MicroMasters: the pursuit of the Holy Grail in online learning

Pedro Barbosa de Almeida Cabral, Nelson Ribeiro Jorge, Willem van Valkenburg

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionProfessional

    108 Downloads (Pure)


    In the MOOC world new concepts hatch every month, trying to find the Holy Grail of online learning. Last year edX adopted the new MIT concept of a MicroMasters credential: a series of graduate level courses offered by top universities to advance their career. The credential is credit-eligible and can accelerate a Master’s Degree if the learner is admitted.
    Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) decided to join this new development after an extensive elaboration on TU Delft’s online course design, educational and assessment policies, involvement of stakeholders inside and outside the organization and the underlying business model.
    The aim of this paper is to describe the lessons learnt in this process (adoption, development and running of the MicroMaster), its implications on TU Delft’s ambitions in open and online learning and the effect on campus programme admission and enrolment. This paper will focus on the Solar Energy Engineering MicroMasters, a programme of four MOOCs and a capstone project. Learners following the whole
    programme and successfully finish their exam receive a MicroMasters credential. Learners who apply to the Master of Science program Sustainable Energy Technology (SET) or the Master of Science program Electrical Engineering (track: Electrical Power Engineering) holding this credential, can send a formal ECTS waiver request to get accepted for part of the on campus Master Programme at TU Delft.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference
    Subtitle of host publicationHigher Education for the Future; “Accelerating and Strengthening Innovation”
    EditorsGeorge Ubachs, Lizzie Konings
    PublisherEuropean Association of Distance Teaching Universities
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Electronic)978-90-79730-29-2
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
    EventThe Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference: Higher Education for the Future, “Accelerating and Strengthening Innovation” - Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
    Duration: 25 Oct 201727 Oct 2017


    ConferenceThe Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityMilton Keynes


    • MOOC
    • MicroMasters
    • open education
    • online education
    • accreditation
    • inverted admission
    • credits

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'MicroMasters: the pursuit of the Holy Grail in online learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this