Micro-credentialing for the future


In keeping with the latest trends in education and technology, the Silliman University Dr. Mariano C. Lao Global Studies Center hosted the seminar recently on “Micro-Credentialing: Navigating the Future of Professional Development” at the Dr. Mariano & Lina Lao Activity Center.

The seminar aimed to create a network and build institutional partnerships to establish stackable courses and institutionalize partner collaborators and schools for equivalencies.

The seminar included key partners such as the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA), Philippine eLearning Society (PeLS), Asian University Digital Resource Network (AUDRN), and Canvas by Infrastructure whose powerhouse speakers and lecturers shed light into the importance of micro-credentials and their place in higher education institutions in a rapidly changing learning landscape.

Monchito Ibrahim, vice president for both Analytics and AI Association of the Philippines and UP System Information Technology Foundation, who spoke at the seminar via Zoom, wrote, “There is no standard definition of a micro-credential,” in his weekly column, TECH4GOOD, for Manila Bulletin.

“Generally, it is a competency-based and verifiable recognition that a person has demonstrated some level of knowledge or mastery in a particular field. It is usually given at the end of a short and focused training course which may involve some form of assessment. Common attributes are industry recognition and shareability,” Ibrahim wrote.

In the realm of educational opportunities, individual learners leverage micro-credentials for diverse purposes, including educational advancement, employment, reskilling, upskilling, enjoyment, or personal growth. These credentials, whether pursued for professional development or personal enrichment, serve as versatile tools for learners seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Micro-credentials can be characterized either as stand-alone or stackable, offering learners the flexibility to customize their educational pathways. Notably, these credentials are distinguished by their smaller volume, manifested in reduced study durations or study loads. This compact format allows for a more targeted approach to skill acquisition and study topics, catering to specific learning objectives. Additionally, the inherent flexibility in the delivery of micro-credentials further reinforces their adaptability to diverse learning styles and preferences.

Micro-credentials (or “microlearning,” “nanodegrees,” “microbachelor’s”) have not really taken off in most colleges and universities that offer traditional learning systems and degree programs in the country, although the University of the Philippines Open University has begun conversations about the possibility of integrating them into their curricula.

In SU, however, things are just starting to pick up speed. It can be recalled that in December 2023, it launched the project titled, “Design and Implementation of Micro-credentialing in Higher Education in the Philippines,” with funding from the UBCHEA. This seminar is part of this bigger project and SU’s commitment to navigating the future of educational development.

Key representatives of SU, including Engr. Klint Ian Austero, Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) specialist of SU TBI and Computer Engineering Department faculty member; Asst. Prof. Janice Antoinette Forster, PeLS president and manager of SU TBI; Asst. Prof. Alfie Arcelo, faculty in-charge, Information, Quality, and New Programs, MCL GSC;

Russel Rhey Basiao, manager for Non-Degree Programs, MCL GSC; Blanchie Utzurrum, SU Technical, Educational, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Center (TEVEC) Head; Asst. Prof. Joy Dy, dean of the College of Computer Studies; as well as faculty representatives from Foundation University also attended the onsite event. | NWI