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 educators to grow 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.

Micro-credentials Are…

Competency-based

Personalized and Self-directed

Demonstration of New or Existing Expertise

Available On-demand

Job Embedded

Learning By Doing

Micro-credentials Are Not…

Seat-time Based

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

To earn a driver’s license, you need to learn via practice, and ultimately demonstrate in your performance that you can successfully navigate in the real world. Micro-credentials are earned in a similar fashion, by proving your competence in practice with your own students in your classroom.

The Pole Vault

The bar is set, and your objective is to get over it, using the tools you have available (namely a pole and your own speed, strength and technique). You train and work on whatever you need to to clear the bar. The same is true with earning a micro-credential. Practice makes perfect, and teaching skills are no exception. Personalizing your learning process and honing the skills needed to clear the bar for competence is the only outcome that is required.

A Single-skill Version of Familiar Educator Certification

Micro-credentials, like other nationally recognized teacher certifications, allow teachers to distinguish themselves as accomplished, effective educators who have met the most robust standards in the profession, via a portfolio of their practice, which is assessed by experts.

Micro-credentials Are Less Like…

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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:

  1. A definition of the skill or learning goal the educator aims to achieve.
  2. A discrete set of requirements for proving competence in the skill.
  3. 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. They can be integrated into career pathway structures, as well as licensure certification, and professional development programs.

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.

InTASC-aligned micro-credentials are designed to prepare educators to guide students toward career-and college-readiness.

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 and districts 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 and districts can better recruit, develop, and retain effective educators.

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