We are exploring the emerging use of micro-credentials as a means of certifying attainment of smaller and more specific elements of learning than are attested to by a degree.
Micro-credentials are being put to a number of uses that are forcing higher education institutions to think carefully about the value of their traditional assessment and credentialing practice and, indeed, how they are enacting this practice.
Providing insight beyond degrees and transcripts
Specific, stackable credit
Micro-credentials can be grouped, aggregated or ‘stacked’, so learners have flexibility in sourcing learning, and can build their micro-credentials into a larger, and more recognisable, aggregated award.
General recognition of prior learning
Micro-credentialing is seen by both individuals and higher education providers as a legitimate means of evidencing not only learning or competence credited by other institutions, but also that attained in the workplace or in other forms of informal learning.
Evidence of graduate attributes
Because micro-credentials focus on small, discreet components of learning, they are particularly useful in providing the evidentiary base for graduate attributes typically not referenced in degree transcripts. These attributes include so-called soft skills, specific specialist professional skills and competencies, and metacognitive skills.
Warranting professional and continuing education
Micro-credentials can be applied to standards-based competencies associated with professional practice, supporting a growing world-wide interest in warranting continuing professional development and education.
Assessment for micro-credentials is an area the University is exploring. The development of robust, scalable and innovative approaches including new technologies will be crucial to supporting the validity and community’s acceptance and uptake of micro-credentials.
The University is developing a coherent strategy for micro-credentialing learning, that responds directly to the needs of professions and the wider community and addresses the emergent challenges to the utility of and trust in the traditional degree. Micro-credentials may stimulate a range of changes to university policies and practices, designed to build trust about what students know and can do.