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Leveraging Competency-Based Micro-credentials

Author: CIDDL Team

Micro-credentials (MCs) have gained increased traction in the field of education as an innovative model that addresses educators’ diverse professional learning needs, interests, and goals. MCs are often defined as small competency-based certifications, which allow educators to develop and demonstrate mastery of discrete knowledge and skills in a personalized manner. You can check out this article for a more detailed definition of this type of certification.

A study investigating teachers' views on professional development found that the traditional “sit-and-get” professional development was ineffective in meeting educators’ professional learning needs. Recently, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that 53% of educators around the globe (including the United States) regarded school-embedded professional development as ineffective in improving their instructional practices. As a potential way to innovate professional development bound by physical space and time, MCs afford educators access to flexible, online, and personalized professional learning. MCs are often supported through digital platforms, making it easy for educators to engage in professional learning anytime, anywhere, and at their own pace.

Currently, nine states in the United States have adopted MCs as a core part of their teacher professional development (see more information in this article). On the research side, emergent studies have examined how micro-credentialing through digital badging systems enhanced educators’ personalized professional learning. Researchers found that digital badges, which are representations of the learner completing associated components of MCs, could capture educators’ unique learning experiences and support professionals’ decision making such as selecting personally relevant learning goals.

How can preparation programs utilize MCs as a means to help students demonstrate readiness to serve all students? How can CIDDL support that work? Keep up with our programming by signing up for our newsletter here.