Micro-credential as a digital enabler for higher education ecosystems
Prof. Dr. Chin-Hong Puah, University Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia, [email protected]
Prof. Dr. Wasim Qazi, IQRA University Karachi, Pakistan, [email protected]
Micro-credential programs are still in their infancy stage for many countries. It implies that service providers and learners face challenges in implementing and adopting micro-credentials (Kumar et al., 2022). The implementation of digital infrastructure, its connectivity, and public utility is an essential aspect of promoting micro-credentials. It requires an established and sustainable policy to execute a micro-credential program in higher education. At the same time, learner enrolment in this program is also a significant challenge. A careful assessment of the needs and requirements of professional and digital learners can provide a solution to overcome learners' enrolment challenges. Therefore, to understand the current and future demand for micro-credentials, this special issue focuses on various aspects such as framework, policies, infrastructure, learners engagement, training, employability, digital skills, competitiveness, and sustainability in the future.
Micro-credential programs are helpful for a broad group of people, such as students, professionals, and industry leaders looking for a flexible learning environment to upgrade their skills portfolio (Gauthier, 2020). It is a strategic reset after the world experienced a global COVID-19 pandemic. Micro-credentials engage learners to be actively involved in tech-based environments that help them enhance their social and personal competencies. It also allows people to gain lifelong learning experiences while it further supports the responsiveness of university education to meet the challenges and requirements of societal relevance. According to Milligan and Kennedy (2017), micro-credentials are part of:
"a digital credentialing ecosystem, made possible by digital communications technologies establishing networks of interest through which people can share information about what a learner knows and can do" (p.43).
The global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic increased the demand for alternate ways and solutions for delivering education in universities. In this context, micro-credentials complement traditional education systems (Kato et al., 2020), and they can be viewed as an attractive and flexible solution for all levels of learners, such as Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. students. Micro-credentials demonstrate knowledge, skills, and experience by offering mini qualifications in the field of education. The term micro-credentials is also known as monodegree programs in which traditional degree and certified programs are delivered using a digital medium. Micro-credentials involve various activities such as completing tasks, projects, lectures, and assessments. As a result, a learner receives credentials as a digital certificate or badge. Micro-credentials have several benefits, such as a flexible learning environment, bridging shortcomings in education careers, skills enhancement, and personal and professional development. Micro-credential can be offered using physical, blended, and online modes. In addition, it provides a wide range of courses in almost every field of study.
In short learning experience, micro-credential is an essential part of future education around the globe. Such models in the education system are becoming popular among learners and education service providers. If the higher education institutes adopt micro-credentials as their mandatory part of the education system, the new generation will become the true beneficiary of this model. On the other side, higher education institutes provide learning opportunities for disadvantaged background learners, such as those from rural and less developed areas where access to quality education is limited. Micro-credentials also focus on people who are less familiar with the technology and possess weak digital learning skills. For example, a group of senior citizens aged 50 years and above is less likely to continue education at university. However, micro-credential would be one option for them to overcome their skills shortcomings and avoid their growing age psychological challenges. It helps them to overcome the challenges of unemployment and, at the same time, they can meet the industry demands (Maina et al., 2022).
List of Topic Areas:
- Following are the anticipated list of themes but are not limited to the following list of topics:
- Issues and challenges faced by higher education institutes in developing and implementing micro-credential programs.
- Micro-credentials and employability.
- Potential fields and areas of micro-credentials programs.
- Contributing factors and their availability to promote micro-credential programs.
- Micro-credential and capacity-building ecosystems.
- Methods and delivery modes of micro-credentials in higher education.
- Curriculum design and infrastructure development for micro-credentials programs
- Learners' intentions to adopt micro-credentials.
- Post pandemic education system using micro-credentials.
- Successful implementation of micro-credentials frameworks in higher education and case studies.
Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijem
Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see: https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/ijem#author-guidelines
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title Micro-credential as a digital enabler for higher education ecosystems at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”.
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.
Opening date for manuscript submissions: 13 November 2022
Closing date for manuscript submissions: 05 March 2023