Published on February 11, 2024, 1:30 pm

The Role Of Learning Technology In Shaping The Future Of Vocational Education In The Philippines

Learning technology plays a crucial role in shaping the future of vocational education institutions in the Philippines. In a recent study conducted by Hanover Research on behalf of Instructure Holdings, Inc., it was revealed that these institutions are increasingly focusing on enhancing student employability through the integration of educational technology (edtech) solutions.

The State of Vocational Education in the Philippines survey, which involved 115 institutions, highlighted several significant insights. First and foremost, it found that 89% of vocational education institutions place great importance on the employment rates of recent graduates. Additionally, 81% value their students’ practical application of knowledge and skills. Interestingly, while all institutions believe they effectively prepare students for the workplace, over half (53%) admit to struggling with recent graduate employment rates.

In response to the competitive job market, vocational education institutions are turning to technology as an essential tool to positively impact instructors, administrators, and students. The study reveals that a significant 97% of these institutions believe their use of technology has played a crucial role in enhancing student success.

Among the various technologies adopted by these institutions, Learning Management Systems (LMS) emerged as the most widely used with an adoption rate of 77%. Digital assessment solutions (62%) and video/audio conferencing tools (59%) were also popular choices. This further emphasizes how integrating technological tools like LMS is highly valued by students as they recognize their role in enriching the learning experience.

Harrison Kelly, Managing Director at Instructure Asia Pacific, explained: “The widespread adoption of LMS and other digital learning tools speaks to a deeper understanding that integrating technology is crucial for preparing vocational students for the complexities of the modern workforce.”

One key driver behind this adoption is increased competition from universities offering nontraditional courses such as short courses or micro-credentials. According to the report, 65% of vocational education institutions have faced increased competition from universities. However, while many have seen increased enrollments, they also face concerns related to cost pressures and access to technology.

The report also delves into the integration of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, in vocational institutions. It reveals that 32% of institutions have embraced AI tools in their operations, while 38% have chosen to ban them entirely. A further 23% are familiar with these tools but opt not to use them due to various reasons, and a small fraction (6%) lack knowledge about them.

The study notes that administrative staff are more likely than trainers to utilize AI tools (34% versus 30%). Admins mainly use AI tools for research and writing (59%), lesson plan creation (49%), and administrative tasks like email drafting (46%). Students, on the other hand, primarily use AI for research and writing (76%), language translation (46%), and test preparation (45%).

While plagiarism is not a top concern for vocational institutions when it comes to AI integration (31%), they are more focused on potential issues related to creativity and critical thinking loss (52%) and data privacy (49%). Despite some apprehensions and outright bans on AI tools, a majority of institutions (91%) have established guidelines for their usage. This highlights their commitment to finding the right balance between leveraging technological advancements while maintaining ethical standards.

In line with the prevalence of AI tools, 75% of vocational education institutions actively offer AI training programs. This showcases their dedication to embracing and adapting to the disruptive nature of technology in education.

Mr. Kelly emphasizes the importance of providing strong support to students as they navigate through their courses and lifelong learning journey. This includes equipping them with the latest technological tools and skills while addressing challenges within the ever-evolving educational landscape.

In conclusion, vocational education institutions in the Philippines recognize that integrating technology is crucial for enhancing student employability. By leveraging edtech solutions like LMS and embracing the potential of generative AI tools, these institutions are positioning themselves to better prepare students for the demands of the modern workforce. With ongoing support and training, they strive to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their future careers.

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