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Coalition of Education and Edtech Leaders Releases Framework for Trusted Digital Credentials

1EdTech’s TrustEd Microcredential Coalition developed the framework to improve the transparency and accountability of credentials


LAKE MARY, Florida, March 5, 2024 — 1EdTech® Consortium’s TrustEd Microcredential Coalition released a new TrustEd Microcredential Framework at the organization's annual Digital Credentials Summit on Monday.

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. The new framework outlines evidence and data that can and should be embedded in a digital credential to promote transparency and a level of trust in the credential.

The framework also outlines how a learner demonstrated mastery of the skills represented by the credential, identified as a TrustEd Application Microcredential, TrustEd Knowledge Microcredential, or Recognition Badges.

Under the framework, TrustEd Application Microcredentials are issued to learners who demonstrate the ability to apply a specific set of knowledge, such as completing a lab, project, or research presentation. A TrustEd Knowledge Microcredential is issued to learners for developing foundational knowledge, demonstrated by a validated assessment. For example, an exam at the end of a course. Finally, learners can also earn recognition for learning that may not necessarily include an assessment or project needed for the other badges, which is why there is also an opportunity to award Open Badges or microcredentials for achievements such as attending a class or event.

To earn the classification, digital credentials would need to be issued with metadata attached to the credential, for example, the completed project for an Application credential or the exam results for the Knowledge credential. Information about the issuer, including accreditation and the criteria used to assess the skill. The complete framework can be found here.

The framework leverages the capabilities currently available in Open Badges 3.0 and Comprehensive Learner Record Standard™ (CLR Standard™) 2.0, allowing all the information to be easily embedded in the credential and is machine or human-readable for any institution or future employer the learner chooses to share it with.

“The framework identifies the information needed for the receiver to fully understand what knowledge and skills the credential represents,” said Kelly Hoyland, director of higher education programs for 1EdTech. "Credentials that follow the framework will be more meaningful to receivers, and therefore, more valuable for the learners who earn them."

Now that the framework is complete, the coalition will work to determine a certification process to ensure receivers know they can trust the credentials they receive.

"There is a lot of great work being done around digital credentials, but we are at a point that we need to all be working together so credentials can be shared and understood worldwide, regardless of who earned or issued it," said Rob Coyle, technical program manager for 1EdTech. "That is why we feel it is so important to have representatives from all educational levels, as well as suppliers and employers, so the credentials we create are valuable to everyone. That is the only way we can gain true traction and support skills-based hiring."

1EdTech's TrustEd Microcredential Coalition includes representatives from Anthology, Bowdoin College, the California State University System, Cengage, Digital Promise, 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 coalition will meet throughout the year, including 1EdTech's Learning Impact Conference in Salt Lake City, June 3-6, 2024.

About 1EdTech

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 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


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