Mastery is for Educators Too: Designing Micro-credentials for Professional Learning

This article originally appeared on Center for Collaborative Education's. See the original here.

By Gary Chapin

While celebrating mastery learning for students, one would be remiss to ignore mastery learning for professionals. For the past two years, the Center for Collaborative Education has been working with the Assessment for Learning Project to design micro-credentials which help professionals develop and demonstrate mastery around Performance Assessments. Micro-credentials are mini-badges of expertise that a learner earns by demonstrating mastery in a particular skill. Thus far, there are 12 performance assessment micro-credentials, all accessible for free over at Digital Promise. The topics of the micro-credentials range from basic design to validity and reliability to formative use of performance assessments to performance assessments for cultural responsiveness and English language learners.

Fun fact: Micro-credentials are often organized into “stacks.” A stack is a set of related micro-credentials. Thus, CCE has 12 micro-credentials organized into four stacks.

  1. Basic Performance Assessment Design
  2. Advance Performance Assessment Design
  3. Leading a Performance Assessment Community
  4. Performance Assessment for Equity

These micro-credentials were piloted in Rhode Island for one year, after which we gathered in Providence for some learning conversations. The below videos capture some of the energy that came out of that amazing day.

First there’s an overview of the project:

Second, is a discussion of the teacher experience:

Third, looking at one of the surprising findings of the pilot, the impact of micro-credentials for Adult Education instructors:

And, finally, a conversation about policy implications: