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National Institute for Digital Learning

Micro-credential Observatory

The Micro-credentials Observatory provides a list of international research reports along with a collection of major resources and initiatives related to the growth, development and impact of micro-credentials in higher education and lifelong learning more generally. 

NIDL Activities

The NIDL is playing a leading role in helping to shape the rapidly evolving micro-credentialing movement, including:

• Hosting an International Micro-credentialing Summit in 2020

• Launch of credit-bearing, stackable micro-credentials on the FutureLearn platform

• Leading a major workpackage related to micro-credentials as part of the ECIU University initiative 

• Contributing expert advice to the European Commission's Micro-credential Consultation Group 

• Contributing to national and international events on micro-credentials including the MicroHE conference

• Hosting major global thought leaders and keynote speakers during the 2019 ICDE World Conference on Online Learning

NIDL Research

The NIDL is involved in several externally funded research projects investigating the growth and potential of the micro-credentialing movement, including:

• European survey of Micro-credentials across ECIU University partners 

• Investigation of Micro-credential design and delivery on the FutureLearn platform 

National survey of Micro-credentials in Ireland partnership with ICBE and Skillnet

• Development of an Insights paper on the global state of the micro-credentialing movement

• Leading a special issue of an international journal devoted to the micro-credentialing movement

• Preparing external funding applications for further research and development projects with external partners

Policy Initiatives

The NIDL maintains a database of important news stories and policy initiatives designed to support the more sustainable and scaleable development of micro-credentials, including some of the following initiatives:

2020 European Skills Agenda 2020 Europass Platform2020 Europass Digital Credentials
2020 New European Skills Agenda2020 Australian Government to Build Online Micro-credential Marketplace2020 Canada's Higher Education Sector Selects Digitary
2020 ECIU Towards a European Micro-credential Initiative2020 Joint ETUC-ETUCE Position on Micro-credentials2020 Joint ETUC - ETUCE Position on Micro-credentials
2020 Malaysian Draft Guidelines to Good Practices 2019 Review of Australian Qualification Framework2019 EMC Common Micro-credential Framework
2019 Malaysian Guide on Micro-credential2019 UNESCO Global Convention on Recognition of Qualifications2018 NZ Approval of Micro-credentials

Major International Reports

The NIDL maintains a regularly updated database of major international reports and journal publications on the micro-credentialing movement, including the following more notable publications:

2020 Learns Learned Pilot Edubadges 2020 OECD Emergence of Alternative Credentials2020 OpenCreds Framework
2019 MOOC based Alternative Credentials 2019 ACODE Micro-credentialing as a Sustainable Way Forward2019 The Present and Future of Alternative Digital Credentials
2019 Making Micro-credentials Work2018 Educational Credentials Come of Age2019 Designing and Implementing Micro-Credentials
2019 EduTrends Alternative Credentials2018 UNESCO Digital Credentialing and the New Learning Landscape2019 Value of Open Microcredentials to Earners and Issuers
2017 Alternative Credentials2016 Foundation of Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials2016 The Promises and Challenges of Digital Credentialing

Events, Conferences and Webinars

2020 MicroHE Conference Session A 2020 MicroHE Conference Session B2020 MicroHE Conference Session C
2020 Certifying Your Future 2020 EURASHE Micro-credential Workshop 2020 Clicks Non Degree Credentials
2020 MicroHE Expert Panel Webinar2020 Academic Portable Credentials with Digitary2020 RIDE2020 Micro-credentials
2019 Better Credentials: Living, Learning and Earning in 21C2016 Better 21C Credentials2026 Learning is Earning Edubloc Video

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