The MicroHE partnership reviewed educational literature and leading news sources for higher education to identify existing references and definitions relevant to
- prior learning recognition,
- certification of short cycle higher education, and
- modularised higher education
in order to establish a European terminology of micro-credentials. The analysis included both accredited and non-accredited credentials, and encompassed developments globally.
To make the results of these efforts more widely acknowledged, MicroHE developed strategic collaboration with another Erasmus+ co-funded initiative, the European Short Learning Programmes (e-SLP). Along a series of bilateral and panel consultations, the two projects worked at the harmonisation of their glossaries. Below is a tabled presentation of the resulting short descriptions of key terms.
|Credential||“An educational credential is a documented statement that acknowledges a person’s learning outcomes or achievements. A credential can be used for…”||Credentialisation is the acknowledgement of learner’s learning outcomes or achievements. It should be seen as part of the process of recognition. (Definition partially formed and adopted from JRC)|
|Micro-credential||Sub-unit of a credential or credentials (could be micro, meso, mini, etc.) that could accumulate into a larger credentials or be part of a portfolio||In some languages (e.g. in Italian) there is a translation problem with the term micro-credential|
|Qualification||‘Qualification’ means a formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent authority or body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards. Qualifications from part of the European Qualification Framework.|
|Micro-qualification||A sub-unit of a qualification. While generally micro-qualifications are not mapped to EQF, some countries allow for this possibility (e.g. Malta) and non-EU countries copy the practice too (e.g. Singapore).||This term is also known as ‘partial qualification’|
|Recognition||Process of acknowledging and accepting a statement of any type of credential|
|Learning Passport||“An official document that contains the description of the learning a person has done. For example a Credit Supplement (diploma supplement for smaller achievements)”||The term ‘Learning Passport’ is also used by the OEPass project|
|Credentials Clearinghouse||Repository of digitised, processed ‘Learning Passport’ content|