by Kevin Ashford-Rowe

Since 2019, a group of K12, tertiary and public/private sector educators have met in a semi-formal (virtual) setting about six times a year. The intention has been to enable developmental conversations across the range of challenges and opportunities with which we are all grappling, to better understand and make sense of the ways in which microcredentials (and badges!) might positively impact our educational contexts. More importantly, we are considering how microcredentials might be used to enhance and improve the learner journey across all sectors of the educational continuum for lifelong learning into industry and workplaces.

In effect, this group – the Queensland Cross Sector Microcredential Working Group – is a “community of practice.”  I take a role in collaborating with that community to set an agenda and facilitate (and chair) meetings, at which we take notes and share practices.

The Working Group has members from a few Queensland Universities, TAFE Queensland, QTAC, a state high school (Beenleigh SHS), Scouts Australia (which represents the Big 6 Youth GroupsYMCA, YWCA, WOSM, WAGGGS, IFRC and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award), the Australian Defence Force and some other public and private sector organisations. The latter includes Edalex, whose Head of Business Development, Margo Griffith, was one of the original drivers of the group and now co-facilitates. We also have some members from Victorian universities, which have since established their own entity – the Victoria Micro-Credentials Community of Practice (CoP) and Working Group.

We have established a couple of interesting cross sector projects that have shown great promise. One has mapped a single “skill” – digital literacy – from K12 through to tertiary, with an understanding of the value proposition for industry. We are currently seeking funding to support the further development of this initiative as a cross sector microcredential in digital literacy.

The working group has benefited from discussions with invited guests, such as Professors Beverly Oliver and Martin Bean, as it seeks to better understand (and shape?) the national conversation. We have also not been shy about sharing and celebrating our individual or collective successes with each other.

In the context of the Universities Accord review, the Working Group offers a viable model for desirable cross sector collaboration to “inform policy and practice at national, regional and local levels”, with the potential to have real impact for diverse learners.

Professor Kevin Ashford-Rowe, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), Queensland University of Technology [email protected] @ashfordrowe


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