In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the importance of alternative forms of credentials in addition to traditional education achievements.

This is due in part to the changing nature of work, which now places a greater emphasis on learning and skills over formal education. Enter micro-credentials and digital badges.

What are micro-credentials?

Micro-credentials are short-term, stackable credentials that demonstrate mastery of specific skills or capabilities. Micro-credentials can be earned through online courses or assessments. You may have some yourself from recent courses you have completed.

What are digital badges?

Digital badges are a visual representation of these accomplishments that can be shared online. They are often used to signal skills or achievements to potential employers or other educators. Take a look at LinkedIn and you will discover a wide variety of badges signalling new skills.

The ambition is to enable students and graduates to compare education and training offerings more easily, employers and education providers to better understand candidate capabilities, policymakers to analyse offerings and their match/mismatch with need and demand, providers to learn from and collaborate with each other, and schools to help students understand and select from future learning options.

Framing Success for All – Learning Creates Australia

The Benefits of Micro-Credentials

  • Micro-credentials can provide a way to stand out in a competitive job market, signal mastery of specific skills, and lead to career advancement.
  • They help to ensure that students are learning relevant, up-to-date skills and prepare them for success in the workforce.
  • A school can be flexible in the way they signal success and celebrate a wide range of learning achievements.

Values Week

An example we developed at Tombolo is to explore a micro-credential for progression in the capability of resilience. Using the structure of the SOLO Taxonomy we are able to see the progression in understanding and application of new skills and knowledge.

These achievements are valuable for all students and short-form credentials help to celebrate and signal success. We continue to work with Independent Schools Victoria to develop our micro-credential programme.

To explore this topic further and learn about the Australian context for micro-credential we recommend exploring the following report Learning Creates Australia.

This research report from the Assessment Research Centre (ARC) of the University of Melbourne is the third in a series commissioned by Learning Creates Australia on the topic of assessment and recognition of learning. 

The report’s co-authors (Professor Sandra Milligan, Professor Peter Noonan and Anthony Mackay AM) describe how our current policies and practices are less than fit-for-purpose. It identifies changes needed with a view to establishing a single, unified, national qualification for senior secondary students to provide every school leaver with an official representation of their learning success.