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

Strategic partnership with Digitary to support development of micro-credentials 

• 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:

Micro-credentials: An Evoling Ecosystem - Insights Paper 

• 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

Major 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 Micro-credentials Linked to the Bologna Key Commitments  
2020 Europass Platform 2020 Europass Digital Credentials 2020 MICROBOL
2020 New European Skills Agenda 2020 Australian Government to Build Online Micro-credential Marketplace 2020 Canada's Higher Education Sector Selects Digitary
2020 ECIU Towards a European Micro-credential Initiative 2020 Joint ETUC-ETUCE Position on Micro-credentials 2020 Joint ETUC - ETUCE Position on Micro-credentials
2020 Malaysian Draft Guidelines to Good Practices  2019 Review of Australian Qualification Framework 2019 EMC Common Micro-credential Framework
2019 Malaysian Guide on Micro-credential 2019 UNESCO Global Convention on Recognition of Qualifications 2018 NZ Approval of Micro-credentials

National & 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 Micro-credentials Mainstreaming Mid-career Skills Development 2020 Background Paper for EU Consultation Group on Micro-credentials
2020 National Irish Survey on Micro-credentials 2020 Micro-credentials: An Evoling Ecosystem - Insights Paper 2020 Survey of Micro-credentialing Practice in Australasian Universities
2020 Learns Learned Pilot Edubadges  2020 OECD Emergence of Alternative Credentials 2020 OpenCreds Framework
2020 Recognition and Verification of Credentials 2019 ACODE Micro-credentialing as a Sustainable Way Forward 2019 The Present and Future of Alternative Digital Credentials
2019 Making Micro-credentials Work 2018 Educational Credentials Come of Age 2019 Designing and Implementing Micro-Credentials
2019 MOOC based Alternative Credentials  2019 Micro-credentials in EU and Global 2019 Challenges & Opportunities of Micro-credentials in Europe
2019 EduTrends Alternative Credentials 2018 UNESCO Digital Credentialing and the New Learning Landscape 2019 Value of Open Microcredentials to Earners and Issuers
2017 Alternative Credentials 2016 Foundation of Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials 2016 The Promises and Challenges of Digital Credentialing

Events, Conferences and Webinars

  2020 Microbol Kickoff Conference 2020 Global Voices on Micro-credentials
2020 MicroHE Conference Session A  2020 MicroHE Conference Session B 2020 MicroHE Conference Session C
2020 Certifying Your Future  2020 EURASHE Micro-credential Workshop  2020 Clicks Non Degree Credentials
2020 MicroHE Expert Panel Webinar 2020 Academic Portable Credentials with Digitary 2020 RIDE2020 Micro-credentials
2019 Better Credentials: Living, Learning and Earning in 21C 2016 Better 21C Credentials 2026 Learning is Earning Edubloc Video


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