Micro-credentials are an alternative yet effective way that educators can learn and demonstrate competency. They provide an opportunity for teachers to gain recognition for the skills they develop throughout their careers. They can also lead to career advancement and increased compensation. This toolkit provides you with a list of habits that successful educators practice as they learn and earn micro-credentials!
Micro-credentials are self-paced and self-directed. Backwards plan to determine when you collect required evidence. Read all the activities in Exercise to (1) review the required artifacts, (2) determine if you need required templates, and (3) examine Competency Indicators which define quality for each artifact. Plan the evidence you will need to collect and set milestones on your calendar for completion. The Portfolio of Evidence in some micro-credentials needs to be developed in a particular sequence while others are less interdependent. Take this into consideration as you plan.
Designing backwards also applies to how you chart your path through the entire micro-endorsement.
By reviewing the Portfolio of Evidence in each micro-credential for the entire micro-endorsement, you can ensure that you are gathering evidence at appropriate times in your practice and can consider how artifacts relate across micro-credentials.
PERSONALIZE YOUR LEARNING PATH:
The activities in Engage are designed to build the knowledge needed to effectively develop the required artifacts for each micro-credential. You are not required to complete all of these activities. Personalizing your path requires you to:
- complete the Check Your Readiness activity for each micro-credential,
- review all the activities in Engage based on your Readiness Results and your
understanding of the required artifacts, and
- determine what learning you should participate in prior to starting to actively build your
Portfolio of evidence.
By strategically selecting which Engage activities to complete, you’ll fill any knowledge gaps you
may have and build better artifacts that meet the required competency indicators. You can come
back to Engage activities at any point to continue to build and refine your knowledge.
You also have the opportunity to collaborate with your peers to process the information you are
learning in Engage. Use the ‘Share’ feature to post your thinking about Engage activities to the
Discussion. Learning is a social endeavor; so by sharing your thinking and listening to the thinking
of others, you can expand your knowledge and skills required for each micro-credential.
PRACTICE AND RECEIVE FEEDBACK:
We’ve all heard the adage “practice makes perfect,” or if you want a better catch phrase, “perfect practice makes perfect.” Take the time to perfect your practice as you build your Portfolio of Evidence in Exercise. Each artifact has a set of Competency Indicators that define quality and that assessors will use to assess your Portfolio of Evidence. Use the ‘Share’ feature in Exercise to receive feedback from a coach or colleagues before you select the final artifacts to submit for your micro-credential. Educators who engage in a feedback cycle prior to submitting their micro-credential are more likely to earn without the need for resubmission!
MAKE YOUR THINKING TRANSPARENT:
In many micro-credentials, you are required to annotate your evidence: sometimes annotations are labeling where you’ve met competency indicators, other times annotations are an opportunity to provide justification or a rationale for the choices you made while developing that artifact. There are specific competency indicators that guide you in annotating your artifacts. Developing quality annotations makes your thinking transparent to BloomBoard assessors and supports them in better understanding how your artifacts meet the required competency indicators.
Another way to make your thinking transparent is by making specific requests for feedback. Instead of sharing an artifact and asking for a general review of the overall artifact, ask colleagues or a coach to target their feedback on one aspect of your artifact or on whether your artifact meets specific competency indicators. You will receive better quality and more actionable feedback if you identify information that would guide you to crafting a better quality artifact.
REFLECT ON YOUR GROWTH:
Micro-credentials are a change from a traditional learning experience. You are learning by doing and, through successful completion, demonstrating your competencies as a professional. A micro-credential is not a pass-fail test, but a reflective learning experience where you may not earn the micro-credential on the first try. There are opportunities throughout the micro-credential experience to reflect on your progress toward earning. In Engage, you will:
- be able to respond to knowledge building activities,
- self check your answers related to those activities and
- discuss ideas with colleagues to determine how effectively you are building knowledge and
filling information gaps.
In Exercise, you will be able to reflect on the quality of your artifacts with colleagues and coaches in
order to select possible artifacts for final submission. In Evidence, you will have the opportunity to use the Competency Indicators to self-assess and select your final Portfolio of Evidence for submission.
Regardless of your submission results, you are guided to continue the reflective process in Evaluate. If you don’t earn the micro-credential on your first try, you have the opportunity to review your assessor feedback and make a plan for strategic resubmission. Do not let perfection or fear keep you from submitting--there is no limit on the number of times you can resubmit! If you do earn,
congratulations...and keep reflecting!