Thursday, September 23, 2021

UNESCO Failure to Come Up With a Workable Definition for a Microcredential

UNESCO Draft Preliminary Report "A conversation starter: Towards acommon definition of micro-credentials" (September 2021).
UNESCO titled their 31 page Draft Preliminary Report "A conversation starter: Towards acommon definition of micro-credentials" (September 2021). Unfortunately the proposed definition is unusable, as it doesn't address what makes a microcredential different to other credentials: it is much smaller.

The UNESCO report proposes a micro-credential:

"1. is a record of focused learning achievement verifying what the learner knows, understands or can do;

2. includes assessment based on clearly defined standards and is awarded by a trusted provider;

3. has stand-alone value and may also contribute to or complement other micro-credentials or macro-credentials, including through recognition of prior learning; and

4. meets the standards required by relevant quality assurance."

However, every credential should have these characteristics. UNESCO seemed to have missed the hint in the name micro-credential. These are much smaller, but not necessarily literally one millionth, of a conventional qualification. I have, not entirely seriously, suggested these be called Deci or Centi-credentials, as in practice they tend to be one tenth to one hundredth of a three year degree.