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A micro-credential Roadmap: Currency, Cohesion and Consistency
Adopting smaller forms of credentialed learning (such as microcredentials), when embedded in a coherent framework, may deliver more flexible, stackable and transformative learning experiences for both employees and employers. The recommendations as set out in this report indicate that maturing stakeholder understanding of micro-credentials, set against the wider European context, is crucial to developing a future roadmap for Ireland.
26 March 2021
Micro-credentials linked to the Bologna Key Commitments
MICROBOL – Micro-credentials linked to the Bologna Key Commitments – is a two-year project co-funded by Erasmus+ KA3 Support to Policy reform, and more specifically “Support to the implementation of EHEA reforms”. It is linked to the aims of the new Erasmus+ Programme and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) to increase access to continuous learning for all learners, regardless of their age, background, or experience. The project focuses primarily on micro-credentials provided by higher education institutions or in conjunction with them, but also touches upon those entirely provided by companies or non-profit organisations, the system of ‘open badges’ and other bits of ‘micro’-learning, that might be recognised by higher education institutions.
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Paving the road for the microcredentials movement. ECIU university white paper on microcredentials
A primary challenge, also recognised by the European Commission, is that of ensuring that micro-credentials are broadly recognised. They need to enable learners to complete an array of valued activities, while also fulfilling criteria that can lead to formal recognition of these achievements, analogous to those of learners undertaking macro-credentials. Macro-credential is used here to refer to existing qualifications such as undergraduate degrees and postgraduate masters, which currently serve as the gold standard of university education. Higher education is all about the development and cultivation of higher order knowledge, skills and competences and the ECTS provides a trusted and recognised mechanism to make the learning outcomes, estimated workload and value of a short learning experience visible. The use of ECTS can support shorter courses and our own micro-modules to become recognised and potentially stackable in a transparent way leading to a micro-credential.
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