Digital transformation of higher education through disruptive pedagogies: Wrapping a course around a course to promote learner agency

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Today’s professionals are increasingly seeking learning opportunities to augment their skills and strengthen their resumes. As a result, there has been an increase in the demand for, and acceptance of, digital credentials by employers across all industries. This creates an opportunity for colleges and universities to create innovative pathways for granting academic credit to external digital credentials. In addition to embracing disruptive technologies, the digital transformation of higher education also necessitates the investigation of disruptive pedagogies–teaching methods and practices that challenge the status quo–to prepare their graduates to enter the workforce ready and equipped to hit the job running. This article describes a potentially disruptive pedagogy whereby students in an online graduate course are able to engage in a self-directed learning opportunity that promotes learner agency and enhances professional knowledge through the pursuit of an external digital credential in a topic or subject of their choice. An overview of the status of digital credentialing in professional and higher education settings, as well as the results of a survey where students weighed in on the perceived value of their personalized, self-directed learning experience are also presented.


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Issues in Information Systems