Call for Papers on Micro-credentials and the Next New Normal

Is the micro-credential the next big thing? The micro-credentialing movement is gaining momentum around the world as more governments, universities and professional organisations respond to powerful change forces of Industry 4.0 along with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But is the magic of the micro-credential fairy dust or star dust? Is the micro-credential just the latest educational fad in a long list of failed learning innovations over many years?

These are some of the provocative questions that we will be exploring in Higher Education 4.0: Certifying Your Future, our forthcoming online masterclass available through the FutureLearning platform. We are looking forward to some lively online debates over the next few weeks. Make sure you register for this course.

Google Trend data for the microcredential

We are also pleased to announce a special issue of the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education will publish a collection of papers which critically and analytically focus on micro-credentials as the “next new normal” for digitally-enhanced learning in higher education ecosystems.  Micro-credentials are purported to offer more flexible, digitally-enabled, learner-focused, and wide-reaching education and training opportunities for learners. Whilst the emergence, adoption, regulation, and impact of micro-credentials and other forms of digital credentials present a number of opportunities, they also raise important questions and challenges for all stakeholders (i.e. learners, employers, educational institutions, and government and professional bodies).

Topics in this special issue include, but are not limited to: 

  • Institutional and national credentialing processes
  • Strategies, governance and policies
  • Credential ecology, quality assurance and recognition frameworks
  • Co-construction of micro-credentials, employability, lifelong and lifewide learning
  • Transversal skill
  • Neoliberal ideologies
  • Academic trajectories
  • Value propositions of micro-credentials

As part of the NIDL’s commitment to open science, open scholarship and open education we greatly value our role as a formal editorial partner in this Springer published journal, which has developed a strong following and reputation for quality in recent years. Indeed, the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education is now officially the No 1 Scopus ranked open access publication in the field.

You can read more about this special issue and how to submit a manuscript on the journal website.

Submission deadline: 31 July 2021

Guest Editors: Beverley Oliver, Mark Brown, Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl

Masterclass starts March 8th 2021

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A Strategic Reflection on Digitalisation in Higher Education – Webinar Recordings

Over the past fortnight the NIDL team was pleased to contribute to two webinars offering strategic reflections on the increasing digitalisation of Higher Education. This two-part webinar series was part of the Digi-HE project being led by the European Universities Association (EUA). The project aims to promote critical self-reflection in supporting institutions to develop their capacity and strategic approaches to digitally enhanced models of teaching and learning.

In the next phase of this project, a number of Thematic Peer Groups (TPGs) will get underway shortly involving around 30 different higher education institutions across Europe. We were delighted to have some many institution al applicants for this phase of the project. The TPGs will enable participants at each institution to engage in regular lively discussions and share their experiences relevant to the chosen theme related to digitalisation in the context of teaching and learning. The selected themes include:

  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Strategy and Organisational Culture
  • Strategic and International Partnerships

We look forward to meeting up with a diverse group of participants in this next phase of the project. However, before then the following recordings kindly made available by EUA may be of interest to those who were unable to join our recent webinar series.

In reverse order, the second webinar which took place on Friday 5th February (recording above) discussed the findings of our report which presents the results of a survey of digital learning and teaching in European higher education institutions.

One of the key takeaways from the survey in terms of supporting teaching with new digital technologies is the value of an environment that fosters rich professional conversations with and between colleagues.

The first webinar back on January 26th (recording below) explored the question, what does digital education look like from an institution-wide perspective when successfully implemented in a mature way? This webinar coincided with the launch of another Digi-HE project report focusing on the development of a high performance digital education ecosystem. The report provides advice and guidance for higher education institutions wishing to undertake self-assessment of digital learning and teaching using selected instruments reviewed as part of this study.

if you have any questions about the Digital-HE project or anything arising from the two webinars, then please do not hesitate to contact us. The project team meets regularly and we would be happy to provide further advice concerning the range of self-assessment tools reviewed for fostering a culture of strategic reflection and quality enhancement.