Design Strategy Plus Pandemic Serendipity: Technology-Enhanced Entrepreneurship Education Using Open Learning and Micro-Credentials




open learning, entrepreneurship education, micro-credentials, work-integrated learning, pedagogy


In a recent pilot for a redesign of an undergraduate entrepreneurship course, factors for consideration included: materials and resource costs, ability for work-integrated learning, and responding to the contemporary needs of the workplace outside of the post-secondary institution. The utilization of an industry leader’s open learning platform and the implementation of micro-credential certificates supported students’ learning experiences that bridged theory to experience and work-integrated learning. The use of multiple credentials (in addition to course grading) provided additional dimensions of learning and experience. This redesign was developed through 2019 and launched in January prior to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 winter semester. The intentional strategy in this course design was to build student competencies through theory and content, developing an application with micro-credential certificates, and utilizing work-integrated learning with students creating an ecommerce website to service an existing business or start-up plan. Serendipitously, as businesses and the ecommerce platform were forced to quickly adjust in response to the impacts of the pandemic, undergraduate students were able to learn and design in authentic circumstances and applications. Critical questions are raised concerning equitable access to technology and the reciprocity of gains in the open learning platform between students, institutions, and profitable businesses.


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