Micro-credentialing

The latest trend we've seen in higher education is micro-credentials, a non-traditional education path where students gain qualifications in a specific area such as coding languages, presentation skills or management skills such as staff supervision or strategic decision making.

For example, we have heard of the ‘nanodegree’ (introduced by Udacity, in partnership with Google) as ‘curriculums designed to help you become job-ready’ with courses on computer science concepts and programming languages.

Why the contribution is important

Micro-credentials could be a way to recognise specific skillsets, but also as a way to recognise any informal learning or prior training. Micro-credentials could be used in the classroom for secondary and tertiary students or at work as a way to recognise on the job training.

  • Do you think micro-credentialing is the future of our higher education system?
  • Do you think smaller courses like micro-credentials encourage reskilling and help people learn specific skills for digital technologies? Why or why not?

by DigitalEconomyTeam on October 24, 2017 at 08:59AM

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Comments

  • Posted by sbrisbane78 October 24, 2017 at 13:58

    I have used free online training offered by university for short courses on a range of topics of interest. I found these very useful in addressing a targeted topic as a taster for further learning if I wanted to.
    Micro-credentials have a role to play for continuous learning once someone is in the work force or about to go into the workforce to acquire a specific skills that will enhance their ability to perform their work or enhance their employability. however I don't believe that this should be the broad base approach to higher education. Higher education should still be about broadening one's critical thinking, problem solving and all those other abilities that stretch beyond a single skill. Micro credentials might have the risk to promote education in silos with poor cross learning integration and miss moulding responsible citizens, neighbours and individuals. we all need to be informed and critical consumers of knowledge, information and products and this is what higher education should support rather than the ability to master a range of specific skills. FAce to face education is still critical to embrace our humanity and learn to deal with people, their emotions, diverging opinions, thoughts etc in a responsible and respectful way. Without this we would be no better than AI machines.
  • Posted by DigitalEconomyTeam October 25, 2017 at 09:55

    Thanks for your comment and for being our first responder on Dialogue! Really great post, and you raise a lot of important ideas.
    Are there any new learning or teaching styles that you’ve seen recently that you thought were innovative and impressive? In your opinion, what are the types of skills or knowledge areas that you think will be important for workers to learn for the jobs of today and the future?
  • Posted by bmack October 27, 2017 at 15:30

    I reckon we need a digital skills framework within which we have a logical pathway the micro credentials can fit. What are the skills that we need or want?
  • Posted by Wfergie November 01, 2017 at 14:27

    Micro credentials, that build on a strong underlying education in vocations where rapid change is a constant like computer science, will help tertiary institutions keep up with the ever changing skills required. Unlike years gone by, where a higher education/ tertiary course relevant to a vocation could be slow to change the skills and knowledge required, now education needs to be nimble, and constantly updated to best provide the skills/knowledge required by employers today. The speed of change in the digital ecosystem is not easy to grapple with when it comes to education however, offering micro credentials, which can be taught in short intense bursts to upskill workers in these industries, could go a long way to addressing this problem. Some institutions such as RMIT are already on this path.
  • Posted by DigitalEconomyTeam November 02, 2017 at 14:44

    Thanks for great input Wfergie, we will have a look into the work RMIT are doing in this area.
  • Posted by AimeeZhang November 09, 2017 at 19:18

    Mobile education could be one of the good solutions to provide micro teaching units and fit smaller time slots of students. But this may involve great efforts in new digital curriculum design and teaching materials development. The evaluation of students' works is another issue, which should be taking into account in curriculum design. The report for future job market identified some important skills, such as communication skills, team work and innovation. Globalized thinking and cultural study are also important for future job market. These skills required multi-discipline studies, which could be benefited from micro-credentialing design. But as discussed before, it may required great efforts from managing staff, curriculum designer, industry supporter, developers, teaching staff, and students. The empirical studies from researchers in other countries could shed a light.
  • Posted by DigitalEconomyTeam November 10, 2017 at 17:20

    Hi AimeeZhang - thanks for your comment. You touch a lot of a different ideas, and your point about evaluation of student work is really important when looking at new form forms of education like this.

    You mention empirical studies from other countries - do know of any examples from other countries where mobile education is working for skills-focused education?
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