Digital credentials are integral for transforming the future of higher education generally, and business schools specifically. What are the drivers and implications of digital credentialing? How can business schools prepare for a shifting landscape of credentialing and its relevance to workplace skills? Here is my blog published on AACSB.
At its core, digital credentialing is an outcome of at least two major trends. First, credentials are becoming shorter and unbundled, with higher expectations of learners for gaining job-relevant skill sets. Second, technological innovation and adoption of online learning
models are transforming the expectations and engagement options for learners.
A recent report from the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) defines a digital credential as “a credential issued by a higher education institution, in digital form, which implies that it is portable, useful, transferable, and easily understood. Digital credentials can be curated, annotated, and distributed over digital networks under the earner’s control.”
A report from MIT on its future forecasted one in which education will be unbundled and degrees will be disaggregated into smaller units, and where the credentialing entity may be different from the institution offering the course. This future scenario recognizes the importance of not only microcredentialing but also the opportunity of an increasingly complex web of partnerships between teaching and awarding institutions.
As the roles and uses of digital credentials emerge from different parts of the world, it is increasingly important for different institutions to connect and create a seamless network where they can exchange credentials, enhance the transparency of information, and accelerate student mobility. Bold and concerted efforts are required to not only create a robust system of digital credentials but also to communicate value proposition for its adoption.