The Groningen Declaration Network (GDN) held its 11th Annual Meeting in Groningen, Netherlands, October 14-16th, 2022. AACRAO delegates Melanie Gottlieb, Mark McConahay, and Annetta Stroud attended the meeting, supporting AACRAO’s commitment to the development and implementation of a digital student data ecosystem and global digital student data portability.
This year’s Annual GDN Meeting brought together over 100 stakeholders to focus on three areas that are the key to global learner data portability - learner centricity, interoperability, and lifelong learning.
International Qualification Recognition
The learner-centricity perspective is always a necessary starting point when thinking about student data portability, the learner is the starting point and the ecosystem must support the needs and goals of the student. In the key plenary session, Gottlieb moderated the discussion on the importance of the Recognition of Qualifications of Refugees and Asylum Seekers, which focused on a pilot project between the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and World Education Services (WES) to design and implement an alternative recognition methodology for individuals who lack the standard academic qualifications and credentials that are necessary for integration into South African society, including access to higher education, employment, and social services. This learner-centric initiative has been successful at SAQA and will be expanded to other African regions.
The interoperability of systems that support learners’ access to their data and the ability to share this data was reimagined by McConahay in his session on Comprehensive Learner Records (CLRs), Learner Employment Records (LERs), and Badges with Rob Groot with the National Student Clearinghouse, which discussed the possibility of how to make higher education achievements, including non-traditional learning credentials, portable, scalable and reflective of learner capabilities.
Lifelong learning is at the culmination of the three key areas that support learner data portability - the ability for learners to build and share their portfolios with higher education institutions, potential employers, or any other stakeholder the learner chooses to engage. In the session Learner Record Mobility - How Educational Achievements Travel, Stroud and Aleks Morawski of Scholaro presented examples of how some educational achievements travel in a global mobile marketplace, including digitally verifiable educational results housed by an examination authority, the Korean Credit Bank system, and CLRs in the U.S. The pros and cons of each and how each system promotes lifelong learning and interoperability were also discussed.
AACRAO is proud to continue to support the mission of the GDN and move the conversation around digital data portability and the recognition of global educational credentials forward.