Microcredentials, or short-form online learning programs, is the latest buzzword that higher education providers are latching onto. They come with diminutive names such as Micromasters (by several universities working with edX) and nanodegrees (by Udacity). But they have the potential to shake up graduate education, potentially reducing demand for longer, more-traditional professional programs. At the core of the trend is the idea that professionals will go “back to school” repeatedly over their lifetimes, rather than carving out years at a time for an MBA or technical degree.
Credential Engine, a nonprofit funded by the Lumina Foundation, Microsoft and JPMorgan Chase, today launched its Credential Registry, a digital platform where institutions can upload degrees and credentials so prospective students can search for and compare credentials side-by-side.
Udacity won a trademark for Nanodegree last year. And in April, the nonprofit edX, founded by MIT and Harvard University to deliver online courses by a consortium of colleges, applied for a trademark on the word MicroMasters. And MicroDegree? Yep, that’s trademarked too, by yet another company.
colleges and universities that seek to meet corporate needs must move beyond monolithic programs and think in terms of competencies, unbundling curriculum, modularizing and “microlearning.” Many institutions are already pioneering efforts in this direction, from the certificate- and badge-oriented University of Learning Store (led by the Universities of Wisconsin, California, Washington and others) to Harvard Business School’s HBX, and the new “iCert” that we developed at Northeastern University. These types of shorter-form, competency-oriented programs can better fit corporate demands for targeted and applied learning.
Challenges and Issues: A Conversation Regarding Micro-Credentials
Alternative Credentials are important to the future of understanding cradle-to-career opportunities in Professional Education. Institutions interested in considering the use of micro-credentialing face many challenges and issues. This session will be presented from the perspective of panelists who are dealing with the issues and challenges of alternative credentials. The panelists will suggest pathways for institutions to consider as they work toward cradle-to-career opportunities.
Janet Staker Woemer, University of Wisconsin
Linda Kingston, Winona State University
Patricia Cook, University of Arizona
Asim Ali, Auburn University
Jacqui Williams, University of Melbourne
Moderator: Ray Schroeder, University of Illinois Springfield
We are exploring the very same topic. We have been using Credly for the past year or so to give badges to faculty who complete courses in a 3 course series we developed for effective online teaching.
That said, we are a Canvas school and, as we explore our own pilot program, are looking at Badgr’s badging solution (which is free to use, at least for Canvas, maybe all though?) as well as their Pathway’s solution for stacking badges and providing a view of that badge path for participants.
It’s is all very early stage but those are the two platforms and vendors we have focused our time currently.
Badges are more than just participation trophies. Design them to commensurately represent the knowledge and skills gained.
While many institutions have used digital badges as an alternative way to recognize the skills and knowledge developed by students, some are also starting to use this approach in their in-house professional development programs – especially in faculty development programs.
By offering well-designed badges that accompany these programs, you can boost both participation and impact. Join us for this online training and learn how to design your badges to encourage deeper engagement that goes beyond “showing up”. Our instructor, Lindsay Doukopoulos, will share best practices for badging criteria at Auburn University, where 82% of participants chose to earn badges at annual professional development workshops.
indsay Doukopoulos Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Auburn University
Lindsay’s teaching expertise includes experiential, active, and team-based learning in small and large lecture formats. Her research interests include instructional technologies and the use of digital artifacts (e.g., badging, ePortfolios, etc.) to assess and enhance integrated learning, gameful learning, and metacognition for students and faculty.
After a brief overview of our instructor’s faculty development badging program, we’ll walk through several badges Auburn has implemented for faculty. For each badge collection, we’ll address the following:
How was it designed, and what elements were considered in the design process?
What are the criteria for earning the badges? Why?
Who has earned the badges to date?
What impact did badge earners self-report?
What kind of data or artifacts did faculty submit to earn this badge / badge constellation? What did these show about how faculty were using what they learned?
We’ll close with a brief exercise that will let you start designing your own badge criteria for a program on your campus.
Mozilla discontinue and switch to Badgr platform. free accounts to Badgr. current integration of Mozilla backpack with other platforms such as Moddle will be preserved. Backpack solution, or issue badges.
Steve Taylor: Moodle is one of the platforms integrated with Backpack.
This is an extremely useful conversation. We’re working on building a dedicated micro-credentialing platform at our University specifically to provide continuing education material based on the material we are already creating in our various programs.
Open badges extensions for education test course. Two extensions: one describes assessment which goes to a particular badge. Second extension allows the issues to describe. Published extensions. Badgr implemented the assessment extensions: the Digital Promise project – https://digitalpromise.org/.
hurdles to prevent adoption of badges: 1. still not easy enough to start issuing badges, design principles. get ambitious what to do with badges but no ability to start the assessment process. how badges will be awarded. starting small is the way, simple tools, google forms, to help decide what to do. 2. how do we understand the achievements of badges
The Integrated Advising and Planning for Student Success or ‘iPASS’ grant has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; it supports the transformation of advising and student services in higher ed through the redesign of structures, processes, and technologies. To date, this work is ongoing in 26 grantee institutions across the country.
created and delivered our Series on Excellence in Advising through iPASS as a semi self-paced online course to ensure the broadest access possible to all grantees.