New credentials currencies coming

The next big thing in education isn’t arguments about funding  

There’s a bunch of work underway on assessment and certification of learning, across multiple levels and in all sorts of packages. There is also talk of a major state-level initiative being planned.

With the Australian Qualifications Review said to be considering micro-credentials and private providers already active in the space this is set to be wide and contested ground.

Cue Sandra Milligan, director of the Assessment Research Centre in Uni Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education, who impressed learned readers at a presentation on secondary school assessment in Melbourne a couple of weeks back.

Aspro Milligan tells CMM, the centre is working with a range of partners on, “a digital-era way to represent the profile of complex competencies that young people (and the not so young) attain in schooling, and that they need to thrive in the modern workplace and society.

“In our sights is exclusive reliance on ‘old technologies’ such as unit grades, ATAR scores, GPAs, standardised test scores, and written-exam results They can hide more than they reveal about a person, narrow learner attention, de-motivate, kill a passion for an area, and discourage development of broad competence.”

The challenge, she says, is not to give up on qualities like scalability, reliability, fairness, comparability and commonly agreed standards.

So how are they going? “We are trialling a new currency for recognition of learning, especially in post compulsory education, likely to comprise elements such as warranted micro-credentials, learner profiles, developmental assessmentprogressions of competence, multi-level standards, cross sectoral agreement; HE and employer agreement too.”


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