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Challenge: enabling a learning society Theme: Human capital – subtheme microcredentials and badges

301e8da35854ae68504039707986b038?s=47 Dominic Orr
February 04, 2021

Challenge: enabling a learning society Theme: Human capital – subtheme microcredentials and badges

Talking introducing the challenges in (higher) education and how alternative credentialling systems can play a role - especially badges and microcredentials. For the Fontys conference "ICT in practice" 2021 (https://www.ictinpractice.nl/).


Dominic Orr

February 04, 2021


  1. Challenge: enabling a learning society Theme: Human capital – subtheme

    microcredentials and badges Adj. Prof. Dominic Orr University Nova Gorica & GIZ Fontys School of ICT 4.2.2021
  2. Where are we now?

  3. A digital world Today, in 2020, ‘digital’ has become a

    common attribute of descriptions of communication and production processes. Digitalisation in combination with globalisation is making the world figuratively ‘spin faster’, which brings opportunity and challenges for today’s society. Orr, D. (2020). Bologna Process in the Global Higher Education Arena. Going Digital? European Higher Education Area: Challenges for a New Decade, 503–515. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-56316-5_31
  4. The ‘open’ university “In a fluid, dynamic and global world,

    higher education systems cannot but exhibit flexibility and it is right that they should do so.” Barnett, Ron. (2014). Conditions of flexibility - Securing a more responsive higher education system. Retrieved from https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/resources/fp_conditions_of_ flexibility_0.pdf
  5. Collaboration & exchange Economic complexity theory starts out with the

    conclusion that any one single person can only know a finite amount of knowledge and practices – called “personbytes”. Societies have become rich by learning how to collaborate together to overcome the computational limits of the personbyte. Hidalgo, C. (2015). Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies. Basic Books.
  6. What do certificates and microcredentials have to do with it?

  7. Our view at the atingi learning platform Certificates are not

    the end of a process, but the start We give value to our learners through connecting out to their ecosystems, i.e. the places they want to use their new skills and knowledge Consequences: • we are focussed on providing certificates to learners, which are endorsed by well-known businesses and educational providers • we will align our learning offerings to existing skills frameworks.
  8. What are the challenges affecting HE? A more inclusive higher

    education. Q: How can we be more inclusive in higher education, by better recognising the prior attainment of skills and competencies of learners who wish to enter higher education as adult learners? Better recognition of people’s skills and competences and subsequent reduction of the so-called skills gaps between learners’ competencies and labour market needs. Q: How can we more accurately document the skills, competencies and experiences of persons, to improve transfer and matching on the labour market? Lifelong learning or the 60-year curriculum. Q: How can we ensure that learning is encouraged throughout the lifespan and a person’s skills profile can be used as a basis to recommend new learning and career pathways? Multiple periods of learning at different educational providers. Q: How can we find a way to collect learning achievements in a cumulative and systemic way, aggregating them into skills and competence clusters in a person’s profile, irrespective of where they were acquired? Differentiation between huge number of tertiary education graduates with very similar-looking certificates. Q: How can we differentiate between graduates, who have studied the same courses at university or college?
  9. Let’s prioritise these arguments Go to: www.menti.com and use the

    code 6700392
  10. Let’s prioritise these arguments: results Photo by Susan Yin on

  11. What are other key players doing?

  12. EU: Scaling and mainstreaming microcredentials Short-term learning opportunities leading to

    micro- credentials can help to substantially widen learning and skills development opportunities, and further shape the lifelong learning dimension in higher education. A European approach to micro-credentials will allow higher education institutions to offer such courses on a larger scale and in a comparable manner throughout Europe, ensuring agreed quality standards, and facilitating their recognition and portability across the EU. This is also a key action of the European Skills Agenda, which targets not only higher education but also vocational education and training providers, research organisations, industry, social partners, Chambers of Commerce, Industry or Crafts, and civil society organisations. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth European Commission. (2020). A European approach to micro-credentials - output of the micro- credentials higher education consultation group. European Union. https://doi.org/10.2766/50302
  13. Definition of Micro-credentials A micro-credential is a proof of the

    learning outcomes that a learner has acquired following a short learning experience. These learning outcomes have been assessed against transparent standards. The proof is contained in a certified document that lists the name of the holder, the achieved learning outcomes, the assessment method, the awarding body and, where applicable, the qualifications framework level and the credits gained. Micro-credentials are owned by the learner, can be shared, are portable and may be combined into larger credentials or qualifications. They are underpinned by quality assurance following agreed standards
  14. https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/default/files/document-library-docs/european- approach-micro-credentials-higher-education-consultation-group-output-final-report.pdf Timetable of EU roadmap for microcredentials

  15. Key challenge: recognition between social systems The EU analytical report

    distinguishes three contexts in which micro-credentials (or any form of certification) should be applied: 1. within one social system (e.g. the educational system) 2. within two social systems (e.g. education and the labour market) 3. within multiple systems with a high level of permeability, thus facilitating truly recognised lifelong learning. Orr, D., Pupinis, M., & Kirdulytė, G. (2020). Towards a European approach to micro- credentials: a study of practices and commonalities in offering micro-credentials in European higher education. European Union. https://doi.org/10.2766/7338
  16. Adj. Prof. Dr. Dominic Orr Team lead atingi dominic.orr@giz.de @DominicOrr