The Future of Professional Development – Mini-courses

In today’s world professionals are busy, yet want to progress their professional practice and their career, while balancing life and work.

Professional development opportunities are limited and often difficult to translate what you learn to your day-to-day work. Graduate qualifications for transport professionals are also very limited, especially for those outside the catchment of university campuses.

An answer to this dilemma is online, self-paced mini-courses. Platforms such as Coursera and edX have opened up this new approach to learning to millions of students.

Most courses are free, with some paid courses, enabling you to gain a certificate, learning badge or micro-credential and in some cases provide credit towards a graduate qualification.

This means you can access the best universities, the best teachers, using effective adult learning approaches, for free or a fraction of the cost of traditional courses. You can work at your own pace, at a time that suits you.


The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has established UpSkill -‘Professional learning for the 21st Century’ – with practical online mini-courses. Currently, there are business, management, marketing and education courses, and more are being developed. USQ is a recognised leader in online and blended education and has established a reputation for quality online courses.

When you successfully complete a course you receive a verifiable digital badge – these are certifications that can be used in email signatures, resumés, and on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Mini-courses are also a pathway to obtaining credit to USQ graduate programs. Four of the current mini-courses are equivalent to a graduate course. For more information check the UpSkill website.

Transport and UpSkill

USQ has engaged me to develop mini-courses on transport planning. These will be primarily be based on the course material from the Multimodal Integrated Transport Planning short course that was held earlier this year.

Two mini-courses (each equivalent to 0.5 of graduate course) are being developed:

  1. Transport Planning: Moving People
  2. Transport Planning: Moving Freight
The two mini-courses were available early in 2020.