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Signals and noise: communicating achievement through alternative credentials

Martin Bean (The Bean Centre, Hampton, Australia)
Sheryl Grant (New Trust Lab, Port Townsend, Washington, USA)
Glenn Hardaker (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia)
Rupert Ward (University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)

International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

ISSN: 2056-4880

Article publication date: 15 August 2023

Issue publication date: 29 August 2023

171

Abstract

Purpose

Alternative credentials are rapidly evolving. The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges and opportunities arising from this evolution with particular reference to their role in education and employment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores the credential initiatives with a unique perspective from introducing alternative credential initiatives that have been influential in recent national policy developments. The paper is led by the experiences of the former General Manager of Microsoft's Education Products Group, former Vice-Chancellor of The Open University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University. His experiences and lessons learnt reflecting on alternative credential development during the last 30 years provides a unique insight in seeing the “signals” and moving beyond the “noise” of micro-credentials for successful integration into educational institutions.

Findings

A number of key findings are identified in terms of current development challenges that impact on alternative credential use and identifying further developments. Relevant examples and references are provided throughout, with a particular focus on North America, Europe and Australasia where the most progress has been made in alternative credentials.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for those wishing to develop badging and microcredentialing solutions, especially in higher education, are identified for all seeking to maximise the success of alternative credential systems.

Originality/value

Martin Bean has a unique perspective having explored credential initiatives whilst General Manager of Microsoft's Education Products Group and whilst Vice-Chancellor of The Open University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University. Martin Bean has also been influential in recent national policy developments in Australia. Martin Bean’s experiences and lessons learnt witnessing alternative credential development during the last 30 years across three continents, and within both public and private sectors, are summarised here to provide context for discussions of some of the key global concepts and related work.

Keywords

Citation

Bean, M., Grant, S., Hardaker, G. and Ward, R. (2023), "Signals and noise: communicating achievement through alternative credentials", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 305-316. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-02-2023-0020

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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