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4 ways to accelerate your learning programs with micro-credentials

Did you know that a skill you acquired today will only be half as valuable in five years?

Thanks to the ever-evolving world of technology, the landscape of the workforce is changing. Employers seek people with up to date training and specific hard and soft skills. 

Micro-credentials offer professionals and students a shorter, sharper way to meet these requirements.

What are micro-credentials? 

Micro-credentials are digital, short, and relatively low-cost online learning experiences targeted at a specific skill or industry.

When learners complete the program, they are awarded a digital badge to show their proficiency in that specific skill. The badge can then be displayed on social media, resumes, email signatures and digital badge wallets. 

What are the benefits of micro-credentials?

 

For learners: 

University degrees and many accredited courses can take years to complete, and, although we don't like to admit it, sometimes aren't even enough for a specific role. Micro-credentials, however, can be earned in a matter of weeks. They are self-directed, on-demand and are often developed with a particular industry in mind, meaning learners can pick and choose micro-credentials to build a portfolio of marketable skills to meet industry-specific needs. 

For employers: 

Digital badges help employers to find candidates with the right combination of skills. They are backed with metadata that contains all of the necessary information for employers to validate candidates' skills, such as the credential, the criteria to earn it, the date issued, and the issuing organisation. Micro-credentialing programs can also use to up-skill existing employees or train transitioning employees. 

For institutions: 

What do people do with digital badges once they've earned them? They publish them wherever they can! Micro-credentials are a valuable source of marketing for any online program. A well researched and planned micro-credential gives great value and credibility to your course. They can also generate engagement by being a gateway to other credentialing programs.  

4 ways to get the most out of micro-credentials

Simply creating a badge and unleashing it into your online learning is not enough. Here are our 4 tips for getting the most out of micro-credentials:

  1. Make them difficult enough to earn

    One of the major benefits of micro-credentials is that they give your course credibility, but when they are given out arbitrarily, this credibility is significantly reduced. You don't want your digital badge to look like a participation trophy, so make it meaningful by making it challenging enough to earn.
  2. Figure out what evidence your learners need to provide

    The purpose of a micro-credentialing program is to set learners up with a specific skill. They are usually developed with a specific industry in mind. So consider what your learners want to know and what they need to be able to do as a result of completing your course.
  3. They need to have market value

    Your micro-credential needs to meet the needs of both learners and employers. While the digital badges help to incentivise learning, issuing digital badges that have no real value for employers can be detrimental to the credibility of your micro-credential.
  4. Use them for marketing your programs

    Micro-credentials are a valuable source of marketing for your program. While digital badges do a great job of marketing themselves, you need to make sure you're getting the most out of their marketing potential. Encourage the shareability of your digital badge and make sure to include the metadata that is needed to help drive the future success of your program. 
Samantha Harris
31 October 2020 2 Min Read

Keen to know more?
Read our post on the difference between micro-credentials and digital badges.

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