The coalition of higher ed, suppliers and K-12 districts to release a framework for issuers
LAKE MARY, Florida, October 25, 2023 — 1EdTech® Consortium is working to increase the levels of quality and trust in digital credentials with the TrustEd Microcredential Coalition.
The coalition of senior leaders from higher education, edtech suppliers, and K-12 districts was created to help realize the full potential of microcredentials to benefit learners, educators and employers. Founding members of the coalition include representatives from Anthology, Bowdoin College, The California State University System, Cengage, Greenville County Schools, Google, Instructure, University of Maryland Global Campus, Oracle, Southern New Hampshire University, Udemy, VitalSource, Western Governors University and Wichita State University.
The framework is designed to set a standard for the information that digital credentials need to contain in terms of transparency with respect to the skills, knowledge, and abilities achieved, as well as the interoperability of the credentials. Leveraging 1EdTech’s Open Badges and Comprehensive Learner Record Standard™ (CLR Standard™), the framework directs an issuer to what information a receiving agency needs to see to understand and verify a learner’s level of mastery and where that information can be embedded within a credential. It takes the guesswork out of knowing what a credential or degree means, making each achievement transparent to the receiver. In addition, a TrustEd Microcredential can move across platforms and networks in support of the crucial requirement for learner mobility.
“Traditionally, microcredentials have been developed in silos. There have been few commonalities in how they are defined, validated and valued, limiting their acceptance and transferability in the workplace,” explained Kim Moore, Executive Director for Workforce, Professional and Community Education at Wichita State University. “Wichita State University is proud to work towards an articulated, interoperable, and sustainable ecosystem, which adheres to a common standards framework, and which will guide issuers on the best ways to maximize the benefits of their badges for learners and employers.”
“Creating common ground around skills taxonomies, common definitions, common embedded evidence, and transferability across both academic and co-curricular credentials will be key to a future where students can own their lifelong learning journey and curate their skills for potential employers,” said Ryan Lufkin, Instructure’s Vice President of Global Strategy. “1EdTech’s Open Badges initiative is uniquely positioned to establish these standards.”
“In the age of digital transformation, where knowledge is the new currency, digital credentials and comprehensive learner records are the keys that unlock the doors to limitless opportunities for our students,” said Jeff McCoy, Associate Superintendent for Academics in Greenville County Schools. “1EdTech has illuminated this path and created frameworks and structures to help districts bridge the gap between learning and achievement and empower individuals to showcase their skills and knowledge in a rapidly evolving world.”
“As the number and types of credentials continue to grow, having clear standards for what comprises these credentials is critical to ensuring quality and trust for both individuals and employers,” said Sarah DeMark, Vice Provost of Workforce Intelligence and Credential Integrity at Western Governors University.
“A digital credential is a powerful tool that can convey competencies, skills, and other rich experiences of a learner. A trusted and verifiable digital credential built on standards that seamlessly flow from the issuers to the consumers is critical to the future of skills-based recruiting and hiring,” said Bhavesh Bambhrolia, Temple University Registrar.
The framework will help receiving organizations quickly and clearly understand what level of experience the learner needs to demonstrate to earn the credential. Levels of understanding can range from learning about a subject to demonstrating mastery of the subject.
"Not all badges have an equal purpose,” said David Koehn, Vice President of Product at Udemy. “Badging is the future of validating the world's skills and enabling global learning and workforce mobility. Surfacing the class of badges as a core part of the standard enables learners and employers to distinguish industry-standard badges aimed at employability from badges that are bespoke or focused on motivation."
“With so many digital credentials available now for learners to earn, differentiating between them is key,” said Patrina Law, Head of OpenLearn for Open University. “1EdTech’s framework for microcredentials will make it easier for learners to better express what they’ve learned and for employers and educational institutions to fully understand what the credentials mean.”
“Career readiness goes beyond the classroom and extends through co-curricular experiences, internships, on-campus employment opportunities, and more. The best way to contextualize a holistic educational experience is through awarding trusted, verifiable, and easily shared digital credentials,” said Chris Husser, Vice President of Product Management for Anthology. “With this framework, issuers can receive guidance on the best ways to maximize the impact of their badges for both learners and employers.”
“By harnessing the power of technology, we are enabling learners to go beyond traditional transcripts and resumes and present a comprehensive and transparent picture of their capabilities. What sets 1EdTech apart is its commitment to creating a framework that not only benefits learners but also meets the needs and expectations of employers and educators,” said Jim Chilton, CTO for Cengage Group.
The framework is expected to be released at 1EdTech’s Digital Credentials Summit, March 4-6, 2024, in New Orleans. For more information or to register for the Summit, click here.
1EdTech is a member-based non-profit community partnership of leading education providers at all levels, government organizations, and edtech suppliers who collaborate to accelerate an open, trusted, and innovative digital learning ecosystem. We power learner potential by creating the foundation for a learner-centered and future-ready ecosystem where products work together to improve teaching and learning for all.
1EdTech hosts the annual Learning Impact Conference, Digital Credentials Summit, and other engagement opportunities to advance the leadership and ideas that shape the future of learning. The 1EdTech Foundation, an affiliated public charity, puts philanthropic funds to work in support of 1EdTech's vision. Visit our website at 1edtech.org.