Register for CAPLA’s Fall RPL event
There has been a lot of buzz over the last couple of years about microcredentials in both the post-secondary education and career development sectors. Rarely however, have the ways in which they fit into an RPL, portfolio or transfer credit process been highlighted. And so, CAPLA is pleased to announce that its fall 2023 professional development webinars will take a look at microcredentials and RPL. The webinars consist of 1 hour of presentations and then break-out rooms to dive deeper into the subject matter with presenters.
Webinar 1 focuses on MC frameworks, quality assurance and RPL.
Webinar 2 focuses on developing MCs for specific audiences/RPL.
Webinar 3 focuses on using MCs as pathways for recognition of learning.
As in other years, you can register for one session or all three. And since all our sessions are on Zoom, video recordings can be sent to you if one of the dates becomes problematic.
MC Frameworks, Quality Assurance and RPL
Wednesday, November 1, 2023 12.00 noon – 1.30pm (Eastern)
The first webinar in the series will explore the development of MC frameworks from an institutional and provincial perspective.
1. New Brunswick Community College’s (NBCC) Microcredential Framework
Presenters: Michelle Chisholm and Gail McLaughlin-Aube, New Brunswick Community College
Michelle Chisholm and Gail McLaughlin-Aube will introduce New Brunswick Community College’s (NBCC) Microcredential Framework. Although the NBCC MC framework is still in progress and not yet approved internally, they will be able to speak to where they are in the process, challenges they faced, research they completed, and where they want to go next, including PLAR/RPL opportunities for microcredentials, which is exciting.
2. Nova Scotia’s Microcredential Framework
Presenter: Dr. Shawn Jolemore, Project Director for the NS Microcredential Framework
During this presentation Dr. Shawn Jolemore will provide a brief overview of how the new NS Microcredential Framework was developed, its content, and plans for the path ahead. It will also focus on where RPL fits into the framework, and discuss some of the challenges and best practices that can arise when creating a comprehensive framework such as this one.
3. BC Micro-credentials and PLAR: The Inside Scoop
Presenter: Dr. Annie Prud’homme-Généreux (she/her)
After Ontario, BC is probably the province that has most embraced micro-credentials. To ensure consistency across institutions in the province, in 2021 the BC Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills published a provincial micro-credential framework. This was followed, in the fall 2023, with a micro-credential toolkit to help practitioners implement these programs. In total, the province has supported the development of more than new 200 micro-credentials. Of notable interest to CAPLA, the province is sponsoring a workgroup with representatives from five universities to design and pilot a province-wide system of recognition and transfer of micro-credentials, led by your very own Susan Forseille. Come learn about recent micro-credentials developments in BC, with a focus on the links between PLAR and micro-credentials.
About the speakers
Learning Design Consultant for Prior Learning
New Brunswick Community College
Michelle’s role at NBCC is to provide learning design for special offerings at the college such as Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) and microcredentials.
She brings a knowledge of evidence-based strategies in assessment, Universal Design for Learning and other inclusionary or accessible practices to the project that aims to diminish barriers to incoming and current students of NBCC. Michelle’s background is in education, having previously worked as a high school teacher, for Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour NB, and for St. Thomas University. Michelle has an MEd in Exceptional Learners from the University of New Brunswick along with a BA and BEd from St. Thomas University.
Business Development Manager – Special Projects
New Brunswick Community College
Gail’s role at NBCC is to manage the development and launch of special projects for the School of Professional and Part-time Learning, currently focusing on microcredentials.
Throughout her career, she has led the development from concept to launch of numerous products, programs, and impactful campaigns for multimillion-dollar brands. Gail has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing from Mount Allison University and a Communications and Advertising Accredited Professional (CAAP) designation from the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA). In addition, Gail recently became a Certified Program Planner (CPP) from the Learning Resource Network (LERN).
Dr. Shawn Jolemore
The Nova Scotia Microcredential Framework
Dr. Shawn Jolemore joined the provincial microcredentials project in 2021, following a 15-year career in the Nova Scotia Health Authority where he held various education management and organizational development consulting roles. Together with leaders from industry sector councils, postsecondary institutions, and government, Shawn helped guide the development of this complex project within an emerging landscape.
Dr. Annie Prud’homme-Généreux
B.C. Micro-credential Toolkit consultation and adaptation lead
Dr. Annie Prud’homme-Généreux (she/her) led the consultation and adaptation of the B.C. Micro-credential Toolkit under the advice and direction of the BCcampus Competency Working Group.
Annie’s interest in micro-credentials stems from her experiences working outside academia, including executive leadership at a non-profit organization and serving on the board of directors of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. Through these experiences, she observed firsthand the need for short, work-aligned, competency-based training to help adults retrain and retool throughout her career.
Most recently, Annie served as director of Continuing Studies at Capilano University, where she shepherded the development of over 60 new online stackable micro-credentials to support adult learners throughout their careers. She also works in quality assurance, serving on the Campus Alberta Quality Council for six years.
Developing MCs for specific audiences/RPL
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 12.00 noon – 1.30pm (Eastern)
The second webinar in the series will examine how MCs can serve the needs of a variety of groups, such as employers, employees, learners, and job seekers, etc.
1. Micro-credentials at Humber College: Planning with the end goal in mind
Presenter: Alena Shah, EdD, Humber College
This brief presentation will provide an overview of how Humber College has intentionally developed an internal micro-credential framework to ensure alignment with target audiences. First, the presentation will outline Humber’s micro-credential definition, highlighting key terminology tailored to be responsive to various learners. We will then explore the key design principles that are promoted when creating a micro-credential that assists with facilitating RPL. Lastly, we will explore potential uses for micro-credentials for creating learner mobility.
2. Breaking Barriers with the IT Apprenticeship for Indigenous Peoples Digital Credential
Presenter: Val Thomas, Employment and Social Development Canada
Discover how the Government of Canada is advancing reconciliation with its innovative IT Apprenticeship Program, for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. This ground-breaking initiative removes traditional barriers to employment by recognizing passion and potential, and lived experience rather than formal education. Join us to learn about the innovative digital credential strategy and how it is unlocking career growth and mobility for Indigenous talent in the government of Canada and beyond. See first hand, how this initiative is transforming the federal workforce and contributing to a more equitable digital future.
3. Finding recognition in micro-credentials
Presenter: Don Presant, President, Learning Agents
Micro-credentials and digital badges have huge potential for authentic recognition and for connecting learners to new opportunities in a rapidly changing world, but much of that potential remains untapped. Many technology limitations are being addressed, but underlying issues related to culture and change management are still largely unaddressed, such as lack of awareness, problematic preconceptions, traditional habits and organizational silos. Micro-credentials are often described as digital training certificates and “diploma building blocks”, but they can do SO MUCH MORE to help fulfill CAPLA’s mission of “removing barriers to recognition, regardless of the end uses of the recognition process.”
Join Don Presant, international consultant for badges and micro-credentials and longtime CAPLA member, for a wide-ranging critique of recognition in micro-credentials today, along with some glimpses of what’s possible and what’s even starting to happen – across Canada and in global practice.
About the speakers
Alena Shah, EdD
Associate Dean, Program Planning
Program Planning, Development & Renewal
Alena Shah is the Associate Dean, Program Planning in Humber College’s Program Planning Renewal and Development (PPDR) Office.
She has worked in higher education for over 14 years in both the College and University sectors, in student affairs, quality assurance, labour relations and graduate studies. In her current role at Humber, she provides leadership and support to academic and strategic planning initiatives connected to recognition of prior learning, continuous professional learning quality assurance (including micro-credentials), and competency-based education.
IT Apprenticeship Program for Indigenous Peoples Lead
Employment and Social Development Canada
Val Thomas is a sought-after thought leader and advocate of skills-based hiring and digital credentials. She’s been leading innovative talent recognition initiatives within the Government of Canada for over 10 years.
Val was a founding member of IN.spire, the government of Canada’s first Innovation Hub, and co-founder of Talent Cloud, an experimental staffing platform. Val is now at Employment and Social Development Canada, where she leads the digital credential strategy for the ground-breaking IT Apprenticeship Program for Indigenous Peoples. Her work continues to influence shifts in policies, programs, and initiatives for a more inclusive and equitable public service digital workforce. Val’s deep commitment to her work is rooted in breaking barriers for a more equitable future for all. Val is a proud Global Fellow with the League of Intrapreneurs and an a BMW Responsible Leader.
Don Presant is one of Canada’s top experts in the field of micro-credentials and digital badges.
He has worked with the Open Badges standard for portable digital credentials since 2012 and has continuously consulted on their use since 2017 for a wide variety of institutions and organizations, such as eCampusOntario, the Institute for Performance and Learning, the Government of Canada, the UN’s International Labour Organisation and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Don has detailed technical and strategic knowledge of the evolving Open Badge digital credential standard and the various definitions, taxonomies and frameworks for micro-credentials. In 2017 he worked with eCampusOntario to create their annual Micro-credentials Forum. In 2021, he served on the global expert panel for the UNESCO paper “A conversation starter: Towards a common definition of micro-credentials.” In October 2022, he was invited to join the Advisory Group for the multi-state “Credential As You Go” initiative in the US. In 2023, Don plays an ongoing role as key curator of ePIC, an international thought leadership conference dedicated to opening up lifewide recognition practices.
Using MCs as Pathways for Recognition of Learning
Wednesday, November 15, 2023 12.00 noon – 1.30pm (Eastern)
The third webinar in the series will explore how MCs can support equity and recognize the experiences and learning of marginalized groups.
1. Opening Up Workforce Recognition in International Development
Presenter: Stella Porto, IDB Credentials and INDESVirtual
We will explore the initiatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in utilizing open badges to promote workforce development within an international development context. Over recent years, the IDB has pioneered a transformative approach toward recognizing and validating the skills and competencies of its workforce, alongside hundreds of thousands of professionals across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
By adopting the principles of Open Recognition, the bank has successfully cultivated a culture of continuous learning and professional growth, further advancing its strategic objectives within the LAC region. We will navigate through key projects to demonstrate how the IDB has meticulously designed, implemented, and expanded our badge system to address skill gaps, support reskilling and upskilling, improve employability, and encourage a culture of open recognition. The session will share insightful lessons learned, challenges faced, and effective strategies employed by the IDB to navigate these challenges.
2. BC Credit Bank Initiative
Presenter: Susan Forseille, Director, PLAR Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning
BC Centre for Open Learning
Thompson Rivers University’s Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) team received funding in 2023, from the BC Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills for a pioneering pilot project to increase pathways for recognition of learning. The project used PLAR/RPL assessment methods to assess micro-credentials in BC’s public post-secondary institutions for credit. Susan will share an overview of this project, including how it led to negotiations for a provincial credit bank.
3. Credential As You Go: Lessons Learned, Evolving Trends
Presenter: Nan L. Travers, Ph.D., Director Center for Leadership in Credentialing Learning (CL2) SUNY Empire State University
Credential As You Go is a movement engaged in researching and facilitating the development of a nationally adopted incremental credentialing ecosystem that improves education and employment outcomes for all learners. Such a system requires that learning inherent in degrees and other credentials be unbundled into recognizable, incremental units that are usable for furthering education and employment. Incremental credentials, include all types of formally recognized credentials (e.g., badges, microcredentials, certificates, degrees) that an individual is awarded across a lifetime to document knowledge and skills. The Incremental Credentialing Framework captures six approaches to developing and implementing incremental credentials with prior learning assessment at its center.
Through a partnership with the Center for Leadership in Credentialing Learning at SUNY Empire State University; the Program on Skills, Credentials & Workforce Policy at George Washington University; and Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, Credential As You Go is currently working across 22 states, including 54 network members (8 higher education systems, 44 institutions, and 2 credentialing organizations). Data are being collected through formal focus groups, surveys of other key initiatives, informal meetings with members, and learner outcomes measures. Results so far are provided though reports and research briefs, which explore areas such as external and internal constraints and supports for implementing incremental credentials, credentialing patterns, mapping of related initiatives, and initial outcomes analyses. This presentation will share a quick update on the progress of these efforts and provide current data results, lessons learned, issues raised, and trends in credentialing, including how prior learning is being used in credentialing pathways.
About the speakers
Dr. Stella Porto
Head of CredencialesBID (IDB Credentials) and INDESVirtual
Stella Porto is a Learning and Knowledge Management Sr. specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, DC.
She is the head of CredencialesBID, IDB’s Open Badge credentialing platform. She leads a team responsible for design, development and delivery of online courses covering various themes in social and economic development. Prior to IDB, Stella was the Program Director of the Master of Distance Education & E-Learning (MDE) at University of Maryland Global Campus, where she had other leadership roles since she joined UMGC in 2001. Earlier, Stella was a Professor in Computer Science at Universidade Federal Fluminense in Brazil. Stella holds a doctorate in Computer Science, a Masters in Distance Education and eLearning and a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering.
Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning BC Centre for Open Learning
I have been privileged to work for 23-years at the intersections of prior learning, education, and career development. I have had the privilege of working as the Director of PLAR (prior learning assessment and recognition) at Thompson Rivers University, Canada since 2018.
Recent research has been focussed on PLAR persistence, decolonizing PLAR, micro-credential assessment, and how PLAR impacts career development. I am a passionate PLAR advocate and am proud to serve on both the Canadian Association of Prior Learning Board (CAPLA) and the British Columbia Prior Learning Action Network (BCPLAN). Most recently I was honoured to accept a position on the editorial board of Prior Learning Inside Out (PLAIO).
Nan L. Travers, Ph.D.
Director Center for Leadership in Credentialing Learning (CL2)
SUNY Empire State University
Dr. Nan Travers, Director, Center for Leadership in Credentialing Learning at SUNY Empire State University, focuses on research, policies and practices of the recognition, validation, and credentialing of learning.
Currently, Travers is the PI and co-lead for a U.S. Department of Education grant Credential As You Go: Transforming the Credentialing System of the U.S. She just completed as the PI for a subaward for the Lumina Foundation grant, REACH, which explored learning recognition and credentialing from an equity and inclusion lens. She was also the PI for the Lumina Foundation grant, All Learning Counts, which focused on embedding evaluated competency-based workplace into credentials. She previously led the development of the Global Learning Qualifications Framework to assess college-level learning, serves on the board for the Prior Learning International Research Consortium, is a lead contributor to the Learning Recognition Collaborative, and has served on the core team for the national Connecting Credentials initiative.
Travers contributed to the Northeast Resiliency Consortium initiative, assisting member institutions to develop prior learning assessment policies and practices, along with a handbook for institutions, and was a lead contributor to the guidebook for integrating resiliency competencies into the curriculum. Travers serves as founding co-editor for the journal: PLA Inside Out (www.plaio.org).
She has a Ph.D. in Adult Learning from the University of Connecticut, a M.A. in Curriculum Development from Johnson State College in Vermont, and a B.S. in Biology from Ramapo College in New Jersey.