Micro-Credentials as Evidence of Preparation for Future Learning: An Ideation and Design Workshop

This project will convene a workshop focused on digital micro-credentials, also known as digital badges, and the role they might play in the high-stakes process of college admission. Digital micro-credentials represent one potential mechanism for broadening access for underrepresented groups to higher education. Digital micro-credentials enable students to present a broader view of themselves as learners that connects different domains of their lives: academic, social, and personal interest-driven. As such, digital micro-credentials enable students to represent expertise and potential in ways that go beyond traditional high school grade point averages and standardized test scores. 

Start date: 9/1/2016
End date: 8/31/2017

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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).


Micro-Credentials as Evidence of Preparation for Future Learning: An Ideation and Design Workshop, NSF: $99,531

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"