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Micro-credentials are most simply defined as a small volume of certified competencies acquired through life experience, work, or study. Micro-credentials can be awarded to learners after they have taken a short course or through recognition of prior learning.
Some certificates and digital badges offered by a HEI or professional body. Countries have distinct formulations of this term, particularly in terms of the size of credentials. For example in the United States, micro-credentials are understood as learning activity consisting of “more than a single course but less than a full degree”, and are labelled differently across providers.
Micro-credentials are ‘documented statements that acknowledge a person’s learning outcomes, that are related to small volumes of learning and that for the user are becoming visible in a certificate, badges, or endorsement (issued in a digital or paper format) and could accumulate into a larger credential’.
(Note that this is only one of many definitions provided in this document.)
The European Union (EU) defines a micro-credential as:
the record of the learning outcomes that a learner has acquired following a small volume of learning. These learning outcomes will have been assessed against transparent and clearly defined criteria. Learning experiences leading to micro-credentials are designed to provide the learner with specific knowledge, skills and competences that respond to societal, personal, cultural or labour market needs. Micro-credentials are owned by the learner, can be shared and are portable. They may be standalone or combined into larger credentials. They are underpinned by quality assurance following agreed standards in the relevant sector or area of activity.
Source: Council of the EU (2022)
Micro-credential is a digital certification such as a “digital badge” that provides valid evidence of achievement of specific knowledge, skills or competences after going through a structured learning experience. Micro-credentials can be shared on social media and verified by others, including employers.
Access resource, available in EnglishThis document identifies and defines several key terms related to Open and Distance Learning (ODL). Terms and definitions are current as of May 2020. (Provided under CC BY-SA 4.0 license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)
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