- Credentialing and competency-based education models remain a relatively-small part of the matriculation process at most colleges and universities, but a new study suggests new ways institutions can more efficiently gauge prior learning and capacity in high-level subject matters.
- MOOCs and coding bootcamps can offer specific levels of learning and training, and when reviewed against common institutional standards or outsourced to third-party assessment companies, they can be a vital part of an academic transcript for an employer or graduate school.
- Pitfalls for assessment can include uneven record-keeping by various departments, or inconsistent values placed on differing alternative credit-bearing modules.
Microcredentialing was named the 2016 Dive Awards for Higher Education disruption of the year, and for good reason. With fewer students completing their degrees at the institution at which they begin, and many more needing to work as they earn their degree, it is increasingly imperative that these students have ways to demonstrate concept and skill mastery along the way. It is no longer sufficient to consider the diploma a comprehensive certification of mastery, not only because students are seeking jobs before the degree is completed, but also because many employers are viewing college education as insufficiently preparing graduates with the skills they need to enter the workforce.
Schools already face an uphill battle with the federal government on issues like credit hour definition, affordability and accountability metrics. The last thing an institution wants to do is to invite more speculation or attention on its campuses for denying credit alternatives without sound policy on what is acceptable and why.