As learning designers, we know that learning doesn’t stop after you finish school or after you gain a qualification. The need to continue to learn is also well understood by organisations that invest in lifetime learning for their employees.
Enterprise learning is called out as a priority in the Learning for a Lifetime initiative in the UTS 2027 strategy, so when the Faculty of Engineering and IT (FEIT) connected with Telstra about an opportunity to develop courses in machine learning and data analytics, it seemed like natural fit. FEIT moved quickly in assembling a team that would work closely over the next four months in collecting requirements from the client: what were the skills shortages that Telstra wanted to address, what would the learners be like, how did they expect to learn, and what were their motivations?
While the Faculty already possessed immense expertise in the areas of machine learning and data analytics, substantial work was needed to design a fully online learning experience that facilitated active learning. The Postgraduate Learning Design (PGLD) team at UTS was tasked with design and production, and so three new courses were born:
- Data Analytics Foundations
- Machine Learning Foundations
- Advanced Data Analytics
The courses drew together material based on existing curriculum and current research by Faculty staff at the School of Computer Science within FEIT. Working together with the PGLD team of learning designers and digital media producers, the resulting courses were not only academically accredited but also industry relevant.
And it doesn’t stop there: more courses have been co-designed between the Faculties, PGLD and Telstra. Courses in Data Engineering, Data Literacy and Applied Machine Learning are now also being delivered, and more is on the way.
The feedback from learners has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only do they get to learn new skills that are directly relevant to their careers, but completion of a microcredential can also be used for academic credit towards at least one postgraduate degree at UTS. What’s more, while the microcredentials were offered initially to cohorts of Telstra employees, they’re now available for enrolment by anyone via the UTS Open platform.
By bringing an industry-facing aspect into learning in such a tangible way, enterprise learning no doubt represents a new way of working that is sure to spill over into other courses and programs: with a focus on skills in demand and real-world applicability.