Published on November 17, 2023, 12:24 am

Empowering Lifelong Learning: The Rise Of Micro-Credentials And Ai In Education

Educational institutions and technology partners are being urged to explore “micro-credential” programs by global edtech firm Instructure, in order to promote lifelong learning. In a recent report on student success and engagement, Instructure found that Filipino respondents are increasingly seeking skills-based credentials to expand their expertise (77%), advance their careers (68%), take advantage of flexible programs (59%), and be prepared for new opportunities (56%). The report also highlighted the popularity of certificates (43%) and apprenticeships (39%) among respondents as pathways to their desired professions.

According to Harrison Kelly, Asia-Pacific Managing Director at Instructure, students recognize the need for a diverse and adaptable skill set in today’s workforce. As a result, they are opting for more flexible and skills-focused learning avenues that offer faster routes to employment and a wider range of career opportunities. Institutions must adapt and find fixed yet agile approaches to meet these evolving demands. Kelly emphasized that the current job market places greater emphasis on skills-based hiring rather than traditional degree qualifications.

Ryan Lufkin, Vice President for Global Strategy at Instructure, highlighted the role of edtech systems as proof of workplace skills. Even degree programs are breaking down into component skills, allowing candidates without degrees to showcase attractive qualities to employers. Lufkin also noted the significant impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in enhancing productivity, creativity, and critical thinking among learners.

The report revealed that 46% of Filipino students attend institutions with rules governing the use of generative AI tools, with 28% indicating strict guidelines in place. Generative AI tools were found to assist students in creating class content (62%), conducting research and writing (56%), and personalizing their learning experience (53%). ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, was particularly helpful in research and writing tasks (83%), test preparation (52%), and learning foreign languages (47%).

Mr. Lufkin stressed the importance of providing tutorials and guidelines to educators on how to effectively utilize AI tools while also being aware of potential misuse. He emphasized the need for an equitable approach, avoiding the creation of a tiered system or digital divide with AI. Lufkin further highlighted that paid versions of ChatGPT, which have access to significantly more datasets than the free version, may contribute to this divide.

Instructure’s report on the State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education, now in its fourth year, covered 17 countries and included 571 students, administrators, and faculty members from the Philippines. The report serves as a valuable resource for understanding current trends in education and guiding future strategies for educational institutions and technology partners alike.

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