By: Royd Guyon
Micro-credentials are great ways to implement a competency-based learning model. Teachers and other staff can choose a micro-credential to pursue and then submit specific evidence to show they’ve mastered it. All that evidence is then looked at by an assessor who determines whether the learner has shown mastery of the required material. Here are a few things you should know about what they can bring to your professional learning program.
Measure skill and knowledge, not time. Micro-credentials measure the demonstration of skill and knowledge, not time spent learning. Time spent on professional development doesn’t really show the value of that learning, and spending time on professional development itself isn’t the goal. In fact, most of us would probably say that if teachers and school employees could learn something in less time, that would be a good thing. So instead, micro-credentials measure whether the learner actually knows the subject at hand.
It acknowledges pre-existing skills. We’ve all experienced sitting through unnecessary training. A new teacher’s needs for micro-credentials are simply different from those of a veteran teacher. To earn the micro-credential, a teacher who has been in the classroom for twenty years does not need to go through extensive training. As long as she can demonstrate that particular skill, she can submit evidence such as lesson plans or a video of herself teaching. The new teacher, on the other hand, may enroll in a course or participate in another learning experience to gain the knowledge required to earn the micro-credential.
It divides learning into manageable components. Meaningful learning must concentrate on discrete units that can be practiced. This type of microlearning typically consists of a series of 45 to 90 minute sessions that are delivered over time. Micro-credentials are built around specific skills that can be applied, practiced, and expanded upon. This makes it easier to tackle larger projects and provides a sense of accomplishment when each step is completed.
As you can see, micro-credentials are more than just a new way to deliver content; they are a way to ensure that teachers and staff have access to the learning that they require and want in a way that makes a difference in the classroom.