S4E11: Microcredentials and You

Doug McKenna |
March 30, 2022
  • microcredentials
  • Work groups

Microcredentials and You

There is a growing movement in higher education to identify ways to offer more accessible learning for our students and for members of our communities. Microcredentials have the potential to fill that need. Whether for credit or not, course-based or not, transcripted or not, a microcredential can be used to represent a specific learning objective or set of learning objectives. In this episode we talk to colleagues from the University of Colorado - Boulder to hear about their efforts to stand up a microcredential program and what planning, policies and procedures, communication, and technical infrastructure is needed.

Key Takeaways:

  • A microcredential is not the same thing as a “badge.” A badge is to a microcredential as a diploma is to a degree program. A badge can be issued to represent the completion of a microcredential.
  • Take the time to be thoughtful and prepare for a microcredential program offering at your institution. You can get a badging platform and start issuing badges tomorrow if you want, but the underlying policies, procedures, and administrative infrastructure are critical for ongoing success.
  • Identify your institution’s “why,” when considering offering microcredentials. Are they meant to be revenue generating? Are they free? What are the standards for a microcredential program? Who is your potential microcredential population?

Kristi Wold-McCormick
Assistant Vice Provost and University Registrar
University of Colorado-Boulder

Noah Geisel
Microcredentials Program Manager
University of Colorado-Boulder

References and Additional Information:
Carey, K. L., & Stefaniak, J. E. (2018). An exploration of the utility of digital badging in higher education settings. Educational Technology Research and Development, 66(5), 1211–1229. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-018-9602-1

Global Silicon Valley. (2021, August 18). Stage X The Future of Higher Education | ASU+GSV 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhm75Zc6NOU

Hall-Ellis, S. D. (2016). Stackable micro-credentials – a framework for the future. The Bottom Line, 29(4), 233–236. https://doi.org/10.1108/BL-02-2016-0006

George Washington University - Call for microcredential research proposals (Due April 2022)

ASU to Issue 100 Million Digital Badges by 2030

Credential Engine to Use Linked, Open Data to Improve Learning and Employment Records Digital Credentials Showcase Learning and Workplace Achievements

The Badge Summit, Boulder, CO; August 1-2, 2022, https://twitter.com/BadgeSummit

SEM Live: Microcredentials and Badges

Core Competencies:

Holistic and Systemic Thinking

Change Management