A new publication by ISI researchers on the potential of micro-credentials to drive social, economic and higher education innovation has been published
The year 2023 has started with great news for researchers at the Institute for Innovative Studies – the article “Exploring the potential of micro-credentials: A systematic literature review” on the potential of micro-credentials to foster socio-economic and higher education innovation has now been published in the international peer-reviewed, open-access journal Frontiers in Education (Q2)! The research was carried out within the framework of the research project “Digital Micro-Credentials in Higher Education” (project No. 13.1.1-LMT-K-718-05-0003).
The aim of the research presented in this paper is to analyse from the integrative perspective the potential of micro-credentials to foster social, economic and higher education innovations. Although the articles analysed in this paper cover the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods (2015-2022), this study aimed to synthesise the results of other researchers and provide informed insights on how further development of micro-credentials could contribute to a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by fostering socio-economic and higher education innovations. The results of the systematic literature review are discussed in the light of recent criticisms by other scholars that this process of micro-credentialisation poses a ‘moral hazard’ (Ralston, 2021, p. 95) due to its potential to accelerate the inflation and commoditisation of education.
As the study shows, the potential of micro-credentials to contribute to a sustainable recovery from the pandemic can be seen and revealed through different dimensions, for example, amongst other opportunities, they increase the chances for individuals to up-skill, re-skill, and integrate into the labour market (economic context), promote lifelong learning, remain competitive in the labour market for longer and allow for more flexibility in planning their professional development path (social context). The analysis also reveals that HEIs can be seen as both providers and innovators in the micro-credentialization process. It is important for HEIs to recognise that micro-credentials are an innovative practice that requires change and flexibility in the design of competency-based curricula to meet learners’ needs. The analysis also shows that HEIs need to work more closely with the labour market, develop services and functions for the assessment and recognition of non-formal and informal learning, create opportunities for the stackability of credits, reorganise operational structures, provide the necessary infrastructure for the delivery of micro-credentials, etc. It is believed that the introduction of micro-credentials in higher education institutions could also increase the employability of graduates.
With the results and conclusions presented, the paper contributes to the recently growing field of research on micro-credentials and provides insights for further research.
Read the full article here.
This research has been implemented within the framework of the research project “Digital Micro-Credentials in Higher Education” (project no. 13.1.1-LMT-K-718-05-0003). This project has received funding from European Regional Development Fund (project no 13.1.1-LMT-K-718-05-0003) under grant agreement with the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT). Funded as European Union’s measure in response to COVID-19 pandemic.