Monday, February 26, 2018

Microcredentialling - overview

Microcredentialling is one of the ‘buzz’ items now rapidly becoming a ‘must have’ within formal institutions’ portfolio. In NZ, there have been growing interest in, see this and this, and the NZ qualifications Authority (NZQA) is undertaking a series of pilots – edubits – to work out how micro-credentials could be implemented.

However, there are many interpretations of what actually are micro-credentials, see here for one.

In general, microcredentials belong within established suites of qualification options. They may be useful in the following segments of learner journeys:

As a precursor to entry into a programme, or shift to slightly re-configured job etc.

Within a formalised programme of learning to enable greater flexibility – i.e. through ‘stacking’, RPL or recognition of ‘soft skills’ etc.

For continual professional development – e.g. programmers up-skilling to new programming language.

An established case study distilled some principles for development and implementation of micro-credentials within a teacher professional development programme.

Within the NZ context, Mischewski from E2E completed a report for the Tertiary Education Commision to find out how micro-credentials can be used to improve engineering as an educational option, in particular at diploma level. Figure 5 – page 23 provides an example in engineering – for how microcredentailling may be useful for beginning, developing, upskilling and expert engineers and the types of learning including micro, work-based and formal that can be credentialed. The report also summarises pros and cons within the NZ engineering industry and education contexts.

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