2015 AACRAO Technology & Transfer Conference

Extending the Transcript: Creating a Framework for Institutions  

AACRAO has been working with NASPA and other higher education groups to identify emerging practices in collecting, documenting, and distributing student learning outcomes and competencies, co-curricular activities, and other educational experiences. The goal is to develop a framework for an “extended” transcript that can be used by campuses as they assess how they wish to gather and represent a broader range of educational experiences than are currently represented by the academic transcript.


The current framework for the academic transcript at colleges and universities resulted from the convergence of academic practice over many years.  The notion of documenting non-traditional learning is at a very nascent stage in higher education.  Considerable innovation is taking place at colleges and universities as faculty explore how best to identify and record student learning experiences, create new delivery models and assignments, and develop assessments and rubrics to measure student learning.  Rather than attempting to create standards in this rapidly evolving arena, our work should focus on identifying emerging practices, addressing impediments to innovation, and offering creative options for campuses to deliver and document student learning.

Our goal has been to create a framework ultimately leading to the development of new recording models and operational considerations for registrars and other higher education professionals to share with their campuses, faculty, and academic leadership.  These will include examples where institutions have augmented traditional transcripts to present additional information, often in a digital format, as well as those who are creating supplemental documents to include other forms of student learning.  Guidance for implementation of these models— including validation of non-classroom experiences, student information system considerations, ways to minimize negative impacts on transfer students, as well as enhancing the multiple ways students and alumni may wish to present themselves will also be a focus.

The Extended Transcript Track

As part of the extended transcript project, AACRAO is encouraging conference participants to join the discussions and contribute to the development of the framework.  There will be a series of sessions book-ended by an introductory/descriptive session and concluding with an interactive session that will bring together interested conference participants to help review, refine, and finalize the extended transcript framework. Additional sessions within this track will describe the goals and objectives of the project, identify the technical, system, and practice challenges, and highlight some of the current examples of digital academic transcripts, learning outcome and competency reports, and co-curricular records. 

 The sessions in the track are summarized below:     

The Extended Transcript, Part I
Sunday, 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
In this first session in AACRAO’s extended transcript framework project, participants will learn the goals and objectives of the project and hear a summary of the work that has been completed to date.  We’ll also hear from campus experts who have begun to develop components of an extended transcript and how this work might fit into a broader framework.
Tom Black, Stanford University
Mike Reilly, AACRAO
Joellen Shendy, University of Maryland University College

Issuing Experiential Transcripts and Competency Reports: A Registrar’s Perspective – I
Sunday, 1:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
As more institutions seek to better represent the scope of student learning through these credential types, they experience both unexpected challenges and rewarding outcomes. Hear from registrars who have implemented these innovative credentials as part of their official offerings, and learn how you can do the same. 
Rodney Parks, Elon University
Joellen Shendy, University of Maryland University College

Issuing Experiential Transcripts and Competency Reports: A Registrar’s Perspective – II
Monday, 8:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m.
This session piggybacks on Part I, which was held Sunday afternoon. Hear from additional registrars who have implemented these innovative credentials as part of their official offerings, and learn how you can do the same. 
Darrin Hobbs, Western Governors University
Brad Barron, Furman University

Redesigning the Academic Record
Monday, 10:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Institutions and employers increasingly demand more from our faculty's academic record.  The value and usefulness of alternate forms of the record— including ePortfolios, co-curricular records, learning outcomes, and expansion of the current academic record— are recognized and requested. In this interactive session, attendees will see examples of these records, which are made possible by our current technological environment.  It's time for a new academic record.   
Tom Black, Stanford University

Providing Context for the Contextualized Transcript: A Case Study
Monday, 1:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m. 
This presentation provides an overview of the history and background of UNC’s decision to implement a contextualized transcript.  As of Spring 2015, this transcript is officially on hold, as the various constituents discuss the future plans for this new format.  In addition to the politics and policy involved, of equal interest are the technical challenges learned from this project, which included several successes and a few critical failures that ultimately led to the decision to delay. 
Chris Derickson, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Christy Samford, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Extended Transcript, Part II
Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m. [double session]
In this final session of AACRAO’s extended transcript project, participants will help develop the final framework.  Come ready to roll up your sleeves, help resolve any outstanding issues and challenges, and contribute to the final document that will be published after the conference.
Tina Falkner, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Brad Myers, The Ohio State University