In a recent study by the EU’s Joint Research Centre (Witthaus et al, 2016), a ‘traffic light’ model was proposed, with the intention of helping open education providers to design their offerings in such a way as to enable later recognition of participants’ learning achievements. While the study focused mainly on MOOCs, the model can also be applied to other open learning initiatives. It incorporates six key elements that are most likely to facilitate subsequent recognition of open learning. Two of these elements are the identity verification of learners and the award of credentials to learners. In a follow-up European Commission-funded project, ReOPEN, these elements are currently (January to end February 2017) being explored via a survey. Respondents are asked to share their experience in relation to learner identity verification and to provide recommendations on how open education providers can make sure that the learner who is assessed is actually the person who registered; they are also invited to list any requirements their institutions have for recognising acquired competences.
The presentation will provide an analysis of the responses to the ReOPEN survey questions, and will locate the findings within the literature on the recognition of non-formal, open learning. Presenters will reflect on the progress that has been made towards designing and creating validated open learning offerings which enable learners’ achievements to be recognised by other institutions or employers, and will point to opportunities for further development in this regard.
Note: credentialisation refers to the issuing of credentials to the learner by the MOOC provider, while recognition refers to a subsequent process in which an educational institution or employer formally grants the learner the right to access or progress in educational or employment activities.
Witthaus, G., Inamorato dos Santos. A., Childs, M., Tannhäuser, A., Conole, G., Nkuyubwatsi, B., Punie, Y. (2016) Validation of Non-formal MOOC-based Learning: An Analysis of Assessment and Recognition Practices in Europe. Seville: EU JRC IPTS.
Reushle, S., Antonio, A. & Keppell, M. (2016) Preface. In S. Reushle, A. Antonio, & M. Keppell (Eds.), Open learning and formal credentialing in higher education: curriculum models and institutional policies (pp. xv11-xxiii). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.