Paving the Way for Enhanced Recognition of Microcredentials and More
Learning credentials come in all shapes and sizes today, ranging from digital badges to doctoral degrees. Yet schools and employers are only just beginning to understand the value of non-traditional credentials. It is interesting that in a time when the media often questions the value of traditional higher education degrees, there is not a lot of coverage about the quickly expanding world of learning credentials that are smaller than the Associates or Bachelors Degree (such as Certificates, MOOCs, digital badges, etc).
Credential Engine is a non-profit organization with a mission to create a transparent credentials “marketplace”, making businesses, organizations, and people better aware of the variety and function of different learning credentials, and to empower everyone to make more informed decisions about credentials and their value.
The Credential Engine database can also help to facilitate better recognition of non-traditional credentials (i.e. for college credit, or as a means to assess skills for hiring). To my way of thinking, the microcredentials movement is one of the more potentially meaningful developments in education technology over the last few years, with true potential to change higher education in a positive way.
Credential Engine grew out of the Credential Transparency Initiative (CTI), which began in 2013. According to their web site, “CTIʼs mission was to research and initiate the development of a centralized registry of credential information, a common credentialing language, and a credential search engine. The effort was led by the George Washington Universityʼs Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP), Workcred – an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, and Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbondaleʼs Center for Workforce Development with support from the Lumina Foundation.”
A few weeks ago, Bryan Alexander hosted Credential Engine Chief Strategy Officer Deborah Everhart on his Future Trends Forum (a collaborative event hosted weekly on Shiding). It was exciting to hear about the work these folks are doing.
When schools register their credentials with Credentials Engine, not only do they expand awareness of the credentials that they offer, they help to build and expand a standardized data set that can enable better curation, comparison, and recognition of credentials of all types. This is so important if higher education is going to continue to evolve to better meet the needs of citizens and employers, which should be fundamental to its mission. It is also essential that employers come to better understand the potential of this effort.
I encourage readers to click here to better understand and explore their work https://credentialengine.org/understand-credentials.