[OOFHEC2018] Day 2 Liz Marr: Short Learning Programmes for Lifelong Learning
Short learning Programmes
for Lifelong Learning
Director of Teaching
Learning and Teaching Innovation
The Open University
• Education is a human right with
immense power to transform. On its
foundation rest the cornerstones of
freedom, democracy and sustainable
• 'Education is the premise of progress
in every society. It is the basis for
sustainable economic growth and a
fundamental building block for
healthy, democratic societies.'
• Kofi Annan, 2016
Some socio-economic challenges
• Demographic change - longer working lives and larger, ageing
• Inequality and unemployment
• Constantly accelerating pace of technological change - new jobs, new
• Population displacement - geopolitics, scarce resource, climate
• Unequal access to higher education
Universities and lifelong learning
• Conceptions of ‘the university’ are changing
• Alternative models of informal learning present opportunities for
• MOOCs and eSLPs can disrupt existing models and present
opportunities for emancipating learning
• Emancipating learning may support skills and personal development
• There are thorny issues relating to credit and credentialism
What are eSLPs?
• EADTU project define as:
• Level 4-8 EQF
• 5 – 60 ECTs
• Recognised and accredited
• Can be used as stackable elements of a programme
• Market driven
• Targeting non traditional and adult learners
• Flexible and scalable
What does the eSLP project aim to do
• Define concept and position of SLPs as part of HE systems and policies
of CPD and LLL, responding to needs of economy and personal
• Develop institutional policies, strategies and frameworks for
development and delivery of SLPs
• Empower university leadership and staff for curriculum and course
design, QA and recognition within EQF
• Develop guidelines for collaborative SLPs and related virtual mobility
• Design next steps to mainstream SLPs as a specific area of HE
Are short learning programmes worth it?
Yes – they helped me to update my skills
which I needed to take up a new role No – they are relatively expensive and don’t get
recognised by employers
An alternative view?
An educational system should ‘provide all who want to learn with
access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who
want to share what they know to find those who want to learn from
them; and finally furnish all who want to present an issue to the public
with the opportunity to make their challenge known’.
Some questions for the project
• What should they be called?
• How can they be made to ‘count’ outside of a formal qualification?
• Should there be a minimum/maximum credit size?
• Does credit really matter?
• How can employers be helped to see the value?
• What should the pricing/funding look like and how can this be made
coherent across national boundaries?