• Microcredential Framework (where the centre is recognition)

    It’s interesting to me that the last time I actually blogged was a summary of the Epic 2022 conference. I had completely forgotten that I had taken such detailed notes, which is one of the things that I appreciate about having a blog for these things. In the past couple of years I’ve shifted some of my attention from the open education world to the RPL/VPL/PLAR world. Here in BC this is known as prior learning assessment and recognition, while in other jurisdictions it’s known as the recognition of prior learning or the validation of prior learning. Thanks to Epic, I’ve come to understand the broader umbrella as recognition. In…

  • From homonym to harmonym

    I somehow managed to take a long break from writing and blogging, which isn’t the first time this has happened since 2005, when I first started this site (!!!). In the meantime, I let my domain lapse, somebody grabbed it, Reclaim Hosting did a fantastic job of resurrecting my lapsed account and blog, but I had to move it to a new name. So Homonym is now Harmonym, which is a nice blend of harmony and homonym. It feels ok, and I’ve never been afraid of change or fresh starts, and of course it’s January, so maybe it was meant to be.

  • #ePIC22 conference – Day 2

    #ePIC22 Day 1 Day 2 was the day I noticed this helpful poster, which lays out the value of the recognition ecosystem that badges permit. The recognition of individuals and professionals are more likely to be discussed in our higher ed contexts here in BC, and I like that the notion of social capital, human capital and confidence capital were included as part of individual benefits. Less discussed here in BC are the bottom two: communities and regions/provinces. The inclusion of these as part of the badge ecosystem offers some interesting avenues for discussion and dreaming, and Day 2 would offer some tangible examples of those. Day 2 started with…

  • ePIC22 conference – From Open Recognition to Empowerment

    This was the 20th year of the ePIC conference, a relatively small international gathering of French and English speaking participants who have been coming together around open badges and open recognition.  This year’s theme – Open Badges: From Recognition to Empowerment – pulled together an impressive list of keynotes and speakers and refreshingly didn’t make tech a star of the show, which is often what happens with many other conferences that involve some sort of innovation or ed tech component.   In 2020 I participated in the COVID pivot online version of ePIC and was introduced to the concept of community based open recognition.  This was a very interesting idea for me, and one…

  • Strategies for creating alternative (micro) credentials

    Part 3 of a series that includes Alternative Credentials, micro-credentials, stackable credentials, and digital badges, and Alternative Credential Stacking Depending on how alternative credentials are positioned, the strategies for developing these credentials depend on the level of stakeholders that need to get involved.  For example, a sector level strategy may involve engagement with provincial government, government agencies (e.g. ecampusOntario), industry, organisations and higher education institutions (HEI).     1. Establish guiding principles Central to the strategy is the need to adopt a set of guidelines or principles, and these tend to come in different flavours.  The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)  outline design, assessment, and implementation principles. The ecampusOntario microcertification principles and framework was co-developed by…

  • Alternative credential stacking

    This is Part 2 that follows Alternative credentials – micro-credentials, stackable credentials, and digital badges The key to understanding alternative credentials isn’t so much the technology or the badging, it’s actually the pathways to or from HEI or to or from industry/professions. In other words, do they lead to something and is this something recognized? This is where stacking comes in. Stackable credentials are composed of a sequence of credentials that stack or accumulate towards an additional credential.  According to Ganzglass (2014) they serve “to build up an individual’s qualifications and help them to move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher-paying jobs.”…

  • Alternative credentials – micro-credentials, stackable credentials, and digital badges

    I’ve had varying levels of interest in micro-credentials and its cousin – digital badges- over the years, ranging from “not interested” to “there’s great potential”. Part of the reason is that any innovation that resembles a twist on something that higher ed has been doing for decades, especially if technology is the twist, evokes an eye roll in me. This summer’s personal and consulting project had me diving in a bit more into the world of micro-credentials, stackable credentials, and digital credentials. And no, these aren’t all the same thing, but they occupy the same house called alternative credentials. Here’s what I learned: There are no common definitions Alternative credentials…

  • Reduced transactional distance and online community

    At the start of COVID, I hastily wrote a post about teaching online using email and a phone. I wrote that post because I was concerned that faculty and institutional support staff would be overloaded with trying to move courses into a learning management system, which isn’t always an easy undertaking. In some institutions where there isn’t much capacity to support faculty it seemed like it would be an overwhelming task for faculty to have to learn how to use a learning management system if they’d never been in one before. My approach in this circumstance has always been to identify the the lowest common denominator tool from an access…

  • Deconstructing productivity with Teams and Planner

    I’ve been working on some productivity tweaks, and with a BCcampus move to Office 365 and Teams, I’ve found myself really appreciating the seamless transition between Slack-like team spaces and synchronous meetings. I’m also loving MS Forms for survey creation, and this week I discovered Planner, the Office 365 project management Kanban tool. I dove right in and have realized that MS Office 365 is major rethink, and a significant workflow shift. But it has required some reflection about how all the productivity and workflow pieces fit together. The first thing to understand is that Teams, Planner, and to some extent Outlook are built on top of a files and…

  • Examples of open education practices enabled by OpenETC infrastructure

    For some time I’ve been wanting to share some examples of what open education practices (OEP) enabled by open ed tech looks like in practice.  OpenETC provides open ed tech infrastructure to the BC higher ed sector in the form of 3 types of services:  WordPress, Mattermost, and Sandstorm click and go apps.  The most visible examples of OEP are in the WordPress part of OpenETC, since Mattermost (open source Slack) is a more private class or group space, and Sandstorm uses-in-practice aren’t visible to us as administrators. So this is a round-up of a selection of uses of WordPress in OpenETC. WordPress E-portfolios Last year, the biggest uptake for OpenETC…

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