Deakin U’s read badge of courage

Deakin U is big in micro-credentials and the university makes a gutsy case for badging skills in a magisterial report by Beverley Oliver

“As the future of work unfolds, working citizens are likely to need more and better granular certified learning – micro and macro – to evidence their educational currency amid rapid change,” Emeritus Professor Oliver argues.

Micro-credentials are one way to enable certification of new skills, as well as validate the skills already acquired through experience. More credit-bearing experiences will open up a system of certification well beyond the fairly closed higher education and vocational qualification system currently in place in many nations,” she suggests.

Her report is a gutsy contrast to some submissions to the Noonan review of the Australian Qualifications Framework, which is considering micro-credentials, although not too closely if submissions from peak university groups set the standard. (CMM July 29). The generality of arguments range from not needed, to not needed now, and on to not anybody but us.

Understandably so. Micro-credentials could complement the existing accreditation system to the benefit of individuals and expense of institutions. “Credit derived from certified learning means a future discount on the time and money required for a learner to advance to a formal qualification. It is in every nation’s interest, in the face of the changing nature of work, to provide a facility that enables its citizens to register their recognised credit in a national digital repository such as a lifelong learning account,” Professor Oliver claims.

But it’s not all blue-sky optimism, her report gets into the weeds of what would be needed, detailing the ten standards credit-bearing badges could require; * admission, * orientation and progression, * learning outcomes and assessment, * qualifications and certification, * staffing, * learning resources and educational support, * academic integrity, * mentoring, review and improvement,* delivering with other parties, * representation, information and information management.

Deakin is already investing in micro-credentials, working with Engineers Australia and the Australian Marketing Institute. Subsidiary Deakin Co is partnering with the NSW Universities Admission Centre on a system to credential workplace skills (CMM February 4).


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