Seven Lessons Learned From Implementing Micro-Credentials: New Report Offers Insight Into a New Wave of Personalized Professional Development for Educators

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Raleigh, NC - Jan 27, 2016 - A new wave of personalized, competency-based professional development resources are providing a way for teachers to earn recognition for the skills they acquire through formal and informal learning opportunities, according to a report from the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University’s College of Education. The report, Seven Lessons Learned from Implementing Micro-Credentials, shares how micro-credentials can personalize professional learning to meet teachers’ individual needs, and allow them to quickly take what they learn and apply it to their classrooms.

As part of their pioneering MOOC-Ed initiative providing free online professional learning opportunities for educators, the Friday Institute created 15 micro-credentials in partnership with the Oak Foundation and Digital Promise. Research from the initial implementation of micro-credentials into MOOC-Ed courses highlights seven important insights:

  1. Teachers who earn micro-credentials want to earn more
  2. Micro-credentials facilitate concrete applications to classroom practice
  3. Micro-credentials scaffold teachers to engage at an increased level of rigor
  4. Teachers can demonstrate competency/mastery in a variety of ways
  5. Instructional design and online platform matter
  6. Micro-credentials should not have a one-size-fits-all approach
  7. Many questions still exist around micro-credentials

“Micro-credentials provide an opportunity for educators to engage in rigorous, self-paced, job- embedded professional learning that is connected to the daily skills teachers need in their classrooms.”

Lauren Acree, Research Associate, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation

“Micro-credentials provide an opportunity for educators to engage in rigorous, self-paced, job- embedded professional learning that is connected to the daily skills teachers need in their classrooms,” said Lauren Acree, the report’s author and a Research Associate at the Friday Institute said. “While many questions still exist around micro-credentials, Superintendents, principals, and teachers with whom we have worked are interested in the possibilities of using them as a catalyst for changing the way we think about and recognize professional learning.”

Throughout 2016, the Friday Institute’s commitment to further integrating micro-credentials into professional development for educators will see them conducting research around how earning micro-credentials impacts teachers’ practice; exploring micro-credentials for district and school leaders, with a focus on digital learning with industry partners; and identifying necessary levers and existing barriers for scaling the use of micro-credentials in continued learning opportunities for all educators.

To view or download a copy of Seven Lessons Learned from Implementing Micro-Credentials, please visit http://friday.institute/7lessons.

If you are interested in earning micro-credentials from the Friday Institute, be sure to check out the Fraction Foundations MOOC-Ed, which starts February 1. Three other MOOC-Eds on statistics, digital learning, and disciplinary literacies are also available this spring. Visit http://friday.institute/courses to learn more and register.

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