The University of Queensland’s UQx Massive Online Open Course program has reached two million enrolments, and is set to continue growing as it expands its MicroMasters offerings.
The new MicroMasters programs offer a chance to earn career-enhancing credentials in Sustainable Energy and Corporate Innovation.
UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joanne Wright said employers recognised MicroMasters programs for their job relevance, and students could also use the open-access credentials to seek entry to on-campus programs.
She said the move into MicroMasters had extended UQ focus beyond standalone “showcase” MOOCs.
“The enrolment numbers confirm that MOOCs remain an effective way to present UQ’s quality teaching to a global audience,” she said.
“But priorities are shifting to credentialled MOOC offerings such as MicroMasters programs.”
UQ has developed significant online learning expertise since moving into MOOCs five years ago.
“We are applying that expertise to transform on-campus delivery of courses for UQ students,” Professor Wright said.
UQx in 2016 established MicroMasters programs in Business Leadership and Leadership in Global Development.
The new Sustainable Energy program, from the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, aims to equip learners to overcome the challenges of transitioning to a low-carbon energy system.
Program coordinator Professor Peta Ashworth said there few greater global challenges than providing clean and sustainable energy for all.
“The program provides the knowledge and tools to help better understand and implement potential solutions,” she said.
“Learning directly from internationally renowned academics, researchers and practitioners in the field, you will develop a unique set of skills that will fast-track your career across the energy domain.
“Our multidisciplinary, solutions-oriented approach to this topic gives students an understanding of the range of energy generation technologies, and helps them identify the social and economic challenges associated with each, which can then be applied in your home country.”
The Corporate Innovation MicroMasters, from the UQ Business School, will develop knowledge and skills to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in organisations.
Program coordinator Professor Martie-Louise Verreyne said the topic of innovation was relevant globally as it added value to the lives of individuals and helped organisations, economies and societies.
“We challenge our learners to ask new questions of business, to develop experimental mindsets and to build innovation processes based on state-of-the art knowledge,” she said.
“The course staff are deeply embedded in industry and work with a range of companies, startups, social enterprises and research organisations, and are well-known for their thought leadership,” she said.
UQx is part of UQ’s Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation and manages the partnership between UQ and edX, a non-profit MOOC provider founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in 2012.
UQx’s catalogue on edX now stands at 47 MOOCs, including four MicroMasters programs.