Tokens Versus Degrees: Microcredentials for Career Pivots and Continuous Professional Development
Date Thursday, Nov 24 Time – Room Potsdam III
Today’s learners are increasingly looking for microcredentials and digital badges to document their in-demand skills or augment their existing degree through new specialisations within their field, lending themselves to upskilling or career pivots. So how can they be issued within the context of continuous professional development in higher education institutions? Join this session if you want to help building new ways in which new skills can become widely recognised.
Bram Van der Kruk
Project lead microcredentials AUAS, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Bram van der Kruk is Project Lead for the implementation of microcredentials at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He works on projects and programmes related to flexibilization of higher education and innovation in national ICT infrastructure in the Netherlands.
Programme Director Educational Innovation, Wageningen University&Research, Netherlands
At Wageningen University&Research Ulrike has lead several innovation programmes with a huge impact on the organization of education: Open&Online Education, Flexibilization and now Professional Education. She leads as well a National Programme for Flexibilization, which is part of the Dutch Acceleration Plan for Educational Innovation with ICT. The Dutch pilot for introducing Microcredentials in HE has been initiated in this context. Being an innovator in heart and mind, she follows Wayne Gretzky famous saying: 'skate where the puck is going, not where it's been'.
Marieta Jansen van Vuuren
Senior Academic Developer, North-West University, South Africa
Marieta is a former teacher from South Africa who majored in languages and started her teaching career in
1984. In 2000 she joined the North-West University School of Languages. In 2008 Marieta was subsequently appointed in the
School of Educational Sciences as language lecturer an also provided supervision to Honours, Masters and PhD students. In 2012 Marieta was appointed as Senior Academic Developer in the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the North-West University.
She holds a doctorate in Sociolinguistics with the focus on Language and Internet based Communication,
Using Corpus Linguistics as a research method. She also holds a post graduate diploma in Design Thinking and Innovation from MIT. Current fields of interest and research include topics such as education and digital alternative assessment, hybrid virtual teaching mobility, Teaching Learning mentorship and micro credentials for higher education.
Member of the Executive Committee, International Council on Badges and Credentials [ICoBC], Germany
Rolf Reinhardt works for LinkedIn at the intersection of government, education and organizational learning. He is also an active member of the International Council on Badges and Credentials [ICoBC] to ensure a systemic view of badges and credentials for individuals, organizations and societies. Additionally, he serves as a Council Member to the Union of International Associations, as a Council Member to the OEB Global and as a Certified Supporter to the Corporate Social Responsibility community of ZiviZ at Stifterverband (W.I.E.). Prior to joining LinkedIn in 2016, he worked for Pearson, the largest education company in the world, on secondary, post-secondary and corporate training initiatives across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
From 2011 to 2012, Rolf was tinkering on various visionary projects such as eLearning quality (epprobate), streaming (TEDx etc.), ePortfolios, Immersive Worlds, Networks of Change Structures as well as Coworking and Community Spaces.
The focus of his work from 2007 till 2009 was on the ROI of eLearning programs for larger corporations. This focus changed with his assignment as Executive Manager of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning where innovation and technology as an enhancer of personal, organisational and societal development became a central topic.
By the time he obtained his Engineering degree in Media Technology, Rolf worked on large digital transformation projects, for instance, for the L&D department of L’ORÉAL. Rolf later designed and managed complex eLearning projects mainly for corporate customers.
Bridging The Gap Between Non-Accredited Online Learning & Credit-Bearing Online Learning With Technology, Adam Barkman
Online learning, and consequently higher education, has changed drastically in the last 5-10 years due to technology. While technology has made consuming educational material instant and globally available, the formalisation (or accreditation) of that learning has not quite caught up.
Despite the rapid growth of online learning, the value that learners place on college credits and globally recognized degrees has not gone away. Until degrees / higher education is completely disregarded by society, we need a technology solution to accreditation that is just as speedy and innovative as the growth we’ve seen in the online learning space.
In this presentation we discuss how the new learning climate will affect universities and educators, and explore how in order to keep up with the new reality, global ‘institutions’ should meet students where they are - and still be able to offer students a recognized degree pathway.
- Accreditation as a software service.
- Connecting (informal) online learning, with (formal) higher education.
- Increasing collegiate pathways for the next generation via stackable degrees.
Stackable Credentials: A Flexible Pathway to Lifelong Learning, Martin Henrik Andresen
Online and blended delivery with a strong, learner focused pedagogy is ideally suited to the learning journey presented by stackable credentials. This presentation shows a case study of how stackable credentials can provide a flexible pathway to lifelong learning.
The adaptable nature of stackable credentials, along with the lower time commitment entailed, makes them popular with individuals who are looking to invest in their career and employability but who also require flexibility.
Stackable credentials, provide pathways for learners to progressively gain knowledge within a particular area of expertise or to augment their existing degree through new specialisations within their field. This allows for individual development aligned with advancements within an established discipline or for investigation into new sub-fields or specialities. Irrespective of the type of course material learners would select, leveraging stackable credentials allows for demonstration of a deepened existing knowledge, strengthening current employability, or provides the platform to pivot into a new field or career.
Sought-after microcredentials are targeted to in-demand skills and topics and thus lend themselves to up-skilling or career pivots. An incentive is that learners do not need to commit to a set time period for a degree at the outset; there is the freedom to enrol in courses that meet a personal need or requirement and decide at a later date to stack those credits towards a degree.
This flexibility and fluidity can open opportunities not only for full-time employed learners at various career stages but also for people from traditionally underrepresented groups, as stackable credentials can act as a gateway for those who have been absent from higher education.
For business schools in particular, stackable credentials broaden a school’s reach and enhance engagement with new or alumni students. Significantly, by incorporating stackable credentials into their long term digital strategy, business schools support and normalise the benefits of lifelong learning and academic grounding within public and private business sectors. This changes and extends the relationship between business schools and learners in exciting directions, while building on a school’s reputation and academic rigour.
In a rapidly advancing world, with employment in fields and technologies that didn’t exist a few years ago, this focus on lifelong, continuous learning from high quality institutions with strong reputations is critical.
This presentation will look at how BI Norwegian Business School developed and launched over 40 Short Learning Modules on the Insendi platform as part of their digital strategy. The Short Learning Modules embed flexibility, connect short and long term skill sets with employability and broaden the accessibility to career pivots by up-skilling towards in-demand skills.
- Understand how stackable credentials broaden a school’s reach and enhance engagement with new or alumni students.
- Build online educational offerings that embed flexibility and connect short and long term skill sets with employability.
- Include stackable credentials as part of your business school digital strategy.
How the Dutch Implement Microcredentials in their HE System Lessons and Take-Away's from a Pilot with 32 HE Dutch HEIs, Bram Van der Kruk, Ulrike Wild
During this presentation, participants will get a picture of the process leading up to a national microcredentials pilot in The Netherlands, in which three quarters of the higher education institutions participated. The presentation will share the choices made in the development of the quality framework and the approach of the pilot. Challenges and insights are also discussed and a picture of the future is outlined.
Micro-credentials are a hot topic in European higher education institutions as well as in national politics and the European Commission. Since October 2021, 32 Dutch higher education institutions – 10 universities and 22 universities of applied sciences – have been taking part in a national microcredentials pilot in The Netherlands.
The Dutch pilot is unique because about three quarters of the higher education institutions within the country participate and the collaboration between these 32 institutions provides a lot of practical experience with issuing micro-credentials.
The participating Dutch HEI's developed a quality framework based on European standards and thus laid the foundation for mutual recognition of each other's microcredentials. In this session, we would like to share our insights with institutions that would like to learn from our collaborative process.
To illustrate the Dutch pilot further we’ll also look at the use case provided by the Amsterdam University of Applied sciences where microcredentials are now used to meet the demand for reskilling in IT. This use case will focus on the practice of sharing recognizable microcredentials between institutions and on the value microcredentials can bring in meeting labor market demands.
- Choices in approach, structure and cooperation within the national microcredentials pilot within Dutch higher education.
- Different use cases of how the microcredentials framework is implemented in HEI's.
- A use case by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
- Overview of the sort of courses and programmes Dutch HEI's choose to offer for microcredentials.
- Get inspired on how the framework could be applied in other countries or regions.
Tokens of Verification: Microcredentials for Continuous Professional Development, Marieta Jansen van Vuuren
This presentation reports on a pilot study that wants to determine the importance and potential of digital verification of participation in continuous professional development opportunities for teachers in Higher Education.
Regardless of the setting or industry, individuals are often in need of documenting their expertise and skill sets for professional development purposes. During recent years, Digital Badges as a form of credentialing has become a topic of discussion in the Higher Education sector.
With specific reference to Continuous Professional Development, open badges are intended to provide additional information via metadata to verify issuer details, evaluation criteria, and evidence, such as the actual intended outcome or artefact created to earn the badge.
This presentation argues that digital badges as a component of microcredentials issued within a professional development strategy can create opportunities to enhance the professional development experience of the academic as university teacher across career continuums.
For microcredentials to become widely recognised and accepted within the context of continuous professional development in higher education institutions, a mechanism needs to be established that is supported by some agreed interoperable standard(s). These standards would validate the digital badge credential issuer, the recipient’s identity, the achieved outcomes and the credential, with the purpose of ensuring quality and to enable and promote recognition.
An overview is provided of the digital platform of choice, the rationale for issuing micro credentials for continuous professional development opportunities, the design, planning and final product development and perceived added value of issued digital tokens of verification.
- Use of digital badges for continuous professional development.
- Findings that focus on the adoption and implementation of microcredentials as an alternative approach to professional development.
- Future contributions of digital badges to manage career pathways.