Mico-Credentials: Short and Focused Content, With A BIG Impact
Micro-credentials in K-12 education are gaining popularity in the education space right now. To understand the basics of this concept, think of the design of a video game. Or, turn on a gaming platform.
Most major games include an accompanying set of badges or achievements. Players earn a small digital badge every time they achieve the assigned rate. Micro-credentials take a similar approach to education. The root of the idea is simple–you demonstrate a particular skill and a badge certifying that the micro-credential is now part of your digital file or a digital collection of accolades.
What are Micro-Credentials?
What exactly are micro-credentials? They consist of a curriculum designed for students to complete the work and earn a micro-credential that they can then use to show mastery of a skill or area of knowledge to teachers, college admission officers, or even employers.
Twenty-first-century educators know that information is best retained when the student controls the pace of their own learning. This results in the curriculum being delivered in small sections, proving the approach successful.
Using Micro-Credentials in the Classroom
Combining an on-demand approach to learning with content that sparks learners’ individual motivation does exist, and it’s through micro-credentialing.
High school CTE programs participate in relevant, bite-sized learning activities that students may complete on their smartphones, in the classroom, or on the job site. At the same time, younger students earn badges through age-appropriate curricula via digital platforms.
How Do Micro-Credentials Work?
Educators know that recognition for learning gains increases motivation to learn. Digital badging, in particular, significantly impacts any form of competency-based education delivery.
Overall competencies are broken down into even finer categories called targeted skills, and these targeted skills represent distinct pieces of content.
Learners of all ages benefit from engaging with their own learning process and having something to show for it. Digital badges can be emailed to parents and recognized in the physical classroom. Older students can share their achievements on social media (if permitted), and the digital badges can also be sent to their employers or internship supervisors.
The Success of Micro-Credentials and Why They Work
Micro might mean small, but micro-credentials have a big impact on the current education space. From early childhood education to high school seniors, the concept offers rewards in the present through skill mastery while also encouraging and supporting lifelong learning and employability.
If you think about it, we are all lifelong learners that earn micro-credentials consistently, whether in formal education, employment, or life. For today’s students and educators, micro-credentials are a positive asset to traditional and non-traditional classroom settings. It makes sense for school-aged learners to learn like this, as the concept realistically models life while simultaneously creating a platform that looks and often functions like a video game.
Written By: Meredith Biesinger
Professional Writer/ Education Specialist
Meredith Biesinger is a licensed dyslexia therapist in Mississippi, in addition to being an experienced classroom teacher and K-12 administrator. Meredith also works as a consultant, where she bridges the bridge the gap between K-12 school districts and ed-tech organizations. With a passion for literacy, she is also a professional writer and syndicated author. With a M.Ed in Educational Leadership and a B.S. in English Education and Creative Writing, she has had rich and diverse opportunities to teach students and education professionals in different parts of the country as well as overseas.