Ensure (cross-) institutional support



The team leader and the team partners need institutional and faculty support, which is given by professional expert services in the partnership:
  • Consult the programme boards;
  • Find teaching and learning support;
  • Seek support for internationalization;
  • Look for IT support;
  • Involve the student administration;
  • Integrate services in centres for continuing education or "extension schools"

In order to improve the quality of the course and reduce the design and development time and the resulting costs, support services should be contacted from the beginning of the course design, starting with the international and teaching and learning services.

In general, the team leader will first engage the support services of his university and then try to align and involve the partners in common approaches for which they should seek advice in their institutions.

European university alliances might have their own networks of support services, clustering expertise to support course and curriculum development, collaborating in research, innovation and technology, and enhancing the quality of the support services. For example, UNA Europa has clustered support services according to eight service domains (Una Europa, 2020).

Consult the programme boards

When the micro-credential course will be part of a broader curriculum, it has to go through a faculty or university approval process. A dialogue should be started as soon as possible with the programme boards or the faculties concerned, whereby the course team leader and the team are informed about all preconditions and steps to be taken from up to the publication of the course information in the respective program guides.

Get teaching and learning support

The teaching and learning support services are essential for designing educational formats for a micro-credential. They have expertise in course and curriculum development as well as collaborative approaches to this development. Advice from this service will reduce the time and therefore the cost required to design the course as they are familiar with all aspects of the design to be covered.

Find support from internationalisation services

Internationalization services also have this expertise. On top of this, they are used to inter- national collaboration and to develop different sorts of staff and student mobility formats. They are also familiar with all kinds of agreements which are needed for a joint micro-credential course.

Look for support from IT services

IT services will advise the team on technology facilities to deliver all digital components of the course, including synchronous and asynchronous online delivery and collaboration in discussion groups and learning communities. An important point concerns the common platform or learning environment to be used for the delivery of the course. For pragmatic reasons, the platform of the leading institution is usually used. A new common platform for the delivery of a common course offering is being considered in newly established EUI alliances, but this has not yet proven to be an easy solution (see also the section on the educational and technology ecosystem).

Involve the student administration

Particularly when the course is a standalone offering, the student administration should be involved to ensure enrollment processes for continuing education students and for the incorporation of the course and the students into the university databases and the learning environment.

Integrate micro-credential courses and curricula in centres for continuing education or “extension schools”

Some universities integrate all services to students and teaching staff related to continuing education and professional development in one institutional center for continuing education and professional development or extension school (TU Delft, 2020). At the same time, such a center acts as an interface between the university and external stakeholders such as public and private employers, sectors and professional organizations for cooperation in lifelong learning.

This integration will improve quality, specialization, scalability and outreach.

next chapter: Design the joint micro-credential course
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back to overview: Models and guidelines for the design and development of
joint micro-credential courses and microlearning units in higher education