Macomb Community College has launched hybrid automated systems short-term training programs, allowing students to learn core competencies required for certain skilled trades remotely. The college’s new hybrid programs include robot programmer, robot technician, industrial maintenance technician and controls technician. They combine hands-on training with remote learning to integrate the power of new teaching technology, including virtual and augmented reality.
Students benefit from being able to explore the fundamentals they are learning in a controlled environment, allowing them to test out theory in a computer-generated environment before they encounter those processes during hands-on training. Virtual reality allows students to become immersed in a simulated environment and interact with their surroundings. Through augmented reality, students can manipulate a computer-generated image superimposed on the user’s view of the real world.
Macomb’s advanced technology faculty worked in partnership with iDesign, an online course developer, to ensure the curriculum reflected the specific needs of local employers. The 13 courses developed embed nine core competencies identified by employers as critical, including digital media literacy, entrepreneurship and globalization. Each hybrid course uses cutting-edge synchronous teaching methods and professional production coupled with interactive video content featuring instructors at Macomb.
“iDesign was instrumental in helping us develop coursework that meets the demands of local employers as well as ensuring the methodology was aligned with the new hybrid environment,” said Patrick Rouse, director, Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Macomb Community College. “While COVID-19 accelerated our process for developing interactive virtual and augmented training content, its creation was based on our longer-term goals of flexible, adaptive course delivery that would be beneficial for the student well beyond the pandemic.”
These rigorous short-term programs not only help workers in transition develop technical skills that immediately qualify them for in-demand, well-paying jobs but also position them with a strong foundation from which to advance along their career pathway into higher-level positions and long-term economic stability. The programs create a talent pipeline to new employees for industry, while also providing an effective resource through which employers can upskill current employees.
About Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is one of the largest grantors of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor-degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.
iDesign partners with colleges and universities to build, grow and support online and blended programs. We are passionate about helping faculty harness the potential of emerging technologies to design courses and degrees that make an impact, whether they are fully online, flipped, blended, adaptive, or competency-based. Our unbundled, fee-for-service model is rooted in a commitment to flexibility and institutional autonomy, while our analytics platform supports continuous improvement through rigorous measurement of student engagement and course quality. From statewide university systems to private colleges, our custom solutions pair instructional design with technologies to enable great teaching. To learn more, please visit www.idesignedu.org.