Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Company to Provide UNSW University Transition Course

The University of NSW have announced an agreement with company OpenLearning for a new Online Transition Program for international students. The course will be start in March 2021. This is is a study skills course to help students to more student active learning. The emphasis will be on project based learning and use techniques such as stand-ups and portfolio reviews. This is a welcome initiative but raises the question: does UNSW have staff qualified to teach in this way?

The ANU has been using this approach with its TechLauncher computer group projects. For several years this was done face to face, with the support of computer industry standard online tools and methodologies. COVID-19 has seen a relatively easy transition to online this year. 

As a computer professional I was trained to routinely work in teams, supplemented by my graduate education in how to work, teach and assess this way. However, outside disciplines such as computing and engineering, which use these project based approaches, academic staff are unlikely to have experienced them, let alone been formally trained and qualified in their use in an educational context.

If UNSW use this project based approach for a transition course, will students be disappointed when they get to the main program of study and find these are run as old fashioned courses, with lectures, tutorials and examinations? Is there a crash program being run at UNSW to train academic staff to teach project based learning and revise all the degrees? Or will UNSW courses be run by new staff, based "in the cloud" who already have these skills, and existing staff made redundant?

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Managing Change in Australian Higher Education

Greetings from the Australia and the post-pandemic world symposium at the Australian National University. I am on a panel at on "education and online learning in a pandemic".  By keeping international students away from Australian university campuses, COVID-19 has caused a sudden change in the way higher education is provided. The question now is: what of the future?

COVID-19 will hopefully be under control around the world in the next few years, but there may not be a return to business as usual at Australian universities. The geopolitical situation Australia finds itself in may again prevent international students from coming to Australian campuses and may also offer international alternatives to them.

The increasing number of domestic students attending Australian universities is also forcing a rethink of what it is for. When only a few attended university, they could expect a good job after, regardless of what they had studied. With many more at university, employers can be more selective, looking for those with relevant qualifications and practical experience.

Some academics long for the return to a golden age, when university was about the pure pursuit of pure knowledge. But Australian universities were founded to provide trained professionals and research to assist with economic development. What jobs should  graduates now being trained for? Which research will help the Australian economy?

Australian universities are now considering what to do in the longer term after COVID-19. As it happens my MEd studies focused on how Australian universities could provide online education to international students, particularly in China and India.

Some have argued that we need to retain traditional campus based teaching to provide quality education. However, the research I have examined over seven years studying the topic indicates online learning is at least as good. Also at international conferences on the topic I have seen how my colleagues from China and India have embraced large scale online learning. What has been holding them (and I) back has been a widespread perception online learning is inferior, some of which is set in government regulations. COVID-19 has seen regulations preventing online learning waved and a grudging acceptance of it. As with fax machines, email, and the web, which were all considered suspect at first and not for official purposes, I suggest we are just past the tipping point, where online learning has become the default option. This is not before time, as in 2017 I predicted it would happen by 2020. ;-)

While plans for change by private institutions tend to be hidden away, public universities operate with a level of consultation. The Australian National University has taken the step of consulting widely with staff and making its change management plans public.  This includes the Change Management Plan: College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), issued 15 October 2020. This is a detailed 39 page document covering the context of why change is needed, the current structure of the College and a proposed slimmed down structure with a new operating model using activity clusters. 

The current CECS structure has four research schools, three institutes, a professional services group and the deputy dean. The proposed new structure would have three clusters, plus the professional services group and the deputy dean. The new clusters would be Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics. The first two of these do not appear a radical change, and the third is built around the groundbreaking work of the 3Ai Institute.

Having spent decades as a public servant, an office holder in the Australian Computer Society, honorary lecturer at ANU and a Visiting Scientist at CSIRO, I have been through many organisational restructures.

The question which I first look at in any restructure is "How does the effect me?". I don't get paid by ANU for being an honorary lecturer, so there are no financial consequences from a restructure (I donate money to ANU for prizes and scholarships). However, I have a professional and emotional investment in helping with research and teaching at the university. Currently I am delivering a learning module for the TechLauncher Program and supervising a project to provide better online learning.  Can I continue with these, or what else can I help with in the new structure?

My area of interest is the human aspects of computing: professional ethics, human computer interfaces, communication and project skills for professional, how to teach these online and in the workplace. My background is in defence computing, so I also take an interest in cyber security. Currently I am associated with the RSCS Human-Centered computing (HCC) group. But where would I fit in the new organisation, if at all?

Looking at the proposed new structure there in no HCC group. The proposed new Computing cluster appears to be mostly "hard" science, with the human elements moved to Cybernetics. The closest match for my interests in Cybernetics appears to be "Systems" (that is systems engineering). This is of particular interest as it includes a proposal to provide professional development (PD) courses, which I have designed and delivered previously.

Considering the role of university more broadly, I encourage my students to think about who the customer is and what product they are being offered. The restructuring of the Australian university sector has to consider what products are to be produced, how, and who will be willing to pay for them. Universities produce two main products: educated professionals and research. 

Clearly, the education of professionals has changed: this will take place more online and (hopefully) in the workplace, not on a campus. My rule of thumb is that the typical student will need to be on campus (or an educational setting in the workplace) for about 20% of their studies. Students have jobs, families and other commitments, which they must fit in their studies around. This requires greater flexibility.

Universities need to be able to provide education in smaller units (thus the move to micro-credentials). However, this is not simply a matter of replacing lectures with Zoom and moving exams online. This requires staff, and I suggest students, to be formally educated (not just trained) in how to teach and learn.

For several years I  have been designing a set of micro-credentials, to teach computer students how to teach. Rather than think of teaching as something new employees at university are "trained" in, this could be part of the education of professionals. Advanced students would enroll in a course as part of their degree to learn to teach, while at the same time being tutors to less advanced students. The tutors would be paid to tutor, but would have to pay the university the usual course fee for their teaching course. This would enable enough time and resources to be made available to teach students to teach well.

Several times I have mentioned training for and in a workplace. This may sound like the sort of Vocational Education and Training (VET) done by TAFEs and not at university level. In practice TAFEs do a very good job of training (I have a a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment from the Canberra Institute of Technology). The upper end of VET training  with the lower end of university education and there are useful possible synergies from this. Also there are forms of advanced workplace and vocational training at universities. Medical practitioners are educated on university campuses and then trained in teaching hospitals. The same can be done with other professions, including engineering and computing.

Under the Australian university system, institutions and individual academics, have to balance conflicting demands of research and education. A university's reputation is based primarily on research. The more theoretical and specialized the research, the more highly regarded it is. In terms of public benefit, applied research carried out by multi-disciplinary teams is more useful. However, universities and individual academics tend not to be rewarded for applied useful research.

Similarly with education, that provided by a leading researcher is considered more prestigious. However, researchers don't necessarily make good teachers. What makes good teachers is formal training in teaching, incorporating practice. However, students tend to select a university and program based on public rankings which are largely based on research reputation, not measured of education quality.

The dilemma for university and individual academics is to provide research and education of a high quality, while the measures used reward them for something else. One way is to change the system, such as through promotion of new metrics, such as the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities. This ranks 30,000 educational institutions, many more than other measures, and included non-university institutions, such as Australian TAFEs and private providers.

Another approach is to train academics, particularly new ones, in collaborative commercialization and educational techniques, which will benefit them, their institution, their students and the community. 

ps: A very simple low cost ideas is "Student Ambassadors: One student in each on-campus activity monitors the chat from those remote by video and alerts the room of anything relevant.".

Australia and the post-pandemic world online symposium on now

 'This changes everything?'! Australia and the post-pandemic world, 22 October 2020

Greetings from "Australia and the post-pandemic world", a free online symposium being hosted by the Australian Studies Institute. This is on all day at the Australian National University until 5pm. I will be on a panel at 1pm on "education and online learning in a pandemic". An unusual format is being used, where each speaker prepared a 5 to 8 minute video in advance, so the live sessions move straight to discussion. It would be interesting to see if this format continues after face to face symposia are reintroduced.

I watched the videos for my session on education at 1pm and here are some notes:

Session 5: Education and online learning in a pandemic

E-learning and virtual transformation of histology and 
pathology learning during COVID-19: its impact on student 
learning experience and outcome
, Ms Samantha Waugh, Dr James Devin & Dr Vinod Gopalan, School of Medicine, Griffith University 

Used Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for live video lectures, including the use of a virtual microscope. Practicals with a tutor via Microsoft Teams. Online library of histology images. Student survey found the online lectures were as good as face to face and practicals better online, with students agreeing this should continue. Student exam results went up by 10%. My comments: But how was the assessment done? Also as noted these students had already completed a year of study face to face: would this have been as well received for studnts  new to university? 

Lessons to be learnt from the impact of COVID-19 on 
medical students’ wellbeing and learning experience
, Dr. Anna Efstathiadou & Dr Suja Pillai, University of Queensland 

Students were encouraged to undertake extracurricular craft activities. These reduced student stress by taking them away from their subject area for a time. My comments: Some students may be reluctant to engage in extra curricular activities. I suggest co-curricular ones, which are relevant to their studies and for which course credit is received. These can be, for example, on working in teams, communicating with the public and entrepreneurship. 

A Possible Solution to Bridge the Gap between off-Shore 
Students and Australian High Education 

Dr Ying Zhu, Adelaide Bio-Tech Development (Hengqin) Ltd 

This presentation points to the difficulties for the 80,000 Chinese students enrolled in Australian universities but unable to get to Australia. Distance Learning had problems with time zones between Australia and China as well as the distractions of studying at home. It  is suggested that local tutorials in China can be a useful alternative. My comment: These are issues and solutions which have been discussed, at length, in the distance education literature. No sooner had the Open University UK started distance education fifty years ago than students spontaneously started organizing their own study groups and arranging tutorial at local vocational campuses. As an international online student (of distance education) from 2013 to 2017, I found myself not only studying the phenomenon, but also doing it myself. However, providing F2F tutorials locally is a very high cost for an institution. 

Australian Higher Education in the Post-pandemic Worl
Mr Tom Worthington, Research School of Computer Science, ANU 

The other speakers focused on the impact of COVID-19 on education, but I had spent a decade working on how to deliver education online. In 2019 I implemented an education design with blended delivery. This was designed so that if international students could not get to campus due to a regional crisis, the face to face components could be quickly replaced with video. I had designed this in case of a war, but it worked fine in 2020 for COVID-19. The interesting question for me is not what was done for COVID-19, that was just standard distance education, but what happens next?

My notes are at: 

From butcher’s paper to Zoom breakouts: developments 
and transformations in Australian trade union education
Dr Alice Garner, Centre for Vocational and Educational Policy, University of Melbourne, Professor Anthony Forsyth, Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University Dr Mary Leahy, Centre for Vocational and Educational Policy, Melbourne Graduate School of Education Ms Renee Burns, University of Melbourne Law School 

This fascinating presentation is on the Trade Union Training Authority (TUTA), which was a joint government/union activity to provide vocational education in Australia. My comments: As a public servant and union member I attended TUTA training and found it very useful. Today's TAFEs have some of the flavor of still. The ANU's TechLauncher program, which I help teach, has some small element of this as well, with tutors and students who are practicing professionals who come with a workplace perspective very different to university staff, who are primarily researchers. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

ACT Higher Education Post-COVID-19 Strategy

Canberra's universities need to change how they work to remain viable during, and after ,the COVID-19 emergency. The major post-secondary educational institutions in the ACT are the Australian National University, University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology. I have studied at all three and am on the staff at ANU, however, these suggestions do not necessarily reflect the current policy of any, or of the ACT Government. I will be discussing some of this at an ANU symposium on Thursday.

The approach to COVID-19 has been short term, assuming that it will be over in months. However, it may take years to recover and it is certain there will be further pandemics in the future. Also the geo-political situation Australia finds itself in may result in international students again being unable, or unwilling, to study on Canberra's campuses, without warning. In addition other countries are offering increasingly attractive quality online and blended learning. Both Australian and international students may decide to take up those offers, if Canberra's institutions do not have quality, cost effective, flexible educational offerings. 

1. Adapt Infection Control Measures for Institutions

Reduced distancing for students

COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT have been eased, but even the current STAGE 3 makes it difficult for educational institutions.  As an example, the ACT requires persons to remain 1.5 m apart. I propose that for educational institutions, this be reduced to the WHO recommended distance of 1 m

Where seated, people should be able to be 250 mm apart, side to side. This would allow existing fixed seating lecture theaters to be used at 50% capacity, with every second chair empty. Active lecture theaters, flexible learning spaces and laboratories could be used at full capacity. Institutions should be encouraged to build these guidelines into the design of new teaching spaces to reduce infection rates for annual respiratory infections and allow for future outbreak measures.

Tracking on campus

The ACT Government and institutions should commission a tracking application compatible with the Apple/Google Privacy-Preserving Contact Tracing Standard. Unlike the current Australian Govenrment's COVIDSafe App, this would be reliable, effective and voluntarily taken up.

2. Training for Hybrid Teaching 

Canberra's university have been able to quickly introduce online learning for students unable to get to campus. Unfortunately, most people teaching at university have not been trained to teach online. and have no formal qualifications for doing so. Vocational teachers at CIT, and private providers, are required to have a qualification in training and assessment. It is proposed that the ACT Government assist Canberra's universities to introduce a qualification for university teachers at least to the standard for vocational education. This could be provided a set of micro-credentials building to an AQF qualification.

3. Offering Hybrid Qualifications

In the past domestic and international students have been required to move to Canberra to undertake the majority of their university studies. I suggest this be changed so that a typical student can undertake 80% of their study online. The ACT Government can lobby the federal government to make the necessary changes to visa rules for international students. The Canadian government has already eased its visa rules, making Australia a less desirable destination. 

The ACT Government can assist Canberra's universities to develop advanced qualifications in the design and delivery of education to provide a quality online experience. This can then be used in marking campaigns national and internationally which emphasize students can have both the flexibility of an online education and the option of quality lifestyle experience in Canberra, leading to a world-class qualification.

4. Work Integrated Learning

Many vocational qualifications require students to undertake work experience as part of their degree. This is increasingly seen as a desirable part of any university qualification. However, international students experience problems obtaining access to a workplace in Canberra, due to federal government restrictions on non-citizens working for the public service and for government contractors. I suggest the ACT Government assist the Canberra Innovation Network to expand its current start-up program,. Also the ANU's Innovation ACT and TechLauncher programs could be expanded to provide cross institutional participation.

5. Vocational Supplementation to University Qualifications

The Canberra Institute of Technology has the capacity to provide training to supplement the university education of students. I suggest the ACT Government work with the universities to develop and market standard packages of degrees with vocational qualifications.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Tuning Zoom Videoconferencing for a Slow computer and Low Speed Broadband

Greetings from the 2020 UQ Work Integrated Learning Symposium, currently on Zoom from Queensland University. This is free and on for four hours, so there may be time for you to join. The students are running the event, which shows commendable dogfooding by UQ.

To improve the performance of Zoom on my slow laptop, and low speed wireless broadband connection, I am trying a router with UDP shaping

Previously I noticed that with Zoom in full screen mode the sounds would break up and image freeze. If I reduced the window size it worked better, but this was fiddly. Also when a presenter shares their screen, Zoom tends to force the display back to full screen, after which I have to shrink it again.

An approach I tried in the past was to slow my Internet connection, which Zoom responded to by using lower resolution video, making everything more stable. However, this also slowed down all my other network use. There are software utilities which will slow just one application, but I found these did not work with Zoom.

The Internet uses two sorts of data transmission: TCP and UDP. Most applications, such as email and web browsing use TCP, as this provides a reliable connection. Video conferencing programs typically use UDP for the audio and video, as this has less overheads. The utilities I tried to slow an Internet connection only act on TCP, not UDP, so did not slow Zoom.

Not being able to find a software solution I turned to hardware. Many routers allow for slowing, or "shaping" of the speed of the connection. A few allow this to be targeted at TCP or UDP specifically. I tried a TP-Link TL-MR3020 V3 router (around $50 AU), and switched on the UDP shaping. So far it is working well.
Currently I have the data rates for UDP set to: 800 kbps transmitting and 512 kbps receiving. I want to provide a good quality standard definition image of myself when speaking, but a lower quality for the video I receive, so have sent the sending rate higher than receiving.

Zoom is currently providing an image of the speaker at 320 x 180 pixels, 12 frames per second and screen-sharing at 1440 x 900 pixels, 1 frame per second. The screen share looks very clear and readable, with a clear thumbnail of the speaker next to it. If a video is played in the screen sharing it looks jerky, but fortunately most presenters don't play videos.

A bigger test will come this evening, when I am speaking on "The Virtual University" (6pm, all welcome).

ps: One small glitch: after a short break when my computer went to standby mode the router was no longer connected: I had to reboot it.

pps: The video from some speakers was not appearing in Zoom gallery mode. So I increased the down speed from 512 kbps to 1024 kbps. The increased speed also allowed for screen sharing at 1920 x 1080 pixels at 8 frames per second, which is enough to follow a mouse around the screen and simple animation. In speaker's view the video is now at 640 x 360 pixels 26 frames per second. However, this is using too much of the limited CPU in my computer, so I will try setting up and down speeds to 800 kbps.

ppps: Had problems with the  TP-Link TL-MR3020 router, so changed it for the desktop version, a TL-MR3420, which is working well.

Learning Objects and Metadata

Greetings from the second meeting of the IEEE Standard for Learning Metadata meeting (P2881) being held online. The standard defines a data model to keep track of e-learning content Including the learning style it is for. We are starting with the basics with what a Learning Object is: something more formally defined than materials normally used for teaching and intended to be reused by many. The metadata describes the objects and allows them to be easily found and managed. While this can be applied to any type of learning, it is particularly relevant at present with large scale use of e-learning due to COVID-19. This provides a way for educators, institutions and systems to share the millions of new learning materials being developed, to provide better, more cost effective education. 

The current standard uses a rigid  data model. The problem is how to make something more flexible, but still allows widespread easy use. This is a difficult balance with global standards.

Other work in this area includes the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), based on Dublin Core, which come from the library community.

ps: The meeting this time is at a slightly better time, 5:30 am, rather than 4:30 am in Canberra, but it is still early. There are 34 participants (up from 24 participants at the inaugural meeting). Most are from the USA, but a few of us are from around the world. The meeting is using WebEX again. I have been able to get the audio to work reliably and had to dial in for sound, with computer for video. As with other video conferencing systems, the computer client provides a code to use when dial in for audio, to link the voice call with your online identity. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Virtual University, 6pm Thursday

Discussion of "The Virtual University: Study, Community and Connections in an Age of Remote Learning", will be held online 6pm AEST Thursday 15 October 2020. This is hosted by the ANU Learning Communities at the Australian National University. I will be joining the panel to talk about my ten years experience as an online student and educator.

Here are some questions provided by the organizers to prime the discussion, with my preliminary thoughts:

1. What does the campus as a place mean to you? Would you consider it a space or a place, and why?

A campus is a place where ideas can flourish. 

2. Why is it important or meaningful for a space such as a university campus to be imagined and experienced in particular ways?

A campus is a space where students, staff and anyone interested in ideas, can meet to explore mutual interests and challenge each other in a safe environment.

3. Could you describe your experience of the campus in five words?

Important casual conversations in corridors.

4. Do you think traditional campus space is necessary to deliver and/or receive a high-quality university education? Does the physical campus space still matter for the subjective student and staff experience or has the COVID-19 pandemic proven to universities that online modalities can be equally, if not more, effective?

A campus is desirable, but not essential for a university. To learn how to provide excellent education online, in 2013, I enrolled as an international online student of education, at a university in Canada, 14,000 km from home. I have never seen the Canadian campus, or another student face to face. I only met two of my professors, when we both happened to be on the same continent for conferences. Despite this, I received a better educational experience online than I have ever had on campus.

As Pirsig wrote: 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,  Robert M. Pirsig, 2006
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle
Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig, 2006
"... the real university exists not as the physical campus, but as a body of reason within the minds of students and teachers ..." From Chapter 13, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig, 2006

However, as an online student I experienced crushing loneliness and longed for a face to face experience. What I suggest we can do is blend the best of online and face to face experience. My rule of thumb is a student should be on campus for about 20% of their studies.

As part of my international studies in 2017 I identified a risk to Australian universities that the flow of international students to Australian campuses could be cut off without warning due to an regional crisis. This risk remains due to the deteriorating geopolitical situation Australia finds itself in.

5. Do you agree that the campus is symbolically significant to students and staff who are yet to actually attend, and who cannot return to, campus? If so, why?
A university campus is a useful and powerful symbol. It gives a focus and identity, not just to the institution, but to staff and students. But that symbol can be fostered without spending a lot on land, or buildings. A good example, is the Torrens Building in Adelaide, which is shared by several international and Australian universities. Each university uses a photo of this impressive sandstone building with their own banner outside, neglecting to mention it is shared by the others. 

6. The famous sociologist Henri Lefebvre wrote that “space is permeated with social relations; it is not only supported by social relations, but it also is producing and produced by social relations” (Lefebvre, Elden and Brenner 2009, 186). In this era of remote work and learning, do you think the campus space is still a social space in the way Lefebvre describes?

A campus can be a useful adjunct to foster social relations, which are essential to effective work, research and teaching. However decades of research and practice with the online university has proven it is possible to have meaningful and productive social relations between academics and students who have never met face to face. What is key to this is having both staff and students trained in how to work online: this is not something which comes naturally to people. In my previous career as an IT professional in government, I helped introduce the Internet and the web to public administration. Considerable amounts of work were required over years to have this idea accepted and to train staff in the skills required.

7. Much research on education considers two main spaces in which education occurs-on campus, and off campus which is often referred to as ‘remote’ or ‘distance’ learning. Do you think this language needs to be reconsidered, and do you think the binary between on-campus and off-campus learning is now more complicated than simply presence or absence?

As remote online learning becomes normal, the language issue will sort itself out. In my previous role I helped introduce email to government. This was so successful, that within a few years "mail" came to indicate email, and it was necessary to refer to "paper mail" for the other type. I expect the same will happen with "education", where this will indicate distance remote online learning as that is normal and something face to face will have to be qualified. 

In designing courses I no longer distinguish between on and off campus, and assume distance/remote is the default. With this approach I design for online asynchronous delivery, with synchronous components added. The latter can be online via video conference, or in a classroom, with no change to the educational design. I used this approach for designing the education I delivered last year. This year when COVID-19 struck, I just had to replace the face to face components with video conferences. There was no need to change the learning materials or assessment.

8. Could you describe in five words how you foresee your experience with the campus in the near future, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues?

Gradual Voluntary Return to Campus

In April I proposed a gradual return to campus using blended and hybrid learning. We could start with small groups of students and gradually increase the size, as conditions allowed. This should be at the discretion of the students and staff. Those who cannot, or do not want to, return to campus can be linked online. No student or staff member need be compelled to return to campus even after the COVID-19 emergency has passed, as there is no compelling educational or work value from being on campus. Also I have suggested that lecture theaters be decommissioned and replaced with more flexible flat floor spaces for a more active learning style. 

In 2008 I gave my last lecture, moving my teaching and assessment online. By 2019 this had become routine. I am happy to supplement online learning with a classroom experience where possible, but this is not essential. My approach is "Online Plus Campus".


Lefebvre, Henri. 2009. State, Space, World : Selected Essays. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Accessed October 1, 2020. ProQuest Ebook Central.

This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click here to see the full list of images and attributions:

ps: An online symposium 'This changes everything?'! Australia and the post-pandemic world is being hosted by the Australian Studies Institute at the Australian National University, 22 October 2020. I will be speaking on "Higher Education in the Post-pandemic World".

Monday, October 5, 2020

Will Microcredentials and Certificates Change Australian Higher Education?

Following the adage "never let a good crisis go to waste" the Australian Government is introducing reforms to
higher education. While proposals to charge different fees for different degrees has received attention, those promoting shorter qualifications may have more long term impact. The Australian government funded graduate certificates and a new undergraduate certificate (equivalent of about 12 weeks full time study). These were introduced as a short term measure due to COVID-19. The government is also encouraging microcredentials, which university are implementing by re-purposing units of about three weeks of full time degree content.

Both certificates and short courses do not seem a radical change for universities, however, if students start enrolling in these in place of degrees, it could have a profound effect. Universies would hope students would take some microcredentials, then use these for a certificate, then a diploma or degree at the same institution. But students may find they don't really need the degree, or that they want to mix and match microcredentials from different institution for their degree. This is routine in the vocational education sector, where training units are standardized. But universities have been miserly in granting credit for study elsewhere, arguing their programs are unique.

This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. See the full list of images and attributions: