Corporate Learning Is Boring — But It Doesn’t Have to Be — from hbr.org by Duncan Wardle; via GSV

Summary:
Most corporate learnings aren’t cutting it. Almost 60% of employees say they’re interested in upskilling and training, but 57% of workers also say they’re already pursuing training outside of work. The author, the former Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, argues that creativity is the missing piece to make upskilling engaging and effective. From his experience, he shares four strategies to unlock creativity in trainings: 1) Encourage “What if?”, 2) respond “How else?” to challenges, 3) give people time to think by encouraging playfulness, and 4) make training a game.

 

Say Goodbye to Antiquated Performance Reviews — from td.org by Magdalena Nowicka Mook

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Most leaders understand the value of investing in an onboarding process for orientation, productivity, and retention, but few associate onboarding with strong performance over the employee’s full tenure with the organization. By contrast, everboarding is a newer approach that prioritizes ongoing learning and development rather than only an initial commitment. Insights from Deloitte indicate organizations that establish an ongoing learning culture are 52 percent more productive with engagement and achieve retention rates 30–50 percent higher than those that don’t.

When implemented effectively, everboarding embraces proven elements of a coaching culture that establish an ongoing commitment to skill development, deepens understanding of the organization, and supports real-time feedback to prevent stagnancy in high-potential employees brought in through strong hiring practices.

 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

The $340 Billion Corporate Learning Industry Is Poised For Disruption — from joshbersin.com by Josh Bersin

What if, for example, the corporate learning system knew who you were and you could simply ask it a question and it would generate an answer, a series of resources, and a dynamic set of learning objects for you to consume? In some cases you’ll take the answer and run. In other cases you’ll pour through the content. And in other cases you’ll browse through the course and take the time to learn what you need.

And suppose all this happened in a totally personalized way. So you didn’t see a “standard course” but a special course based on your level of existing knowledge?

This is what AI is going to bring us. And yes, it’s already happening today.

 

Edtech Unicorns Are Evolving Rather Than Disrupting — from bloomberg.com by Alex Webb

Consider Coursera Inc., the most prominent survivor of that early edtech hype. It’s now a public company, with a hefty $2.3 billion valuation. Finally, 12 years after it was founded — by, incidentally, another Google veteran in Andrew Ng — it’s set to report its first profit this year, according to analyst estimates. And the enterprise business is considerably more profitable, enjoying a 68% gross margin in 2023, compared to the consumer business’s 53% margin.

Figuring out the right match between training and utility is how several business schools seem to have developed successful online courses — which they are charging top dollar for. They’re in close contact with the sort of large corporations who hire their graduates, giving them a more intimate understanding of what those businesses seek.

Harvard Business School is one example. It made $74 million from online courses in fiscal 2022, the most recent year for which data is available

 

Announcing the 2024 GSV 150: The Top Growth Companies in Digital Learning & Workforce Skills — from prnewswire.com with information provided by ASU+GSV Summit

“The world is adapting to seismic shifts from generative AI,” says Luben Pampoulov, Partner at GSV Ventures. “AI co-pilots, AI tutors, AI content generators—AI is ubiquitous, and differentiation is increasingly critical. This is an impressive group of EdTech companies that are leveraging AI and driving positive outcomes for learners and society.”

Workforce Learning comprises 34% of the list, K-12 29%, Higher Education 24%, Adult Consumer Learning 10%, and Early Childhood 3%. Additionally, 21% of the companies stretch across two or more “Pre-K to Gray” categories. A broader move towards profitability is also evident: the collective gross and EBITDA margin score of the 2024 cohort increased 5% compared to 2023.

See the list at https://www.asugsvsummit.com/gsv-150

Selected from 2,000+ companies around the world based on revenue scale, revenue growth, user reach, geographic diversification, and margin profile, this impressive group is reaching an estimated 3 billion people and generating an estimated $23 billion in revenue.

 

From DSC:
Late last week, I ran into several items re: the state of the journalism industry in America. The bottom line is not encouraging. And this should concern every citizen who wants to see our democracy do well.

Here are some items that got me to reflect on this issue/situation:

The State of Local News — from localnewsinitiative.northwestern.edu (Northwestern University); via Ryan Craig’s Gap Letter from last week

Executive Summary (emphasis DSC)
There was both good news and bad news for local journalism this past year. The good news raised the possibility that a range of proposals and programs could begin to arrest the steep loss of local news over the past two decades and, perhaps, revive journalism in some places that have lost their news. The headlines on the bad news resoundingly conveyed the message that urgent action is needed in many venues — from boardrooms to the halls of Congress — and by many, including civic-minded organizations and entrepreneurs.

At the same time, however, the number of local news outlets continued to contract at an even steeper rate in 2023. On the current trajectory, by the end of next year, the country will have lost a third of its newspapers since 2005. Discouragingly, the growth in alternative local news sources — digital and ethnic news outlets, as well as public broadcasting — has not kept pace with what’s being lost.

Newspapers are continuing to vanish at an average rate of more than two a week.

In addition to losing almost a third of its newspapers, the country has lost almost two-thirds of its newspaper journalists — 43,000 — since 2005.


Opinion: Local news can seize the moment — from crainsdetroit.com by Sue Ellen Christian

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Our society isn’t short on news, we’re short on attention. How do we get honest reporting on local events and issues noticed by readers, viewers and listeners in our digital age of content saturation, misinformation and online chaos? Plus, not only are adults overall consuming less news, but many also now intentionally avoid any news and its attendant hyperbole, negativity and fear-mongering.

Local news is an oasis from the national muck. The Gallup/Knight study from last year showed that adults in the U.S. trust local news organizations two times more than national news outlets (44% to 21%), and perceive local journalists as caring more about the impact of their reporting.

For the collaborative and the nation’s many struggling local news outlets, there was this hope-giving finding: “When Americans perceive that local news organizations do not have the resources to report the news accurately and fairly, they are more likely to say they would consider paying for news in the future,” stated the report.

The future is now, people.

A healthy democracy depends on an informed citizenry. Local news is essential, and today’s financially struggling outlets need local paying subscribers.

From DSC: Also as a relevant aside:
Wonder Media
This website is dedicated to helping you learn more about how to use
the media for your purposes, and not to be used by media. Explore
the site to learn about media literacy and news media literacy
through games, videos, quizzes, and more.

 


Opinion: Stronger democracy is worth the investment — from crainsdetroit.com by Hugh Dellios

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

By itself, philanthropy isn’t the ultimate solution. But it can be a bridge to a moment when this generation’s media entrepreneurs have had a chance to solve the puzzle of a more sustainable business model, one that serves audience needs, counts on a variety of solid revenue streams, and restores value in producing news.

A strong, free press is essential to the functioning of our society – and that’s why it’s the only private industry specifically protected by the U.S. Constitution. But unless we invest in real newsrooms, we’ll continue to see the disappearance of real reporters who ask the tough, informed questions that help forge good policy and hold our leaders accountable.

The return on that investment? A better-functioning, more stable democracy. The alternative? Maybe waking up one day without one. 


With local journalism ‘in crisis,’ Michigan newsrooms get creative to fill the gap — from crainsdetroit.com by Julie Mack

Local journalism is “in crisis,” said Tim Franklin, who heads Northwestern’s Local News Initiative and is a former top editor at the Indianapolis Star, Orlando Sentinel and Baltimore Sun.

“I equate the local news crisis to being journalism’s climate change. It’s this grinding attrition,” he said. “We’re at a real inflection point for local news in America. The question is, how are we going to get out of this?”
.

“I really do believe there’s never been a better time to be a corrupt local politician because nobody is watching the henhouse,” said Sue Ellen Christian, a former Chicago Tribune reporter and now a Western Michigan University journalism professor. “There are very few local reporters now, few local news outlets with the bandwidth to pull the documents, go to obscure committee meetings — that’s where you find the story, the string that you pull that becomes a really good, important local news story.” 


 

From DSC:
After reading the book entitled “Love & Hate” by Bill Halamandaris — a book about Henri Landwirth, the founder of the Give Kids the World Village — and “On Purpose” by Pamela Landwirth, I was struck with several thoughts. Below are just some of them:

  • There is enormous power in a vision.
  • People want purpose and meaning in their lives. They want their lives to count. To matter.
  • People want to work for an organization that is concretely making the world a better place in which to live.
  • People want to buy from businesses that are making a positive contribution to the world.
  • Both love and hate are powerful. But let’s choose to go forward with love.
  • Parents, grandparents, and/or other guardians of critically-ill children carry enormous, hidden burdens. Let’s try to notice those burdens and help them out.
  • Life is precious.

Let's remember this -- Despite what we may hear and see, life is precious.


From DSC:
Recently, a group from our church went to serve down at the Give Kids the World Village, in Kissimee, Florida. I wanted to relay the specialness of this place and say a few words about the Founder of the Give Kids the World Village: a man by the name of Henri Landwirth. Over the last few weeks in the Orlando area, the Holy Spirit helped me to think about the power of a vision, as both Walt Disney and Henri Landwirth were visionaries.

But first, it’s important to note that Henri survived FIVE concentration camps during WWII. He had no name there. He was known only as B4343.

Henri:

  • Was in concentration camps from ages 13-18
  • He lost both of his parents to acts of mass murder
  • Henri survived FIVE YEARS of hunger, torture, and horrendous conditions
  • He faced what looked like certain death several times

Yet as I was reading the book entitled “Love & Hate”, I kept wondering if I was seeing the fingerprints of God on Henri’s life.

After the war, Henri went in search of former Nazis, for whom he was filled with hatred. And while I don’t have time to relay the fateful day that changed Henri’s perspective and his life, the bottom line was that he didn’t want to become like his former captors the Nazis. Surprisingly and amazingly, he chose love, not hate.

Fast forward to Henri’s coming to America, working very hard, and climbing up the ladder of the Holiday Inn organization.

Then fast forward even further to the time Henri was looking for a location to build his vision. Quoting from page 139:

Henri took his checkbook and began looking for a location for Give Kids the World Village. He found it almost immediately in Kissimmee. When Henry looked at the lot, he could already see the Village there. Where others might have seen rows of burned orange trees and wetlands, Henri saw villages, a place for kids to fish, and a castle. “I could see it all,” Henri says, “as if my dream had already come to life.”

A few last notable things about the Give Kids the World Village:

  • According to the book by Bill Halamandaris, the Village was built with ZERO CONTRACTS and NO ADVERTISEMENTS from those who helped create the village! This is underheard of for $60+ million worth of facilities and the millions of dollars’ worth of donated services.
  • The Village has thousands of volunteers and it takes 160 volunteers per day to keep it running
  • Since 1986, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 188,000 families from all 50 states and 77 countries.

So I want to leave you with the idea that we were witnesses of – and participants in – the tremendous power of a vision.

 

.

Per Donald Taylor this morning:

The results of this year’s L&D Global Sentiment Survey are now live online!

They are unlike anything else I’ve seen in the 11-history of the Survey.

Over 3,000 people from nearly 100 countries shared their views, and you can see my summary of them on LinkedIn:


 

 

6 work and workplace trends to watch in 2024 — from weforum.org by Kate Whiting; via Melanie Booth on LinkedIn

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The world of work is changing fast.

By 2027, businesses predict that almost half (44%) of workers’ core skills will be disrupted.

Technology is moving faster than companies can design and scale up their training programmes, found the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report.

The Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024 found that “lack of economic opportunity” ranked as one of the top 10 biggest risks among risk experts over the next two years.

5. Skills will become even more important
With 23% of jobs expected to change in the next five years, according to the Future of Jobs Report, millions of people will need to move between declining and growing jobs.

 

From DSC:
This would be huge for all of our learning ecosystems, as the learning agents could remember where a particular student or employee is at in terms of their learning curve for a particular topic.


Say What? Chat With RTX Brings Custom Chatbot to NVIDIA RTX AI PCs — from blogs.nvidia.com
Tech demo gives anyone with an RTX GPU the power of a personalized GPT chatbot.



 

Conversational & Experiential: The New Duality of Learning — from learningguild.com by Markus Bernhardt

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The future of corporate learning and development (L&D) is being profoundly reshaped by the progress we are witnessing in artificial intelligence (AI). The increasing availability of new technologies and tools is causing L&D leaders and their teams to rethink their strategy and processes, and even their team structure. The resulting shift, already gaining momentum, will soon move us toward a future where learning experiences are deeply personal, interactive, and contextually rich.

The technological advancements at the forefront of this revolution:

  • Allow us to create high-quality content faster and at a fraction of the cost previously experienced.
  • Provide us with a range of new modalities of delivery, such as chat interfaces, as well as immersive and experiential simulations and games.
  • Enable us to transform learning and training more and more into a journey uniquely tailored to each individual’s learning path, strengths, weaknesses, and confidence levels.

We are already seeing signs of the immediate future—one where AI will adapt not only content but the entire learner experience, on-the-fly and aligned with the needs and requirements of the learner at a specific moment of need.


Harnessing AI in L&D: Reviewing 2023 & Imagining the Future — from learningguild.com by Juan Naranjo

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

AI-assisted design & development work: A dramatic shift
This prediction was right. There has been a seismic shift in instructional design, and the role is evolving toward content curation, editing, and resource orchestration. Critical thinking skills are becoming more important than ever to make sure that the final learning asset is accurate. All of this is happening thanks to AI tools like:

  • Adobe Firefly…
  • ChatGPT…
  • Another tool, one that isn’t usually part of the L&D ecosystem, is Microsoft’s Azure AI Services…

Early estimates indicate these improvements save between 30 percent and 60 percent of development time.

As a reminder, meta-learning, in this context, refers to tools that serve up experiences to learners based on their preferences, needs, and goals. It is the superstructure behind the content assets (e.g., programs, courses, articles, videos, etc.) that assembles everything into a coherent, and purposeful, body of knowledge for the users.

 

Augment teaching with AI – this teacher has it sussed… — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Emphasis (emphasis DSC):

You’re a teacher who wants to integrate AI into your teaching. What do you do? I often get asked how should I start with AI in my school or University. This, I think, is one answer.

Continuity with teaching
One school has got this exactly right in my opinion. Meredith Joy Morris has implemented ChatGPT into the teaching process. The teacher does their thing and the chatbot picks up where the teacher stops, augmenting and scaling the teaching and learning process, passing the baton to the learners who carry on. This gives the learner a more personalised experience, encouraging independent learning by using the undoubted engagement that 1:1 dialogue provides.

There’s no way any teacher can provide this carry on support with even a handful of students, never mind a class of 30 or a course with 100. Teaching here is ‘extended’ and ‘scaled’ by AI. The feedback from the students was extremely positive.


Reflections on Teaching in the AI Age — from by Jeffrey Watson

The transition which AI forces me to make is no longer to evaluate writings, but to evaluate writers. I am accustomed to grading essays impersonally with an objective rubric, treating the text as distinct from the author and commenting only on the features of the text. I need to transition to evaluating students a bit more holistically, as philosophers – to follow along with them in the early stages of the writing process, to ask them to present their ideas orally in conversation or in front of their peers, to push them to develop the intellectual virtues that they will need if they are not going to be mastered by the algorithms seeking to manipulate them. That’s the sort of development I’ve meant to encourage all along, not paragraph construction and citation formatting. If my grading practices incentivize outsourcing to a machine intelligence, I need to change my grading practices.


4 AI Imperatives for Higher Education in 2024 — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

[Bryan Alexander] There’s a crying need for faculty and staff professional development about generative AI. The topic is complicated and fast moving. Already the people I know who are seriously offering such support are massively overscheduled. Digital materials are popular. Books are lagging but will gradually surface. I hope we see more academics lead more professional development offerings.

For an academic institution to take emerging AI seriously it might have to set up a new body. Present organizational nodes are not necessarily a good fit.


A Technologist Spent Years Building an AI Chatbot Tutor. He Decided It Can’t Be Done. — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young
Is there a better metaphor than ‘tutor’ for what generative AI can do to help students and teachers?

When Satya Nitta worked at IBM, he and a team of colleagues took on a bold assignment: Use the latest in artificial intelligence to build a new kind of personal digital tutor.

This was before ChatGPT existed, and fewer people were talking about the wonders of AI. But Nitta was working with what was perhaps the highest-profile AI system at the time, IBM’s Watson. That AI tool had pulled off some big wins, including beating humans on the Jeopardy quiz show in 2011.

Nitta says he was optimistic that Watson could power a generalized tutor, but he knew the task would be extremely difficult. “I remember telling IBM top brass that this is going to be a 25-year journey,” he recently told EdSurge.


Teachers stan AI in education–but need more support — from eschoolnews.com by Laura Ascione

What are the advantages of AI in education?
Canva’s study found 78 percent of teachers are interested in using AI education tools, but their experience with the technology remains limited, with 93 percent indicating they know “a little” or “nothing” about it – though this lack of experience hasn’t stopped teachers quickly discovering and considering its benefits:

  • 60 percent of teachers agree it has given them ideas to boost student productivity
  • 59 percent of teachers agree it has cultivated more ways for their students to be creative
  • 56 percent of teachers agree it has made their lives easier

When looking at the ways teachers are already using generative artificial intelligence, the most common uses were:

  • Creating teaching materials (43 percent)
  • Collaborative creativity/co-creation (39 percent)
  • Translating text (36 percent)
  • Brainstorming and generating ideas (35 percent)

The next grand challenge for AI — from ted.com by Jim Fan


The State of Washington Embraces AI for Public Schools — from synthedia.substack.com by Bret Kinsella; via Tom Barrett
Educational institutions may be warming up to generative AI

Washington state issued new guidelines for K-12 public schools last week based on the principle of “embracing a human-centered approach to AI,” which also embraces the use of AI in the education process. The state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, commented in a letter accompanying the new guidelines:


New education features to help teachers save time and support students — from by Shantanu Sinha

Giving educators time back to invest in themselves and their students
Boost productivity and creativity with Duet AI: Educators can get fresh ideas and save time using generative AI across Workspace apps. With Duet AI, they can get help drafting lesson plans in Docs, creating images in Slides, building project plans in Sheets and more — all with control over their data.

 

Employers Partnering to Provide Microcredential and Training Programs on the Rise, New Study From Collegis Education and UPCEA Reveals — from prweb.com by Collegis Education
Opportunities are growing, but higher ed institutions are losing ground to private providers

OAKBROOK, Ill. Jan. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Companies partnering externally to provide training or professional development to employees increased by 26 percent (nearly 15 percentage points) between 2022 and 2023, according to a new study released today by Collegis Education and UPCEA, the online and professional education association. In addition, the report, “Unveiling the Employer’s View: An Employer-Centric Approach to Higher Education Partnerships,” revealed that more than 61 percent of companies without external training partnerships are interested in developing them.

In the second year of an ongoing research series, Collegis partnered with UPCEA to survey more than 500 employers to better understand their perceptions of collaborating with higher ed on professional development programs and alternative credentials.



Instructure Completes Acquisition of Parchment, the World’s Largest Academic Credential Management Platform and Network — from prnewswire.com
Expands Instructure’s market-leading teaching and learning ecosystem by providing learners with a lifelong record of their journey

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Instructure Holdings, Inc. (Instructure) (NYSE: INST), the leading learning ecosystem and maker of Canvas, announced today it has completed the acquisition of Parchment, the world’s largest credential management platform and network. Parchment has over 13,000 customers and has exchanged more than 165 million credentials over two decades. This acquisition is expected to significantly expand Instructure’s existing customer base and unlock exciting new growth opportunities.

“The addition of Parchment to the Instructure ecosystem enables our customers to offer flexible lifelong learning experiences to meet the needs of the ever-growing sector of non-traditional learners,” said Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure. “By providing a verifiable and comprehensive digital passport of achievement records and outcomes for learners, we’ll be able to help our customers navigate skill mastery, transfer credits, provide proof of prior learning, and much more.”

From DSC:
Instructure’s purchase here represents an important piece of our future learning ecosystems— a way to document/prove the learning a person has done throughout their ***lifelong learning*** journey.


The Importance of Credit for Prior Learning — from evolllution.com by Alexa Dunne
Higher ed needs to focus on providing credit for prior learning that properly communicates what learners know to provide them with more opportunities in the workforce.

According to research from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)**, students complete their credentials at a substantially higher rate when they are awarded 15 or more credits for prior learning. For institutions, awarding CPL is an easy—and equitable—way of helping students succeed. Do we want a 22-point increase in credential completion? Yes, please!


Addendum on 2/9/24:

Lego my Metaphor — from onedtech.philhillaa.com by Glenda Morgan
The problem with how we think about stackability of microcredentials=

A key aspect of microcredentials promise is that they are small and have fewer barriers to entry in terms of time and cost than for degrees. But given that microcredentials are small, they can only take a learner so far. This is where stackability comes in. By stacking these microcredentials (i.e., adding multiple credentials, each building on the other) they can be combined to make a more meaningful overall set of qualifications or to create an entryway into a new career. Microcredential stackability is a key assumption underlying many higher education institutions microcredential efforts, as well as a central thread in how they are speaking about and marketing the microcredentials.

In the coming months I want to explore more about microcredentials, as I think they are going to be a key part of higher education in the future. Right now, in higher education I see a lot of talk about microcredentials but less execution and less success than most people would like. Microcredentials are difficult to get right, but we need to start by talking about them in the right way.

 

The future of learning — from moodle.com by Sonya Trivedi

Self-directed and continuous learning
The concept of self-directed and continuous learning is becoming increasingly popular, reshaping our approach to knowledge and skill acquisition in both formal education and workplace settings. This evolving landscape reflects a world where traditional career paths are being replaced by more dynamic and flexible models, compelling learners to adapt and grow continuously.

The Future of Learning Report 2022 highlights this shift, noting the diminishing concept of a ‘career for life.’ With regular job switching and the expansion of the gig economy, there is an increasing need for a workforce equipped with a broad range of skills and the ability to gain qualifications throughout their careers. This shift is underlined by learners increasingly seeking control over their educational journeys, understanding that the ongoing acquisition of knowledge and skills is essential for staying relevant in the rapidly changing world of work. Reflecting this trend, a significant portion of learners, 33%, are choosing online platforms for their flexibility and ability to cater to individual needs and schedules.

From DSC:
The next paragraph after the above excerpt says:

Much like how companies such as Uber and Airbnb have reshaped their respective industries without owning traditional assets, the future of education might see universities functioning as the ‘Netflix of learning.’ In this model, learners comfortably source their educational experiences from various platforms, assembling their qualifications to create a personalised and continuously evolving portfolio of skills??.

But I don’t think it will be universities that function as the “Netflix of learning” as I don’t think the cultures of most institutions of traditional higher education can deal with that kind of innovation. I hope I’m wrong.

I think it will be a new, global, lifelong learning platform that originates outside of higher education. It will be bigger than higher education, K12, corporate training, or vocational training — as such a 21st-century, AI-based platform will offer all of the above and more.

Learning from the living AI-based class room


Slow Shift to Skills — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

Real progress in efforts to increase mobility for nondegree workers is unlikely during the next couple years, Joseph Fuller, a professor at Harvard University’s business school who co-leads its Managing the Future of Work initiative, recently told me.

Yet Fuller is bullish on skills-based hiring becoming a real thing in five to 10 years. That’s because he predicts that AI will create the data to solve the skills taxonomy problem Kolko describes. And if skills-based hiring allows for serious movement for workers without bachelor’s degrees, Fuller says the future will look like where Texas is headed.


Report: Microcredentials Not a Strategic Priority for Many Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
A new report finds that while most colleges surveyed embrace alternative credentials, many have a decentralized approach for creating and managing them.

While the majority of colleges focused on online, professional and continuing education have embraced alternative credentials, a significant number of those institutions haven’t made them a strategic priority.

That’s one of the key takeaways from a new study released Monday by UPCEA, the organization previously known as the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

“While a lot of institutions want this, they don’t necessarily all know how” to deliver alternative credentials, said Bruce Etter, UPCEA’s senior director of research and consulting. “Embracing it is great, but now it needs to be part of the strategic plan.”


The Higher Learning Commission’s Credential Lab — from hlcommission.org

HLC’s Credential Lab


10 higher ed trends to watch in 2024 — from insidetrack.org by

Trend 1.
Linking education to career paths

Trend 2.
Making sense of the AI explosion

Trend 3.
Prioritizing mental health on campus

…plus 7 other trends


North Carolina’s Community Colleges Make a Big Bid to Stay Relevant — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Margaret Moffett
The system is poised to ask state legislators to overhaul its funding formula to focus on how well colleges prepare students for high-demand, well-paying jobs.

The new formula would pay a premium to each college based on labor-market outcomes: the more students enrolled in courses in high-demand, high-paying workforce sectors, the more money the college receives.

Importantly, the proposed formula makes no distinction between curricular courses that count toward degree programs and noncredit continuing education classes, which historically offer fewer slots for students because of their lower FTE reimbursement rates.



Supporting Career and Technical Education — from bloomberg.org via Paul Fain

The American job market is changing. A high school diploma is no longer a ticket to a good job now, an increasing number of employers are offering “middle-skill jobs” that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree. Industries like health care, IT, advanced manufacturing, and financial services continue to see sustained growth at all levels, and they need workers with the experience and the credentials to fill new positions. Bloomberg Philanthropies is investing in programs that help young people get the specialized training they need through internships, apprenticeships, academics, and work-based learning.

 
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