What Are Micro-credentials?
Micro-credentials are a form of micro-certification earned by proving competence in one specific skill at a time, via a portfolio of evidence, created through classroom practice.
All micro-credentials offered on BloomBoard have a clearly defined purpose of achieving verified improvement in instructional practice, and the individual micro-credentials form the basis for a cohesive system of skills that enable teachers, staff, and administrators to grow, earn specialized certifications, and advance throughout their careers.
How Do You Earn a Micro-credential?
Unlike a traditional course or workshop, where the learning process is linear and time-based, the micro-credential learning process is a unique online experience whereby educators gain an understanding at the outset of their specific goals, and then personalize their learning to achieve the specific requirements for achieving competence. This personalized, self-paced learning process, supported by coaching and collaboration with their peers, gives educators control over their professional learning and results in a more authentic, meaningful experience.
Successful completion results in a digital micro-certification that educators can add to their portfolio and resume to showcase the skills they develop throughout their careers.
Personalized and Self-directed
Demonstration of New or Existing Expertise
Learning By Doing
Micro-credentials Are Not…
One Size Fits All
Traditional Online Course or Class
Available Only at Set Times
Separate from Teachers’ Classroom Contexts
Learning By Absorbing Information
Micro-credentials Are More Like…
A Driver's License
The Pole Vault
A Single-skill Version of Familiar Educator Certification
Micro-credentials Are Less Like…
A College Course
Though micro-credentials work within the existing system of educator salary advancement, they are not time or process-based, nor is there a required scope and sequence for earning a micro-credential.
A PD Workshop
Though micro-credentials work within the existing system of CEU/relicensure credit, they are not completed via seat-time or hours, and there are no release time, substitute teacher or travel requirements involved.
A Test or Traditional Assessment
Micro-credentials are not measured by simply passing an exam or other traditional assessment. Rather micro-credentials are granted based on evidence of practice and how that scores against a defined rubric.
What’s in a Micro-credential
Each micro-credential is authored by instructional experts, based on a robust, standardized blueprint, grounded in instructional design best practices, and comprised of three distinct parts:
- A definition of the skill or learning goal the educator aims to achieve.
- A discrete set of requirements for proving competence in the skill.
- A performance rubric for each requirement.
In addition to the authentic growth educators will experience, micro-credentials also offer incentives such as linkages to compensation increases, career advancement opportunities, and other incentives.
Instructional Improvement with Impact
Current research shows that traditional seat-time based professional development has very little impact on change in instructional practice or student outcomes. Additionally, research shows low levels of teacher satisfaction with many current forms of professional development as well.
Micro-credentials focus on the application of professional learning in the classroom, and implementing micro-credentials as an organization is a scalable way to improve instructional practice that is aligned to educators’ career goals.
Aligned to Instructional Standards
BloomBoard has created a comprehensive system of educator competencies based on existing and widely accepted instructional standards such as InTASC and PSEL.
PSEL-aligned micro-credentials comprise a cohesive system of competency-based training to ensure educational leaders are ready to meet the day-to-day challenges of the job. They can be integrated into career pathway structures, as well as licensure certification, and professional development programs.
Shifting From “PD” to Authentic Growth and Career Advancement
While teachers want more opportunities to grow and lead, they are often limited by the lack of transparency around growth and advancement opportunities made available in their organizations. BloomBoard’s purpose-driven approach provides schools with more coherence and alignment around educator career pathways via micro-credentials. Teachers can clearly see what competencies are required to advance to different roles. By providing purpose-based professional learning that is linked to broader growth and advancement opportunities, schools can better recruit, develop, and retain effective educators.
Step Up for Students Certification Program
Step Up for Students and BloomBoard have formed a partnership to elevate the private schooling experience in the state of Florida. Utilizing micro-credentials as the foundation for school improvement resulting in a multilayered certification program will help private school leadership, staff, and faculty strengthen their impact on the approximately 325,000 K-12 students attending private schools in Florida.