Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education
Autonomy of Choice in a Global Classroom: Choose-your-own Adventure, Micro-credentials, and the Destruction of “Course in a Box”
Melissa McCartney and Holly Rick
Autonomy and student choice are values held by the more recent generations, and they are taking ownership of their learning in a variety of ways. More than ever, students have greater choice in the educational marketplace for where and how they want to learn. Students are not limited to traditional degree programs or even traditional brick and mortar institutions. iGen is accustomed to choosing their journey for knowledge, which is evident in the rise of the popularity of Coursera and other quick-hit education providers. If learners they choice they are presented, they can click through options until they find something they do like. How then can higher educational institutions provide more choice? By rethinking traditional course design and program portfolios to allow students to make choices that steer their education towards their goals, needs, and wants. No institution can be all things to all students so consideration of building in components in courses and programs for students to take small portions of information have choices in how they learn, and what they learn creates student autonomy in an innovative environment where students engage in the topic. By dismantling the “course in a box,” off-the-shelf curriculum is redesigned with student-centered, student autonomy as a foundation. Programs should be designed to allow choice of courses, time to complete, modality and location. Micro-credentials should be employed to create pathways and options for even greater student autonomy.