I would typically start a new year with some variation of “Happy New Year!” However, the events that have occurred in the U.S. over the first two weeks have been another sobering example of how deep the divides are across the nation that have never truly been addressed. I, like many of you, feel outraged about the culpability of many in leadership positions and uncertain about the days ahead.
While uncertainty can be frightening, I am calmed by all of the great work and collaboration that I have seen over the last year in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. I am hopeful when I see all the work many of your organizations are doing to address inequities and commit to racial justice in your lives and in your work. We remain ever committed to our focus of equity and access in our work, and I am proud of the ways in which the micro-credential ecosystem continues to be a platform to support those commitments. We move forward with greater purpose and urgency in 2021 to play the role that we can to make the country a place where those historically on the margins may bring their hopes and dreams to the center.
Quarterly Report for Q4, 2020
Our quarterly reports provide insight into our micro-credential ecosystem, with easy-to-find information from the last quarter. We also highlight news and notes that capture the growth of the ecosystem, including new platform features and information about where micro-credentials are being earned. Note that this is an internal report. Please do not distribute.
Please email us if you would like to dive deeper into anything from the reports.
We’ve Updated Our Logo!
You may have noticed the Digital Promise logo has a new look. If you use our logo on your website, please replace it with this updated version. If you need the digital file, please reach out to Jessica Schuler at email@example.com with your preferred file type.
Access and Equity Audit
Over the past few months, Digital Promise has developed and engaged in a process by which to review micro-credentials and ensure they meet an equitable and accessible standard. To that end, we wanted to share this pilot series of questions we’ve asked ourselves during this process. We asked ourselves to think about…
- The “Big Picture”: Is it useful? Is it relevant? Does it reflect current research?
- Its impact: Has there been new research in this field that shows how it negatively impacts BIPOC?
- Equity: Does the micro-credential consider equity in asking for demonstrated methods, such as engaging families? Does it promote engagement with a diversity of learners? Are there options for types of artifacts requested? If demographic data is requested, is it appropriate and relevant to the micro-credential?
- Access: Are content-specific words or jargon defined when necessary?
- The research and resources: Unless a seminal text in the field, is the research from the last five years? Is the research from a diverse group of researchers? Do they represent diverse mediums, such as text, video, audio, and other resource formats?
- Language choice: Is deficit language used instead of person-first, strength-based language?
- The badge: Does it reflect the competency in an authentic, non-stereotypical, and gender-neutral manner? Are the colors accessible?
With these reflection questions in mind, we aim to complete the audit in Q1 2021 and share out more to Digital Promise Micro-credential Issuers so they may integrate this audit into their Equity and Access goals for 2021 and beyond.
New Platform Features
Digital Promise is committed to increasing the accessibility of our Micro-credential Platform. To that end, this fall, we’ve updated the platform color palette to reach a contrast aligned to WCAG2.1 AA standards for accessibility. This will improve the user experience for educators, assessors, and issuers alike.
|King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT)
King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in Thailand fosters engineering leaders through hands-on learning, education innovation, real-world research, and entrepreneurship. The university creates and drives changes for a strong and sustainable global society. This fall, KMUTT launched the Designing a Task-based Activity in a Foreign Language Classroom micro-credential, which aims to help learners improve their language performance in a foreign language classroom.
OpenSciEd is a nonprofit organization that brings together educators, philanthropic organizations, curriculum developers, and professional development providers to improve science education through the development and implementation of high-quality, freely available science instructional materials. This fall, OpenSciEd created its first micro-credential, in which the facilitator demonstrates and supports teachers in understanding the Anchoring Phenomenon Routine.
|University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee launched a stack of micro-credentials supporting efforts to lead instructional changes in STEM subjects that include identifying design principles and professional development shifts.*
|In addition, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee released the Developing Conceptual Understanding Through Task Selection in Math & Science micro-credential, in which educators demonstrate their competency in implementing tasks and evaluation in the math or science classroom.|
|UTeach Computer Science
UTeach Computer Science provides classroom-ready high school computer science curricula and teacher professional development to foster computational thinking and engage all students through hands-on project-based learning. UTeach released two micro-credentials: Code Tracing, whereby the code-reading strategy is developed and understood, and Active & Equitable Recruitment Strategies, in which educators demonstrate their competency in implementing equitable recruitment strategies.
*Denotes a privately hosted micro-credential stack.
Partners and Programs
Do you have an idea on expanding your micro-credential work? Would you like to collaborate on a grant? Know an organization that we should partner with? Let us know!
Discover who’s talking about Digital Promise micro-credentials:
The Costal Point
Micro-credentials to Support State Literacy Plan
EdWeek Market Brief
A New Way to Judge Ed-Tech Products: ‘Learner Variability’
Micro-credentials Gain PD Momentum During COVID
How One State is Developing its Own Micro-credentials for Teachers
The Reporter Asia
KMUTT Leads Micro-credentials to Organize a New Study
Read about how others are thinking about micro-credentials:
Harnessing Micro-credentials for Teacher Growth
Q4 2020 Metrics
Q4 2020 by the numbers
- 421 micro-credentials awarded
- 21 new micro-credentials launched
- 1 new issuing organizations
- 1,775 new user accounts
- 126 unique micro-credentials awarded
- 32 issuing organizations awarded micro-credentials
- 63 unique assessors made micro-credential recommendations
- Micro-credentials from 65 stacks awarded
- Educators from 37 states earned micro-credentials
- 168,646 pageviews
- 2,224 pageviews on the platform’s busiest day (October 9)
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Connect with Us: Upcoming Events/Workshops
- eCampusOntario fourth annual Micro-credential Forum: Opening doors for all learners – February 26, 2021
- Contact North Webinar: Micro-credentials and Skill-Based Learning in the United States – February 24 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET
Going to one of these events/workshops? Let us know so we can connect!
Connect with us if you have any questions or would like to learn more about our micro-credential ecosystem.