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Table 1 A practical micro-credentials reference framework for university Leaders (McGreal et al., 2021)

From: A strategic reset: micro-credentials for higher education leaders

Definition
(Draft European Commission)
A micro-credential is a recognised proof of the learning outcomes that a learner has acquired following a short learning experience. These learning outcomes have been assessed against transparent standards
The proof is contained in a certified document that lists the name of the holder, the achieved learning outcomes, the assessment method, the awarding body and, where applicable, the qualifications framework level and the credits gained. Micro-credentials are owned by the learner, can be shared, are portable and may be combined into larger credentials or qualifications. They are underpinned by quality assurance following agreed standards. (p. 6) Debiais-Sainton (2020)
Types of micro-Credentials**
 Certificate
 Certification
 MOOCs
 Apprenticeships
 Coding boot camps
 Badges
 Micro-Masters
 Nano-degree
**These terms are defined in the Glossary
Cirlan and Loukkola (2020), Kurzweil (2020), OECD (2021), ICDE (2019), Australian Government (2020), DeakinCo (2017), COL (2019), Brown et al. (2021)
Characteristics
Focused on acquisition of skills and competencies
Offered online, face-to-face, and/or blended delivery modalities
Short termed as compared to traditional degrees and certificates; for example, micro-credentials could be 3-days to 9 months
Created to verify credential as an evidence-based validation
Awarded with academic credit or non-credit
Assessed through teer review (e.g., university, agency, professional body)
Consist of multiple skill levels (although not required), with competencies ranked by importance in each skill level and competency importance varying across levels
Aligned or mapped to existing qualifications and/or standards frameworks
Have a geographical footprint, where providers define their service region and critical skill areas are identified with employers
Characterized by autonomous transparency
Includes funding sources for development and assessment, resulting in cost to students
Identifies with an organizational entity to manage and provide oversight of micro-credentials
Stored in a digital repository (e.g., portfolio, digital wallet, third party vendor like Credly) for secure storage, verification, and stakeholder distribution. Debiais-Sainton (2020), COL (2019), ICDE (2019), Kato et al. (2020), Matkin et al. (2020), Oliver (2019), Selvaratnam and Sankey (2020) and SUNY (2020b)
Micro-Credential
Information and Validation Elements
Title of the micro-credential
Country/Region
Awarding body
ISCED field of education and training
Date when the micro-credential was issued
Notional workload
Level of the learning experience
Learning outcomes
Form of participation in the learning activity
Type of assessment
Supervision and identity verification during assessment
Quality assurance of the credential
Prerequisites needed to enrol in the learning activity
Grade achieved
integration /stackability options
1 Duration of validity
2 Further information
Australian Government (2019, 2020), Cirlan and Loukkola (2020), Debiais-Sainton (2020), European Union (2018), Matkin et al. (2020) and New Zealand Qualifications Authority (2019)