International Week on Microcredentials | CEU UCH

Information

Offering not only a ready way to overcome the skills gap by connecting employers with university graduates whose skills base is tailored to their particular needs but also an effective model for life-long learning which would cater for the growing need for reskilling/upskilling, MICROCREDENTIALS are emerging as a model of certification that will undoubtedly impact the future of Higher Education. Yet despite the fact that government authorities are actively debating their regulation and universities across the world are increasing their development, there is still a limited understanding of precisely what microcredentials are and the significance of the change they entail. We are further still from a general agreement about the rubric which would underpin the accreditation and certification of the skills recognized by microcredential systems and learning pathways.

From Monday 28th March – 1st April 2022 the CEU University of Cardenal Herrera will host an open discussion on this crucial theme in Higher Education in an International Week devoted to the most pressing questions concerning microcredentials. Given the lack of general awareness of the theme and the diverse, if not contradictory, positions concerning their application in university degree programmes (where they may be seen either as a welcome change or a threat to traditional models of teaching and certification), we believe it is necessary to offer a broadminded approach which would allow for the advance and dissemination of current knowledge and debate.

Why an International Week (IW)?

To help develop this approach, we have decided to utilize the format and methodology of the International Week, to promote the exchange of knowledge, experience, and good practice from an international perspective. In this way, the International Week is situated within the European context, under the auspices of the Erasmus+ Program, and we will incorporate contributions from other parts of the world.

Format of the International Week (IW)

The International Week on Microcredentials will take place in a hybrid format, enabling attendees to connect to all the events online or attend in person at the Alfara de la Patriarca Campus of the CEU University of Cardenal Herrera (Valencia, Spain). More information about accommodation and travel will be made available at a later date. For online attendees, instructions will be issued explaining how to connect to the sessions using Hyflex technology.

Organized by

  • Office of the Vice-Rector for Students and University Life
  • Office of the Vice-Rector for Internationalization

Introduction

IW Program

The International Week is structured around various themes, which are approached in two formats:

  • Plenary Sessions: Each day of the International Week will begin with plenary sessions offering a different thematic perspective on the evolving situation of microcredentials in Higher Education.
  • Roundtable Discussions: The aim of these sessions will be to share knowledge and views, pose questions, and further the discussion.
    • The Roundtable Discussions are open to speakers who wish to share their knowledge or experience on the themes under discussion. You can see the criteria for participation below.

The themes which we will focus on are:

  • 1. Government Regulation in the EU / Spain
    • Plenary session: (speaker to be confirmed soon)
    • Roundtables discussion:
      • 1.1. Microcredentials vs Degrees Debate
      • 1.2 Microcredentials and Quality Assurance Systems
  • 2. University Practices
    • Plenary session: (speaker to be confirmed soon)
    • Roundtables discussion:
      • 2.1. Certification of Educational Programmes vs Skills-Based Qualifications
      • 2.2 Microcredentials Issued by Peers
  • 3. Companies Developing Microcredential Ecosystems
    • Plenary session: (speaker to be confirmed soon)
    • Roundtables discussion:
      • 3.1. Learning Pathways
      • 3.2 Collaboration Between Universities and Businesses
  • 4. Technology and Data
    • Plenary session: (speaker to be confirmed soon)
    • Roundtables discussion:
      • 4.1. Microcredentials and Technology I: Open Digital Badges & LMS Platforms
      • 4.2 Microcredentials and Technology II: Big Data

Timetable

Programme of Events and Registration

Timetable

Roundtable Discussions: Extra Information

Sharing, Learning, Growing

Here you can view in more detail the themes we will be discussing in the Roundtable Discussions:

Information about themes

Speakers

Yann-Maël Bideau

Yann-Maël Bideau
European Commission – Directorate General for Education and Culture
Connecting online from Belgium
BIOGRAPHY

Yann-Maël Bideau is a Policy Officer in the Higher Education Unit of the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, in the European Commission. Yann-Maël is currently mainly working on micro-credentials and the European degree. Before joining the European Commission in 2019, he worked as a language teacher and in the field of university cooperation in France, Czechia, Slovakia and Belgium. He graduated in political science and language didactics from the universities of Rennes, Arras and Turku.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATION

The European Commission has recently adopted a proposal for a European approach to micro-credentials for lifelong learning and employability.

Specifically, the proposal aims to:

  • Enable individuals to acquire the knowledge, skills and competences they need to thrive in an evolving labour market and society, to benefit fully from a socially fair recovery and just transitions to the green and digital economy;
  • Support the preparedness of providers of micro-credentials to enhance the flexibility and transparency of the learning offer in order to empower individuals to forge personalised learning and career pathways;
  • Foster inclusiveness and equal opportunities, contributing to the achievement of resilience, social fairness and prosperity for all, in a context of demographic change and throughout all economic cycles.

To achieve these objectives, the proposal sets out a European approach recommending to Member States to:

  • Apply a common EU definition, EU standards and key principles for design and issuance of micro-credentials, including their portability;
  • Develop the eco-system for micro-credentials, and;
  • Deliver on the potential of micro-credentials to support lifelong learning and employability.

As a result, micro-credentials can be developed, used and compared in a coherent way among the Member States, stakeholders, and the different providers (from education and training institutions to private companies) across different sectors, fields and borders.

The European approach aims to support the ongoing work by Member States, stakeholders and diverse groups of providers across the EU on micro-credentials. It offers key resources and guidance for those providers, and others interested in exploring micro-credentials, to support their value, quality, recognition, transparency, portability and uptake in a consistent and coherent way. It thus contributes to a lifelong learning culture and increase the employability of people.

Koen Nomden

Koen Nomden
Team Leader: Transparency and Recognition of Skills and Qualifications at the European Commission.
Connecting online from Belgium
BIOGRAPHY

Mr. Koen Nomden is currently Team Leader for "Transparency and Recognition of Skills and Qualifications", within the Skills Agenda Unit of the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion). Before joining the Commission in 2003 Koen worked at the University of Antwerp (researcher) and at the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht (the Netherlands). Koen holds Master degrees from the University of Twente (NL) and from the College of Europe, Bruges (BE).

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATION

The Europass Platform, launched on 1 July 2020 as European Platform for Lifelong Learning and Career Development will be presented. The Platform is based on the Europass Decision of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU of 2018. The presentation will first explain how the Europass Platform is embedded in broader policies (European Education Area, EU Skills Agenda, Digital Educaiton Action Plan). It will then address the different components of the platform and how they relate (E-portfolio, Europass Information, Digital Credentialing Infrastructure, Self-assessment Tool for Digital Skills). Finally future developments will be presented

Mª Mercedes Curto Polo

Mª Mercedes Curto Polo
PhD, Senior Lecturer at UNED, member of ANECA’s Internationalisation Commission
Connecting online from Spain
BIOGRAPHY

Mercedes Curto Polo is full Professor of Commercial Law at the Spanish University of Distance Learning (UNED) since 2016, and previously at the University of Salamanca since 2007. She is member of the Internationalization Board of ANECA.

Her international academic experience is broad. As holder of a Von Humboldt Foundation Scholarship for Experienced Researchers, she has developed her research plan at the Max-Planck Institute for International and Comparative Law in Hamburg during different periods between 2015 and 2017. LL.M. at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium) (Wallter Hallstein Promotion 1996), she has been Visitor Researcher at different Research Centres (University of Exeter, George Washington University, Max-Planck Institute for Competition and Innovation in Munich) and Visitor Professor at several Universities in Latin-America (UNITEC (México), University of Veracruz (México), Universidad Centroamericana de Nicaragua (Nicaragua), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá (Colombia), Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana de Bucaramanga (Colombia)) and Europe (Ca´ Foscari University of Venice (Italy), Ankara University (Turkey) or University of Rijeka (Croatia), University of Poitiers (France), University of Vienna (Austria), or Zurich Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)).

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATION

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for small training units aimed at updating or deepening certain knowledge and skills. This training has moved out of the traditional educational environment to be offered by companies, governmental and non-governmental organisations, professional associations, etc. However, traditional educational institutions at the various levels of training are making significant efforts not to be left behind. Despite their growing acceptance, these short training units raise important questions, especially from the point of view of quality assurance and recognition, in order to bridge the information asymmetry between provider and learner. European institutions are aware of these challenges and have put forward various initiatives to address them.

As Member States are ultimately fully responsible for the organisation of their education systems, the work undertaken in Europe on this issue focuses primarily on the coordination and harmonisation of the various experiences in the Member States through the proposal of a European Approach to Microcredentials. This European approach aims to provide guidelines on the design, characteristics, quality assurance or recognition of these training units with a view to building trust between Member States and different stakeholders by achieving a common concept, harmonising the quality of these programmes and promoting transparency with a view to achieving comparability, recognition and portability of these certificates throughout the European Union.

On 10 December 2021 the Commission presented the Proposal for a Council Recommendation on a European approach to micro-credentials for lifelong learning and employability , which aims to address the subsequent stages of initial education and training with a view to increasing skills and employability.

Federico Giacanelli

Federico Giacanelli
Bestr Italy. Student Advisor chatbot product owner - Cognitive Computing, Open Badges & Digital Credentials
Connecting online from Italy
BIOGRAPHY

Federico Giacanelli holds a Master Degree in Theoretical Physics from the University of Bologna (1993) and a Physics PhD from the University of Torino (1998). He then focused on the Internet and the Web, working on networking administration, elearning, Multimedia and early streaming services, Ontology based portals, Blogs and CMSs, digital libraries at CINECA InterUniversity Consortium. He loves exploring digital human interactions so he works on web application design and conversational interfaces. He currently works as a Product Owner on Bestr, the Italian Digital Credentials platform (Open Badges and Blockcerts). He is also the product owner of Student Advisor an intelligent conversational agent to help Students in their university life.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATION

Bestr the Digital Credentialing platform for Italian Universities: use cases and evolution. (working title)

Sheryl Grant

Sheryl Grant
PhD, Director of Digital Credentialing Strategies at Badgr.
Connecting online from Oregon USA
BIOGRAPHY

Sheryl Grant, PhD is director of digital credentialing strategies at Badgr where she is responsible for the research, design and delivery of strategic planning and expertise in support of complex, multi-year digital credentialing programs.

Dr. Grant is among the change agents who helped build the field of micro-credentials and spearheaded the Open Badges movement 12 years ago with Mozilla, the MacArthur Foundation and HASTAC. She has published articles, blogs, book chapters and the book What Counts as Learning: Open Digital Badges for New Opportunities, an early response to designing badge systems grounded in actual practice

Vânia Neto

Vânia Neto
Education Skills Lead, Learning & Skills Specialist - Western Europe Education at Microsoft
Connecting online from Portugal.

We are currently in the process of adding information to this webpage, please bear with us while we make the necessary changes!

BIOGRAPHY

Vânia Neto is currently Microsoft Education Skills & Learning Lead for Western Europe, responsible for the Education Skilling strategy and the relationship with Education Institutions, Faculty, Educators and Students. She is deeply involved the AI Skills initiatives developed at Western Europe, as well as the agenda for Digital Skills, supporting Europe's Digital Transition goals.

In Microsoft since 2011, she joined as Partners in Learning Manager in the Portuguese Education Team, and in 2014 became Education and Philanthropies Lead for Microsoft Portugal. Late 2018, she moved to the Western Europe HQ as Education Sr. Product Marketing Manager, until moving to the current role, in January 2021.

Vânia has a Law degree and has previously worked in Public Sector, for Central and Local Government entities in Portugal.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATION

In a World where Digital and Technical skills are exponentially growing and where there is a huge skills gap, it’s important to democratize the access to training and certifications that can improve people’s abilities and employability.

The Microsoft Learn for Educators – Educational Institution program provides institutions and educational non-profits with access to official Microsoft curriculum so you can easily offer opportunities for students to earn industry-recognized certifications

Microsoft Learn for Educators brings online learning paths and instructor-led training materials from Microsoft into courses. Eligible educators and faculty members at colleges, universities, community colleges, polytechnics, and secondary schools can access ready-to-teach curriculum and teaching materials aligned to industry-recognized Microsoft Certifications. These certifications augment a student’s existing degree path and validate the skills needed to be successful across various technical careers.

Joel Armando

Joel Armando
Blackboard - Product Manager Director, Educators, Global
Client Experience
BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Joel Armando is the Product Manager Directors for Blackboard’s Professional Development Services. She has 20 years of experience in Higher Education, fulfilling different roles in online and blended projects: leadership, curriculum and learning design, research, and teaching. Prior to Blackboard, Joel led the Educational Technology Department at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina), was the Learning Innovation Manager at London Business School (UK), and an Educational Technologist at Cass Business School (UK). Joel holds a Ph.D. in Design and Innovation in Education, a PGDip in Learning Technologies, an MSc in Educational Research and a BSc in Education.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATION

Micro-credentials at the course level: the educator perspective

This workshop will focus on the educator perspective around competency based education, micro-credentials and badges. During the first part, we will discuss the use micro-credentials in the context of meaningful gamification (Nicholson, 2015) to promote long-term engagement and intrinsic motivation. By reviewing the use of micro-credentials outside education, we will discuss strategies to go beyond a reward-based approach.

In the second part, we will cover the basic principles for designing a course with a competency-based approach and how to integrate micro-credentials at the course level from a practical point of view.

The workshop will combine presentation with some practical activities to encourage participants to reflect on their own practices.

Wade Weichel

Wade Weichel
Blackboard - Director, Product Management and Strategy
BIOGRAPHY

Wade Weichel is a Director of Product Management and Strategy at Anthology where he works to further develop and advance teaching and learning solutions including Blackboard Learn. With 23 years of experience in educational technology, he has worked previously as a technical and strategic consultant for higher education, corporate, and government clients globally. He is also involved in technical standards groups such as the IMS Global Consortium where he was the chair of the LTI Product Steering Committee during the transition to LTI Advantage. Wade started his career in education working at the University of Nebraska in the United States.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATION

Micro-credential Technology: Standards, Badging, and Integration within the Virtual Learning Environment

The interest in micro-credential solutions is driven by two primary factors: first, a recognition that people are life-long learners—gaining diplomas and certifications from traditional educational providers, but also developing skills as part of workplace experiences, further education, and ongoing development and training; second, the need for evidence of skills, knowledge, and understanding that is transferrable, verifiable, and measured in smaller components.

Supporting this in scalable ways requires standards, processes, policies, and technology. Established standards for micro-credentials such as OpenBadges are part of a broader trend towards open data exchange and interoperability. This established standard continues to become better integrated into learning ecosystems, including virtual learning environments, as well as professional solutions. We’ll look at some examples of this. We’ll also explore other emerging standards in the educational technology space that show promise to further support measuring, exchanging, and publishing evidence of learning.

With technology and process comes a need for policy and practice. Whether your institution is fully committed to a micro-credential strategy, entering exploratory pilots, or learning by observation from others, you should have policies in place for today and continue to plan for tomorrow. A technology ecosystem for badging already exists, showing promise to broaden and become easier to adopt and use.

Amanda Catalán

Amanda Catalán
Global Badge Programme Head Implementer for PwC Spain
BIOGRAPHY

Amanda is in charge of Learning Technologies for PwC Spain and carried out different implementation projects for the Learning ecosystem platforms.

Among these, she managed the Digital Badges program implementation and now gives voice to the territory from PwC network.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATION

The PwC purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. To enable this, we’ve removed limits on where, when, what and how our people learn. We promote continuous learning alongside colleagues and clients so our people can develop the skills they need to be future ready. And badges are one way PwC is investing in our people’s development, providing the knowledge, skills and experience they need to thrive in today’s changing world.

PwC's Badge Programme represents the next generation of learning recognition for PwC professionals. Badges provide our people an opportunity to learn, apply and gain recognition for the knowledge and skills that our clients and our business demand.

As new skills emerge, badges represent PwC's continued commitment to transforming how we work and deliver value.

Registration

Do you want to attend the International Week on Microcredentials or participate in one of the Roundtable Discussions?

Register here: registration form

  • Deadline for Roundtable Discussion applications: 15th February 2022.
  • Deadline to register as an attendee: 15th March 2022.

Criteria for Participation in a Roundtable Discussions

A peer-review panel will select the successful applicants who will participate in the roundtable discussions. This is composed of:

  • PhD. Mª José González Solaz. Vicerrector for Students and University Life. CEU Cardenal Herrera University. (Valencia-SPAIN)
  • PhD. Ángel Bartolomé Muñoz de Luna. Vicerrector for Students and University Life. CEU San Pablo University. (Madrid-SPAIN)
  • PhD. Mª Teresa Signes Signes. Vicerrector for Students and University Life. Abat Oliba CEU University. (Barcelona-SPAIN)
  • Dª María Losana Montes. Associate Corporate Director of Universities. University Foundation of San Pablo CEU. Madrid.
  • PhD. Sara Izquierdo Álvarez. Head of Project Management. Universities Department. University Foundation of San Pablo CEU. Madrid.

Criteria and Guidance:

  • Successful applications will draw clear connections with the particular theme and scope of the roundtable discussion they aim to participate in.
  • Proposals are encouraged which:
    • demonstrate experience and serve as inspiration and guidance.
    • are based in research.
    • apply the criteria of diversity and equality.
  • Proposals from representatives and exponents of current practices in university and business contexts are especially encouraged.

Conditions:

  • Contributions of 5 minutes.
  • The proposal, including a 300 word summary of the presentation, should be sent via this Form before the 15th February 2022.
    The organisers of the IW may request additional information if necessary.
  • Confirmation of the proposals selected for participation in the Roundtable discussions will be sent before 7th March 2022.
  • Selected speakers in the Roundtable discussions should send the complete presentation before 15th March 2022. This copy of the presentation will be uploaded on the platform in which the International Week will take place, thereby making all contributions available to the other participants in advance, with the hope of enriching the debate.
  • Submission of a proposal presupposes that the content will be used in the sessions of the IW.