling basis, and aim to respond to partners within two weeks of receipt. We will feedback on whether the proposal has been accepted, rejected, and whether any additional changes or insights are needed.
Initial information required includes proposed title, pricing, start dates, endorsement and/or accreditation. Every Microcredential must adhere to the Common Microcredential Framework.
What criteria does the approval process for microcredentials involve?
The approval process for microcredentials involves selecting microcredentials that both meet the new Common Microcredential Framework, and that are assessed as having real market potential. This is to ensure each and every microcredential on FutureLearn provides as much value for the learner as it should for the university/industry partner. As such, we will be looking at each proposal on a case by case basis, to ensure that both partners and learners get the most out of these products, which require higher upfront investment to build, purchase and run.
Would FutureLearn accept more than one microcredential on the same topic?
There is potential for offering multiple microcredentials in the same topic, for example by providing a strong brand in the UK, a strong brand in Australia and a strong brand in the US. Our market research has identified the above broad topic areas in high demand, and we are therefore likely to receive multiple proposals in each area. We will review each proposal and work with partners to differentiate their microcredential. We are also open to proposals in other areas, subject to evidence of demand.
What is the structure of a FutureLearn microcredential?
- A microcredential includes a number of short courses. It is possible to use only 1 course, or to use 2,3 or 4 courses to build up the microcredential.
- Microcredentials will be scheduled as a single program run, rather than scheduled individually as with open programs. This is in order to maintain momentum and consistency in the learning experience.
How can I build a microcredential on Course Creator?
Microcredentials are built in Course Creator in much the same way as other programs. FutureLearn will create the shell for your microcredential for you and help to build the learner-facing description page.
What is the microcredential welcome area?
The welcome area is the page learners will see when they’ve enrolled onto a microcredential. It includes:
- A list of courses and their start dates - if courses have started, learners can go into their course from this page, and see how much progress they've made on each other through a progress bar
- The Educators and learning outcomes
- Additional resources
- Assessment information, if the Educators choose to provide this information in the welcome area
What are the different types of Microcredential-level permissions and how can I assign them?
Microcredential permissions are generally the same as program permissions - you can view the types of permissions available here. There is an additional new permission, Program Learner Admin, which is used to access learner enrolment data. Microcredential permissions are set at program level and can be granted by FutureLearn Admins and Organisation Admins via the 'Manage team' page in Course Creator. If you need assistance with assigning or revoking permissions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the microcredential enrolment report and how can I download it?
The purpose of this report is to share learner information collected on FutureLearn with the partner. It is available through Learning Manager only to users with the Program Learner Admin permission due to GDPR considerations. The report contains all the information collected during the application process (this means that if a learner has enrolled onto the microcredential through a different method such as manual enrolment, their information will not be included in this document). It also contains a record of whether the learner has completed ID verification.
Users with a Program Learner Admin permission can download the report as a .csv file from Learning Manager: Learning Manager> Microcredentials > Select microcredential run> Reports> Microcredential Enrolment report.
What is the learner progress report and how can I download it?
The purpose of this report is to allow educators to track the progress of learners across all the courses in a microcredential. It is available to anyone with a Learning Manager, Program Tutor or Program Learner admin permission. Each row contains progress stats for one learner for each course run within a microcredential. This type of report is also available at individual course level.
Users can download the report as a .csv file from Learning Manager: Learning Manager> Microcredentials > Select microcredential run> Reports> Learner progress report.
Who should I contact to talk about microcredentials?
If you’re interested in developing microcredentials or want to discuss them further please speak to your Partnership Manager or contact email@example.com.