Academics’ experiences of participating in a microcredentials development experiment

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


Digital microcredentials are an emerging tool to provide students with flexible access to learning materials. There is a lack of consensus regarding the definition of microcredentials and their role in engineering education; as a result, universities are exploring microcredentials in their own way. Aalborg university´s engineering students have historically all been full time on campus; this paper reports reflections on the development of its first digital microcredentials by academic staff.
This paper explores the motivation, practices, and challenges faced by academic staff involved in the development of microcredentials. Using interview data, the study answers two research questions: How can a traditionally face-to-face university best support the implementation of microcredentials based on the experiences from the microcredential experiment? How do the academics who partook in the experiment envision the future of microcredentials based on their
experiences developing them?
To address the research question, this paper employs a qualitative research methodology. The study employs semi-structured interviews with seven members of academic staff who developed five different microcredentials. The interview data was transcribed and analysed using an inductive, thematic network analysis in NVivo, allowing for identification of key themes.
The interviews reveals that the participants believe in the importance of microcredentials as a supplement to existing courses. The participants drew on prior experiences when developing microcredentials, resulting in a strong reliance on video-based formats. Moreover, the participants express a desire for guidelines that still would let them maintain their autonomy.
Consistent with current literature, the participants expressed a need for a well-defined understanding of microcredentials before the university embarks on the creation of new microcredentials. They also called for an institutional framework which could serve as support for the participants without constraining the individual freedom over the microcredentials design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for engineering education (AAEE 2023)
Number of pages9
PublisherAAEE - Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventThe 34th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference 2023: Adapting to the Changing Expectations of Students and Industry - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 3 Dec 20236 Dec 2023


ConferenceThe 34th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference 2023
CityGold Coast
Internet address


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