Leveraging the Microcredential Potential

February 13, 2023
Nikki Meller
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Microcredentials are innovating educational pathways. They create an immediate education supply. They promote learning. They promote autonomy. They are flexible. They are inclusive. They are adaptable.

Microcredentials offer personal learning pathways emphasising lifelong learning. Learners can achieve new skills and competencies in their own time, their own space, their own pace.

Educational institutions have the opportunity to widen and extend their educational ecosystem with the introduction of microcredential offerings. Instead of a substitution to degree programs, they can leverage the uptake and interest of market specific learning by those who choose to enrol into microcredentials.

Strategically, microcredentials also offer possibilities to extended institutional and external partnerships. Corporate learning and development strategies should consider making conscious decisions to start leveraging institutional partners for staff development with microcredentials.

Microcredentials need to be created with structure, intent, and underpinned by andragogical principles. There needs to be recognition and buy in from all stakeholders to realise the economic, social, and potential of such an educational investment. As microcredentials continue to grow rapidly in the global education context, the return on investment seems logical.

The European Commission’s (2020) Final Report on a European approach to micro-credentials states the “approach to micro-credentials and its building blocks should support quick and more scalable recognition processes, especially when underpinned by digital solutions.”

There are some barriers to successful implementation of microcredentials. They need policy development and consistency. They need to be scalable and sustainable. They need quality assurance measured and standards applied. Now is the time to continue the hard work that has started in uplifting microcredentials into our educational common vernacular.

But are microcredentials a sustainable learning solution? Maybe it’s time to start applying circular economy thinking to microcredentials.

A cultural change has begun. It’s time to leverage the potential microcredentials can create in enabling accessible and equitable lifelong learning for all. Are you in?