INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES SUPPORTING THE STANDARDISATION OF CREDENTIALS AMONG MOOC PROVIDERS
1 Web2Learn (GREECE)
2 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GREECE)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:In the digital education and training realm, the offer for credentials (including microcredentials, digital/open badges) is very broad. Naturally, the credentialization by the issuers (education and training providers) also takes different forms, leading to the adoption of various standards and methodologies for issuing credentials (European Commission 2020; ECIU, 2021). Although some basic attributes or features of credentials are common, in the majority of cases, each issuer adopts a commonly agreed standard (Diploma Supplement to name one) and/or customizes it depending on the issuers’ institutional needs. As a result, there is a heterogeneity of credentials awarded, which leads to lack of coherence and harmonization in issuing credentials (and subsequently in the skills market).
The scope of this contribution is to connect three components related to the credentialization ecosystem: first, the learners’ needs (as depicted by credentials choices), second, the features of certificates adopted by major online course providers/credential issuers, and third, the standards the various issuers use in awarding credentials. It is situated within the BlockAdemic project (Terzi et al., 2021, in press; Zourou & ZIku, 2022).
This contribution starts by an analysis of learners’ needs for certification, as depicted by the most popular courses chosen among three indicative online course providers: Coursera, Udemy and FutureLearn. We then seek to identify the attributes of credentials offered and to map them across issuers. Finally, the analysis carried out demonstrates the need for both harmonization in standards adoption, and the need for flexibility in issuing credentials and supporting them with ICT technologies for automating proof and verification of these credentials. For the latter, we put forth the development of a software system as a service, that allows both the alignment to widely adopted credentialization standards, and the flexibility for credential customization, through the release of hybrid standards.
 European Commission, 2020. A European approach to Micro-credentials: Final report, Output of the Higher Education Micro-credentials Consultation Group. Retrieved from https://education.ec.europa.eu/resources-andtools/document-library/final-report-a-europeanapproach-to-micro-credentials-output-of-the-micro-credentials-higher-education-consultationgroup_en
 European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), 2021. Supporting the micro-credentials movement. ECIU White Paper on Micro-credentials, ECIU University. doi:10.5281/zenodo.4438507
 Habib, M., Sanzgiri, J. 2020. Compendium on good practices in assessment and recognition of MOOCs for the EU labour market (EMC-LM deliverable 4.1), EMC-LM Project. https://emc.eadtu.eu/images/publications_and_outputs/EMC-LM_Compendium_on_good_practices_final.pdf
 Terzi, S., Stamelos, I., Votis, K. Tsiatsos, T. 2021. A Life-long Learning Education Passport powered by Blockchain Technology and Verifiable Digital Credentials: The BlockAdemiC Project. SEFM 2021, LNCS 13230 proceedings [In Press]
 Zourou, K., Ziku, M. 2022. Qualification recognition systems adopted by universities: an exploratory data analysis, EDULEARN22 proceedings, pp. 1124-1130. doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.0307
Keywords: Credentials, qualifications, skills, life-long learning, MOOCs.