Employing micro-credentials to predict college success

Can micro-credentials (or digital badges) be used to predict student success in college?

UMSI professor Barry Fishman and research professor Stephanie Teasley will  examine this question with a recent $99,531 grant from the National Science Foundation for their project “Micro-Credentials as Evidence of Preparation for Future Learning: An Ideation and Design Workshop.” 

Fishman and Teasley will design a workshop, to be held in summer 2017, that brings together researchers, learning scientists and systems designers, as well as college admissions officers, to explore the impact of micro-credentials in predicting student success in college, particularly within the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

Micro-credentials, which indicate mastery of a singular competency, are growing in popularity. However, there is no clear understanding of the role they play in important processes such as college admission. 

The workshop, which centers on STEM-focused digital badges (from Chicago City of Learning (CCoL) network and Mouse, will invite researchers and experts to create models of student learning based on micro-credentials. College admissions officers and professors in STEM fields will then be invited to critique the designs.   

This project, the researchers explain in their proposal, has the potential to impact future educational access by providing alternative measures of college-readiness (beyond the traditional measures of GPA and standardized test scores).

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Earlier this year, Teasley received a $24,930 NSF grant to fund a doctoral consortium at the 2016 LAK consortium, held in Edinburgh, Scotland in April 2016. The workshop, which encouraged students and mentors to explore innovative ideas in learning, data science and educational practice, has helped to foster multidisciplinary collaborations and research-practice partnerships in the field of learning analytics.

Posted on July 27, 2016