2/8 Credentials Webinar

Video Transcript
So you'll note that chat is open. You should be able to chat with your fellow attendees, and you're absolutely welcome to do that. We've got the the lovely and talented Joanna Ray, who is a part of the credentials team here, She'll be monitoring that chat. And so, you know, feel free to jump in there. If you have questions, though, real questions, that you would like us to try to address in this webinar for me or Mike Simmons from Acro if you would put those in the Q and a section, they're just a little bit easier to manage there. The chat can get a little bit, a little bit cluttered, with everybody, kind of engaging with each other.

So Q and A for questions for me and Mike, you are on mute. Sorry about that. Just gonna be too many people for us to actually have a a real conversation. So apologies, but we would love to talk with you. And so my contact information is on this next slide, right there.

And this is Mike's. So you're welcome to reach out to either of us with questions that you may have. About kind of what we're doing and, what, the, our views are on where digital credentials are and how this space is evolving pretty rapidly. We'd be delighted to engage those questions in any form that kind of makes sense for you outside of the confines of this conversation, which, Q and A for here, email addresses for later, kind of whatever works for you. We're just really happy.

That you're here, and thank you so much. So it looks like we've got about seventy five people, in the webinar, and that's a good place for us to get started for Reals. So, Quick, poll, which I do not have an official kind of poll up because I just didn't. But a question for you, about kind of your comfort with digital credentialing, and you may think of that as badges or digital transcripts where you kind of define digital credentialing in your in your head, scale of one to ten. One being you have never heard the words digital and credentialing beside each other in a conversation.

So that's a one. A ten is you are an internationally sorry about that. An internationally renowned expert on digital branchling. So if you'll throw a number into the chat, we're just gonna watch those go by, and we'll get a sense of kind of where My gosh, we've got some people who are well on their way to internationally renowned expertise. So that's impressive.

Thank you all so much for coming to this. This is great. K? So we've got a lot of mid range that kind of five to seven, four to seven. Alright. That's interesting.

That this is super helpful. For us to think about how we dial in this conversation because it can get a little geeky on the high end and it can get super practical, on the lower end of that scale. So we wanna make sure that we're being as useful to you as possible. While you're doing that, thank you, Simone. That's right.

International expert in all things digital credentialing. So we're glad you're here. So as we get started, let me introduce myself. I'm Elizabeth Miller. I'm a director here at Instructure focused on the platform formerly known as badger, which is now called Canvas credentials.

So, helping Lots and lots of higher institutions around the world get connected with digital badges and, all the value that that can bring. Let me introduce you to Mike Simmons, and Mike, you're still on mute if you haven't, kinda grabbed that piece of the world yet. Mike does business development and strategic partnerships for AACRAO, which, Mike, you'll have to tell me what all those letters stand for because it's too many letters. For me to keep in my head? The word salad is American Association of collegiate registrars and admissions officers. That's that's an impressive acronym.

That was that was great. So, really every rare to star in the country belongs to Acro in some form or another And, they do a lot of, kind of policy work. I don't know why I'm telling people about your organization, Mike. Maybe you should tell us a little bit about what acronyms I'll stop talking. Well, you're you're started down the right road.

Yes. We are a membership organization. We think we're the oldest higher education association starting in nineteen ten. A group of registrars met and associated. About half our members are registrars, and the other half are enrollment professionals and admissions enrollment and other things.

So we I remember as touch students at every point in life cycle from recruiting to graduating to post graduation for transcript everything in between, we have a touch point with this due to the journey, in in the process. We have about fourteen thousand members at twenty seven hundred institutions represented. That's awesome. So, Mike and I have known each other for years, He, ran the digital badging program at University of North Texas several years ago and used the badger platform for that. So we've been, kind of talking about these things.

For a long time, and it felt like it was time to take those conversations a little more public, primarily because we have, We have some there's some big movement going on right now in the ecosystem you may have heard that, parchment has joined the Instructure family along with Canvas credentials. And so that, that is a direct connection into registrar's offices all over the country where parchment does, digital transcripting and a lot of other things. That's that's a very shorthand. And so Well, we we come at this from the platform space, from the educational technology, and that tech stack that schools use for all sorts of different purposes. With the Canvas LMS and with Canvas credentials and now with parchment, in the mix.

So there'll be lots more coming out about that relationship over the next several months, but just wanted to kind of, note that connection that we have very directly now into the registrar's office and just love that. So let's just get jump right into this conversation. Mike, what what in your kind of view of the world is the current state of digital badging, in in higher ed? Well, that's kind of a loaded question because you you need up what we are gonna discover here today just even the use of the word badging. Mhmm. Because of the eighty eight people on this call.

Mhmm. There'll be seven different views of what badging is. A badge is what a digital badge is. And so, get to that in a in a little bit. So my first point is what words you use depends on, you need the current state the situation.

Yeah. And second, it depends on who's answering the question. So if I'm an instructional technologist, my answer is one thing. If I'm registrar to know that if I'm a learner, it's another. So it's Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. It's it varies across the, Uh-huh. Uh-huh. But generally, I take two views.

One day, I'm half full and one day, I think it's the next greatest thing since white bread, and the other day is, like, who doing this. I think if you if you look at numbers, it's not a great way to look at it. Like, none of us can prove that this is overwhelmed higher education employers yet. The numbers don't say that. Mhmm.

But if you change your framework and then ask the question, what is the current state you come out from a different perspective and ask, well, what are we trying to do here? If you look at it from a learner's perspective, then you can start to answer the question. Like, because I can't answer how many employers are doing this. I can't really answer how many schools are doing can't really tell you how many vendors, you know, there's all kinds of metrics we could use, and they're probably not as impressive as the update would be. But the value and opportunity for the learner is so tremendous that it eats most of us. Busy in this.

Hope that makes sense. Yeah. It so let me just and maybe that we can just lay down some markers because I think there's some definitional things that will help us all to get just a little more aligned. You're absolutely right. We use the words.

We say the things. And they mean like so many different things to so many different people, depending on your perspective, depending on kind of your role in the ecosystem, are you faculty, are you a student, are you an employer. So let's can we start here with, like, what a credential is? Because we we're gonna use the word credential with all sorts of precursors and in all sorts of kind of context. And maybe this is the place that it makes sense to kind of start because there are tons of different kinds of credentials in the world. They take all sorts of different formats.

Right? So So so let me give you the the official sort of registry, accrual definition of a credential. It is a documented award by a responsible and authorized body and it tests that an individual has achieved a specific learning outcome or attained a defined level of knowledge or skill relative to a given standard. Okay. That's a lot. That was so impressive, though.

Like, I'm like Right? I almost memorized that. But think of it, though. It includes a lot of things. A degree, diploma, a license, a certificate, a badge certification, you can go on down the list. All those are credentials And then the other twist on that is when we say digital credentials.

Mhmm. That's an inadequate term because a PDF is a digital credential. So we're gonna work through today sort of the the progression of of how to critically view conversations on this, see where someone's coming from in order to understand what they're talking about. And we hope to give you some guidance on that. On that.

And and maybe because this is one of those places just in the nomenclature, because one of the problems that we've had a lot in conversations that we're having is that the credential is the thing, I'd like that that lovely little definition that you had Like, the it's a representation of learning issued by a responsible that I didn't I didn't memorize at all, but, like, that is a credential And then there's a representation of the credential, but we also call that a credential. Right? So we frequently just those two things are We just shorthand that as a credential. So a badge is a representation of learning issued by a responsible and something else body, right, that's verifiable, but it we also think of that as a digital credential. So it's a little bit fuzzy and there's, the the kinds of credentials that are being awarded is expanding. Like the stacks of learning, that's expanding.

And the format that the credential is being represented in as a PDF or as a digital badge or as a learning and employment record, that's also expanding. So it can get just a little tricky. And so we definitely wanna think about kind of where the where the trickiness lies. So Let's do, let's do one more kind of definitional thing if we can, Mike, and, sorry, I lost my control over my deck. We're gonna go backwards.

So This is a slide from one of your decks. Can you just talk about kind of what this slide is about for a little bit? Yes. I was at this in in a presentation last year. And it's not expanded fully because it would free you out, but you see the little numbers under each of those boxes as a sampling of the various organization definitions of these terms. So I'll give you an example.

I mean, traditional transcript, that's easy. Right? Alternate are the credential Well, there are four different variations on that depending on who you talk to. If you're an academic, an alternative credential is one thing. If you're, continuing professional education, if you're an industry, I'm going down the list, but the point of view is as as you walk around these things Mhmm. There all the same thing, and they're all different.

And that's the challenge. So so let's start. And, because I'm just gonna walk around these real quick to to to use the example. So we'll start the traditional transcript. I think all of us know what that is.

Mhmm. But it can also be represented digitally in a badge and all and all these other things, right, a traditional transcript and be in l a r, a c l r, and my potential match. I'll turn to prudential credential. Right? Right. Yeah.

If you go credential, we talked about that. It's a bunch of things. It can be some of these other things. A badge. I can have a badge of my transcript.

I can have badges within my LER. Uh-huh. I can have a bunch of badges that make a micro credential. Mhmm. Etcetera.

Not not to beat this to death. And micro credential has some specific definitions in the academy. One being at the subset of courses. Many of the, you know, in the academic side, you know, that is certificates, undergraduate, undergraduate certificates, micro credential is is analogous to that, but sometimes it's just a digital collection of those things Mhmm. The YELR comprehensive learner record.

That that was a common term for a while. An Acro was, you know, one of the Riggs who came up with that in one point fourteen, and we've moved on past that. Mhmm. Now CLR is basically a technical standard It's still a description that people use. I mean, there are there are plenty of people still saying CLR voter record, and it's fine to use.

It absolutely is fine. Right. Our folks in the business community, the chamber of commerce, and others have advanced the conversation to use the term, l e r, learning and employment records, which would then imply that that record goes through your formal education and then through the work for us. Mhmm. And it can include all the other things.

Right. And alternative credential is a mishmash a a name when you can't think of something, we'll call it an alternative. So you see the point with a lot of crossover, there's no real way to represent this well, And and what I wanna say is just be sure, a, you know what your definition is based on your context, b, make sure you ask the person whether it's a vendor or a other person. You're talking to what exactly are you talking about when you say badge? And if if you do that, then it doesn't matter so much that there's an official definition. If you're talking the same language as the person you're talking to, Yeah.

And that's that's the key. Right? So Elizabeth and I talk about badges. Mhmm. With other po folks, I talk about LERs. Mhmm.

And with other folks, we have a paper on alternative credentials. So it just depends on who you're talking to. I think that's such a great cue because there is some confusion. There's and there's overlap and there's things that are there are definitions that are just advancing. Right? But a year ago, we wouldn't have used that word that way.

And now we do a year ago, we would have used a different word entirely. And now we're we've kind of all moved to this one. So as you're having these conversations internally, as you're having them with, with organizations like Acro, with EdTech providers like instructure, and parchment, and Canvas credentials, it's really important that we all just kind of basically understand what we're talking about. So a real specific example of something that, has caused some friction in some of my conversations, is using micro credential and badge to mean the same thing. So and I don't think of it that way.

A badge is the data object. Right? It's the little digital data container that has a pretty picture on the outside of it that contains all of this data, this information, about what the learner has done. The what the badge represents, it could be the completion of a a module in a course. It could be the completion of a course. It could be the completion of a stack of courses It could be the completion of a degree.

A badge could represent a for credit achievement or a not for credit achievement. It can, it It can be issued by a higher ed institution or a k twelve institution or a professional learning organization or a corporate entity that's doing learning and development for its employees. So the badge is just a representation in a particular kind of digital format. Micro credential in our little world these days is a stack of learning more than a course less than a degree maybe super organized and rigidly defined, maybe more loosely organized and defined, like, a minor used to be in in higher ed, but a micro credential can be represented by a badge, but it could also be represented by a PDF, it could be represented by a section of a learning and employment record. So, like, that just that one little untangling of the nomenclature I think helps.

It it helps to fix up, one problem, right, as you're having these discussions. Internally, and as you're having them elsewhere. So I had something here. Oh, please. Real quick.

Real quick. Yeah. Of course. We want you to not freak out and freak out same time. Right? You you could spend hours talking about how many angels dance on the head of this pen.

But at the same time, we need to come to someone some more common understanding in order to advance the conversation. So if we later talk about what what things are slowing this down. Yeah. I think language and and definitions and terms is a major problem. Yeah.

But it's not something you have to forget. It's just something we have to deal with. Yeah. I can I love that? I love that that note because, You could spend hours and hours of your life if you really had a burning desire to, and acro has made some strides and kind of really trying to nail some things down to say, and we'll, we'll share with you, during this webinar and after. Just a little stack of resources and one of those is kind of acro's attempt to say, okay, let's get some of this nomenclature just aligned so that we all agree on it because it honest to goodness, it just takes a lot of energy.

Right, to, like, circle around these things over and over and over again when it's probably time for us just to know. I mean, honestly, if I said LMS to anybody on this webinar, you would instantly know what that was. And you might be using There may be, you know, fifty different learning management systems, systems represented here, but nobody has any confusion about what an LMS is. It means what it means. And that's so we're looking for the nomenclature in the digital badging digital credentialing space to kinda get to that generally accepted space.

So this is our little next set of questions, and I think we've I mean, one of the specific barriers that we've covered is just how do we talk to each other about these things so we can make some progress. Are there other specific barriers that you feel like we've kind of, like, have we have we made some strides and gained some ground? That that you're noting, in accrual? Yeah. Ironically, I think the tech has largely been overcome. Mhmm. I think we're as as, you know, five years ago when both of you and I started working together ish, and we're trying to actually make something cobbled together that worked.

It's not a problem anymore. I I can walk out and literally buy a number of of credentialing badge, all kinds of systems. And so so I think we've overcome the tech. Love that. Standards.

The the marketplace and interoperability are kind of works in progress, but those those to me are not the the remaining issues. But there are some barriers that are lingering. And one of those is language, and we've beat that to death. If I beat it a little bit more. But the but the, the other ones that come to me are sort of the international component of the conversation.

Because as as Simoneay and others on the call, we'll testify we we don't operate like other countries in terms of this conversation or our education system or our education system, and therefore, the movement across. But it present an opportunity Mhmm. To to have learning mobility, learning move crop system and the structures. That's what this does. And so then I think the other barrier is struggling with what the role of higher education is in this conversation.

Mhmm. Mhmm. We're being pressed on that. Because higher education is is not perhaps delivering what is needed or in fact they're not adopting fast enough, and we'll come back to talk about that. Any relevance to the employers is still a little bit of a barrier.

Right? If we reframe it and think about learners, not the main point, but we can't ignore the fact that the majority of employers are still not clamoring for a a digital credential as part of process. Right? And we can't ignore that. Mhmm. So I think those are some barriers. I'm gonna listen to you.

You have others that you've thought of. Those are kind of the ones that that say top of mind for me. I just wanna I just wanna expand on a couple of those. So learner mobility, so a very long time ago, when I went to the University of Texas, I stepped into a four year bucks. So it's a four year box, and you're there, and then you're you're done.

Right? You finish and then you leave, and there wasn't really a tremendous sense, unless I wanted to go back for a graduate degree that I would ever kind of wander through that campus again and pick up little pieces of learning. That And there wasn't some sense that I was going to grab pieces of learning from six different institutions over that four years or ten years or whatever it was, and I was gonna kinda put that together in a way that made sense for me and my, my life and my goals and my, hopes and dreams. And mobility now, would, you know, thank you interwebs is critical for learners who are most of them are not gonna step into a four year box on a single campus. And finish up, get a degree, and move on with their lives. So that mobility element that digital credentials can provide Can you just talk a little bit more about that mic? Can you give us like your one minute download on on what the value of mobility is for for learners? Yeah.

I can. And and we've flipped around on that in the sense that we say learning mobility instead of learner mobility. Okay? I like it. And and let me tell you why. The subtlety is what the challenges is moving your learning, not moving you.

Right? Yes. So what we want is you're learning to move across experiences time and place. And so that means, you said academic degrees, but it also means gills and experiences, evidence, and artifacts, the things that we all take through life, how can that move forward? And so that's the promise of these types of innovative credential is they have the potential to carry that learning and make it mobile across experience and time. Yes. Yes.

And make it possible to, stack that learning in a meaningful way that is machine readable, which I think is kind of super critical for where we are right now with how the labor market looks at potential employees and some flexibility in how those things are are stacked together and what it means once you've got that stack of learning and who verifies it and who, you know, who is the body that says, yes, that is that is good. For these particular purposes. Okay. So learner learning sorry. I'm gonna Learning.

I'm gonna Okay. My Nomenclature. Learning mobility. Mobility. That's right.

And then say a little bit more about the role of higher ed because as you might imagine, I talk with, you know, dozens of schools a month who are and and all sorts of different parts. Of all sorts of different kinds of schools. So from community and technical colleges, little tiny ones, in little, you know, remote rural places to giant r ones, in in big places with all sorts of complexity around all of that. How do you see the role of higher ed kind of shifting, like, in the current credentialing learning mobility environment? Yes. So in a macro and a micro perspective, and there's a big middle that's challenge.

So at the micro perspective, let's say you talk to the community college here in East Alabama, and they have a credentialing program for their welding certificate and a partnership with the employers locally. Perfect. Great. Yes. That's thirty three students.

One academic program, three faculty, and two employers. Right. K. That that's not scale. That's a great example.

And so you like, I talked to people all around where those things happen. A a department will have something, a continuing education we'll have one program. That's not higher education. That's specific instance, the the, programs. So that's a good start.

Yeah. But the scalability of those is is what has has been in question. On the macro level, and and this gets it sort of the the next or hear the friction stuff on the macro level, how many of us are seeing these field faith, field faith, field faith, we're everywhere we look. How many of our state, and I think the number is thirty six, have workforce initiative calling for skilled faith hiring, skills based employment, skills based education. Last time I checked, most of my education, it doesn't use that language, and most of us don't do that.

Now community colleges have a leg up. Mhmm. But they but they still, last time I checked our issuing grades and the skill estimate. So we've got a a language problem and a practical problem. And I joke with our registrar colleagues, and if you're on here, you'll get this, registrars don't use skills.

But that's we do great, and we do other things. But that's the conversation and the translation. So you've got this big picture employers want, and the economy needs, and workers should when high and higher ed is perceived to not be moving fast enough, it's perceived to not be meeting that it needs. And and we've taken the position. It's not that we're not.

It's just that we're not demonstrating that because we don't use the same language. We we don't use skill based records. Yeah. We don't But we say learning outcomes, and we say program, you know, the fan season. Right.

Right. And to translate those into public facing employer friendly for the learner is our first burden. Yeah. But then for the, you know, the the employer's notice, it's a second burden. So that's that's sort of the big picture.

I'll figure why higher yet, I think, is sort of in this at a small level all over the place and not so much in this at the macro level because of those issues. It's just hard to make the switch, but these credentials, innovation credentials have an opportunity to help us make that switch. That's why we're so, passionate about it, which they can move higher education to a next stage. Okay. So this is that's exactly the connection that we've been struggling with for a while, which is We can we can, push on the string that connects higher ed to employers, like we can say, here, we're we're doing these things.

Employers go go, like, here, look, there's this string. But what really has to happen is that employers have to start to pull on the string. Right? That's what is gonna drive things and move them because pushing a string is this is not gonna get you very, far. So that signal Like, that's an interesting, kind of construct. Right? The signal of grades is something that employers have been interpreting in really sorts of fuzzy ways for a long time.

And we're saying the signal should be skills alignment, and there are lots of skills taxonomies in the world, Wgu has its own with thirty two thousand skills in their, in Western governor's, skills taxonomy for its courseware, Lightcast has another thirty two thousand, skills taxonomy. There's lots of skills taxonomies that can be adopted and crosswalked. There's are some interesting things around capturing that language, and a traditional transcript doesn't have space for skills. Right? It doesn't have like, it it would be fifty pages long. On the other hand, a learning and employment record can be a machine readable stack of skills aligned data that can be read.

Not I mean, it's definitely human readable, but that but its big value at scale is machine readability of that data. Okay. So that's really interesting. And maybe this is a good place to just talk about this, and this is one of my, I like this slide because it's super colorful. So, well, here we go.

Let me, it it which is the idea of how all these things stack up from skills. So and this is part of this deck, so you don't have to kind of read all of this. But when we talk about kind of starting with skill and then gathering a bunch of skills together and representing them in a badge and then pulling a bunch of badges together and representing them in a pathway. And aligning that all inside of a larger skills taxonomy. So you're saying, well, this stack of learning aligns with this bunch of skills, and then taking all of that and loading it multiple taxonomies, multiple pathways, multiple badges, multiple skills represented, into a learning and employment record, which, which is then contained in a digital wallet, that it can start to help to see where these pieces fit together and the skill, like a single skill, is the smallest grain size, Thank you, Cheryl Grant, for grain size language.

It's the smallest grain size that then everything kind of stacks together into a an accretion as it were of skills, that now you've got something that an employer can look at and say, OIC, you possess this set of skills that makes you valuable in this role. I mean, is that is that kind of how Acro is thinking about it too, or is this is I just like the pretty colors. Yeah. Let me let me layer on couple of things. What you just said, I'm gonna I'm gonna push back on a little bit.

Okay. I want the learner to understand this first. That's the primary thing. And learning, you know, the whole fancy word for those meta cognition. Right? We all in education strive for meta cognition.

That's students will know what they know and why they know it and all that kind of stuff. And and essentially what you're doing with this level of process is pushing back to them. Did you realize that that happened? And by the way, not when you graduate, you get a transcript and lift your courses. You're not likely to find that out of that, but as you go along or at least in some record that has this level of granularity Mhmm. You can actually as a a learner understand what you've learned and and begin to curate it and begin to showcase it.

So that's a a little bit. And and the other thing I'll lay on, I know we have a lot of instructional, design folks, and, you're teaching and learning and academic folk on this call. And so I wanna say to you, this process is analogous a little bit to the design. But this let let's look at the rub points because if if you've done this like I have, you know, okay. First thing, the problem is skill.

The average faculty member is not gonna use that word. Your creditors aren't using that word. Right. And your institutional effect in this team is not using that word. Yep.

And you take learning and program outcomes. And, yes, you can. And these taxonomies are allowing you to do that. So that's problem number one. Badge is a container.

Right. At what level is the granularity of the faculty assessment. Right? Is it at that individual code of an assessment equal a badge how granular you get, and that's a conversation with your faculty depending on the course. Pathway is part of the curriculum design program, and there's a governance path there. Taxonomy is generally disciplinary that age school is gonna deal with.

And then the record, well, okay, if you're put into a transcript, fine. But in this case, you you have an opportunity to do more because evidence artifacts and and, machine readable information that explore so much more of what has happened. Is the LER in the wallet. So there's an if an analogous to the process that most folks are used to, that is not different. Mhmm.

But you just have to flip a few of these knobs Yeah. And adjust it in in the academic process. And that's where another point at higher ed is struggling. This is not a new process. For higher ed.

It's simply the the words and the outcomes can be different because of the technology changes. That makes sense. It and I love the, the view, the, like, the learner's view of this because you're absolutely right. Being able to know what you know and articulate what you know in the language of the market you're speaking to. So if you're speaking to your professor, you articulate your knowledge in one way.

If you're speaking to your employer, you articulate your knowledge in a different way, And so you have to you have to have have a real solid understanding of what you know, and then you have to be able to kind of figure out who you're talking to and what you're talking to them for. In order to express it so the the the know what you know piece is huge. So I love that. So okay. Good.

So let's talk a little bit about kind of, acro registrar's place in all of this because we've and I'm gonna, moved back to. Sorry. My slides are slightly out of order. But here we go. I'll get them back in order soon enough.

Alright. So let's talk about registrars, and their place in all of this. So we, for years, the badging conversations happened completely separate from the registrars. A lot of the badges being issued by our higher end clients were not for credit. They were in continuing professional education or extended education or CTE or whatever we're calling that.

And so it was not for credit. And so the registrars were like, fine. We don't care what you do. May I'm sure they cared, but it's they just didn't have a a, like, a dog in the fight for not for credit badging. So like, talk a little bit about registrars generally.

And I know there's some registrars on the phone, so this will be, this will be good. And then, like, when when you start to connect registrars with digital credentialing, kind of talk a little bit about that intersection. Mhmm. So, I I I never assume that people know what a registrar is, but basically that's the person at an institution or the legal responsibility for the veracity and validity of the learning record. Mhmm.

Yeah. And issues of student privacy like ferpa and other things. In fact, Probably other than the general counsel, the registrar has the most legal responsibility on their shoulders of any versus at a at a university. And and since behind the scene, keeping the tracks running on time, where do you think the core the courses get set up, and the registration's done, and the enrollment the kind of stuff that just keeps the place running. So that's that's what our folks do.

But it's not so much. What they do. It's what they represent that it's important. So a a claim is only as good as the, Yeah. Clamer.

Right? And it's only as good as as the truth of it. So it's Right. Quality and integrity. So so the registrar function is responsible for maintaining the quality integrity of the credentials and record that the institution represent. That really is the fundamental principle of what you're trying to achieve with any of these kind of credentials.

In other words, you have value, and we've heard the phrase potential, though value as opposed to, I participated in something. For this, the value that have the institution name on them, they're they're a process for these. And what what registrars are trying to do right now. Let's figure out how those prospecting apply in the new world of Rick. I believe god and there's to say when someone has a degree, that means something.

We have a credit age. We have all the things. And I think frankly, The transcript is still the fundamental employment document in the world. It still is. Now, you know, we've complained about the transcript here, but you know, push come to shove, and ninety eight percent of the time, they're gonna ask for your transcript and your first job.

No. Fine. Let's go from there and see what else it can do and and make it better. So we don't have to go back and make a case for the transcript. We have to make a case for making it better.

You've got quality integrity, validity, and voracity, but which are sort of the same thing. And the faculty, and that, you know, that have some responsibility there, but that's really function of the registrar, and that that should be what, is behind any potential. Those principles so whether the registrar is actually announcing that practice at an institution is a debate or or not. And that's a debate we're having internally with our members in our recent survey, you know, about half said they were involved in in innovative credentialing conversations. Which is concerning only half.

And and another, few percent said they were aware of the conversations that weren't involved. And then there's still a good percentage who weren't aware of anything happening and weren't involved. So does that does that mean, you know, what does that mean? For for our folks, then we're trying to grapple with that in the sense of how can we empower them to be in that conversation? Not not being in charge of that conversation, but apply the principle that I just said, do the conversation about credentials. So if everyone knows that if we're gonna put something out, it has to be reliable. It has to be invalid.

We have to, you know, vouch for it. We have to know the identity issues. All that have been the things that come with quality of credential That's the registrar's job. And so how can that that happen in institution if it's not the registrar fine, but those things have to happen. For credential to occur? So can we talk a little bit, because that I think that's so important the legal responsibility is something that I had not really thought very clearly about with registrars before you and I started talking about the role of registrars in this whole digital credentialing space.

So that's really interesting. The the fact of truth claims, right, that a registrar is making a truth claim that has to have quality and integrity and validity. Like that piece of the conversation is something we talk about in digital credentialing all the time because a badge is making a truth claim, and it has to be come from somebody, some from some valid institution, It has to be verifiable. The truth claim has to be. It like, we're really talk it has to be trusted, so we're talking a lot trust, and that's both kind of human trust, but also, trust in a digital space where trust has a different kind of wait to it? Can I trust that this data is what it claims to be? And so we talk about that a lot.

So it feels like there's a real that there's an alignment all that already exists with registrars and how they view the world that we could really, like, we could, put some states in the ground around that to say we're also thinking about making truth claims and validity and, verifiability in the digital kind of badging space. I mean, is that does that make sense? I wave my hands a lot Fortunately, everyone can see my hands. So it's great. It does. And so so as you think about this, if you're at an institution, You know, lots of times credentials happen around the registrar Mhmm.

Because of the perceived barrier by the registrar. So understanding the registrar registrar's legal responsibility and the governance processes that are in place for curriculum, people will often say, well, I'm not messing with that. Okay. Fine. That's a process problem, but it also represents the the thing you're missing.

Right. So if you if you are ignoring those quality assurance type things, then and don't have those built into your process. Mhmm. That's the challenge. It's not that everything has to go through a registrar, but an institution has to decide how it's gonna enact those principled absent it going through the webinar.

Mhmm. Yes. I mean, the registrar, sorry, is it what I'm gonna register. Yeah. I I I fill that in, in my head.

So you didn't have I mean, you could say it too. So let me give you an example that I have found really interesting Technical College System of Georgia twenty two schools across the state. Is not and they use a single student information system. So they've it kinda sits on top and everything funnels up through there. And then, of course, a learning management system at every school, and in some cases, a couple of different ones depending on kind of the evolution of, the learning design there So they were for a couple of years awarding badges out of the LMS, and that made sense.

You complete a course, you get a badge, you can automate that process. It's pretty snappy. And then they wanted to start awarding badges for four credit courses and representing all the four credit courses across the system, across those twenty two schools. As digital badges, and micro credentials as stacks of those course level badges. And so they went to the jar, the owner of their student information system, and said, this is what we wanna do.

What do you wanna do? And so now they're awarding those four credit badges directly from the student information system. So whatever the registrar says is complete, Like, because it's not just past the course, right? It's past the course, pay your tuition, return your books to the library. Do people have books from library anymore. I had to return all my books to the library before I could get a transcript. So that was very painful for me.

So it And so now those badges, tens of thousands of them this year. I think they'll award seventy five thousand credit, representing badges to students across Georgia. And when we're talking about learning mobility, in a technical and community college system, students tend to move from school to school because they're kinda regional and they have programs that they wanna go tap into. And now they've made all of that learning fully mobile via the representation in digital, four credit digital badges. So I thought it was brilliant.

Like, I had very little to do with it, but I watched it evolve and thought it was just that it was super smart and pulled the right of start into the middle of that conversation. Said, this is what we wanna do. Can you make that happen? And they did. And the resulting perception is that those things are suddenly real. When whether we agree with that or not, it it doesn't matter.

Now they have a a certain validity in the in the public and student perception that they didn't have before. And we can argue all day whether that's the right thing or not. It's just the reality right now. Yeah. I I think it it's an it's gonna be, like, this is where the conversation has more evolution, right, where where we're gonna try this We're gonna see how it works.

We're gonna see how employers in Georgia consume and understand those badges, which carry the brand of the schools. Right? I mean, these are they've been super deliberate, and they're explicit about the skills that the badge represents the acquisition of and they're pulling from that light cast skills taxonomy for that. So they've got kind of a defined taxonomy that they're drawing from. And I think it's gonna have a real impact. But again, like, we're trying some things.

Like, we're going, is this gonna work Certainly, the the leadership of the technical college system of Georgia and the state of Georgia thinks it's gonna work. So they've got They've got kind of top level, validation for for what they're doing. So it's kinda cool. Alright. So Let's, I I wanna I wanna get this last question because I wanna tie start to tie this up.

And let me just say to you, if you're on this call, yes, there's gonna be a recording and the deck will come along with it. There will come along with it a stack of resources for you, just about a half a dozen things that we think could be useful. For your own conversations and your own spaces. You'll have our contact information in there too so that feel free to reach out. But right now, if there are things that you're like, I wanna I really wanna explore this a little bit more or push a little bit on this.

Please use the Q and A. We're gonna we're gonna answer this last question, tie off this conversation, and then we wanna we want you to have a chance to, to, to get in the mix. So, so and Mike, we may have already answered this. When you look at the value proposition for digital credentialing, what resonates most with registrars? I I think we did answer that question. What resonates most is that they don't particularly care that they lead the conversation.

They particularly care that the principles and premises that they operate on are, in place by the institution or the issuing organization. I love that. And you have started to move this conversation forward. There's a stakeholder's coalition that can you the ins that Acro is kind of, heading? I I don't know what the tell me a little bit about is this Yeah. Just real quick.

The the premise being that just like on this call, there are people representing a variety of functions on a campus stakeholders. We have people in the Provos office. We have IT people. We have continuing it people. We have instructional design people.

We have faculty. Right? All those people have a stake And what we've found over time is that and you probably found this, through through your work list, but credentialing starts with generally a single entity. And then it moves up that silo. And that's just the nature of organization. Right? So, in particular, faculty member, get the you know, be in their bonnet and wants to do credentials.

So they start giving, candidates credentials and badges in their class and, and they Okay. Fine. That's that's super duper. You've got a cap on it. Right? Right.

Yeah. So they're stakeholders at every campus, and I just named a few, but you've also got your career center. You've obviously got the faculty. You've got the IT folks. You've got registrar.

If you've got in your education. Mhmm. And and you got institutional research. Believe it or not. Yeah.

Other folks. And so each of these stakeholders on the campus is represented by a national organization. And you call it, Nate, a NASA, the, you know, going down the outskirts group of all of us, Mhmm. And what we're doing is coming together to try and bridge the gaps that happen with our that don't happen with our members on campus. So, like, a the average registrar is not gonna think I could look at the resources that educause has because my CIO is getting their stuff there Mhmm.

Or ups ups the edge, putting out some wonderful stuff on the quality of credentials that, I could look at and be really feeling pretty good about what they're doing. So that kind of, collaboration up here and then push it out to our various respected members. And as of the coalition, we represent every institution we believe, every institution in the United States, Mhmm. And which would mean every student. So in that, there's power, and that's a, a two year project that we've just started and our friends at, the Walmart Foundation have have just chosen to fund that.

So look for more on that. Can we help? I love that. The siloing of this information and the work is can be a little painful because there are some fantastic ideas and and kind of work coming out of Apsia. And NICE has been doing this for, forever. And EduHA has some cool stuff going on.

And if you, if you can kind of, like, break those silos down and get everybody to get aligned on Nomenclature, figure out how we get employers to start pulling on the string, like, there's some big things that that coalition could do. So I'm super jazzed. I know that you really just started it. So, I won't make you, tell us any more about it, but it's That is that is exciting work. So thank you for doing that.

I wanna start to answer these questions. So in the q and a, Simoneae Hyde, Did you see that one, Mike? Can you see that? I did. Okay. Do you wanna do you wanna take that one? Let's see. The money is quail.

Where'd it go? You know, yeah. So, do you see the registrar role? Oh, yeah. Right. Right. Right.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. In terms of skills, like, I joke during it already, stars don't do skills. But, you know, the and I'm gonna throw in this word.

We haven't spent it the whole time AI. We we're working with a number of of of folks who can't. So it's not a it's not a challenge that an individual instructor can translate their learning outcomes to the skill of faith statement. It's not a talent that we don't have framework. It's a scaled talent.

That's right. Right? If I've got sixty sessions of a course at a large university, which means, you know, fifty three instructors to get that happening across all of them, etcetera, etcetera. So we're working in in the idea that you can have two sides to a coin. I've got to learn handle cones, which is what the academy and the creditors expect. Mhmm.

And I've got the skills facing statements, which is what the employers and learners need, you can do both. And so there are there are tools coming out that scale that, and we're trying to help our members first understand that that's not a conflict. It's an opportunity. But as is pointed out on here, the system don't pick it up. Like, you can't really do that on a regular transcript right now.

For example, you know, you've got to have a a enhanced version of a train script. You can't do that at a sub course level and look at the system. You can't, you know, lift a set of fields, except on the syllabus, and that doesn't show up later. So all the practical thing, or or where we have to work with with our members and others to get this to happen. There's another question here about communication between bad things that They're like Mhmm.

Mhmm. We we have an example, you know, we're we're working with the the talent triad statewide wallet here in Alabama. And the non credit, and I'm not gonna name vendors, but there is a non credit system, which is issuing credentials just well. Right. But it is not connected to the credit credentialing system, and it's the same vendor.

And so, even though they're gonna have conversation as a national organization, we're asking that vendor, really. I mean, really, you you can't even connect in your own product. And it's kind of an embarrassing, you know, awkward silence. So we're working on those kinds of things, but, Laura asked that question. And I think that is, you know, other people can answer, but it's either a one off solution or you've gotta find a vendor.

But I think, you know, Elizabeth has open badges interoperability that that that's an important conversation to have because when you go that direction, your credentials are more likely to be ingested and movable across systems as opposed to a proprietary type system. And I know, for example, your your credential, the, you know, infrastructure against our more interoperable than from others, and they will log into systems that, and and go across systems that make them more usable than others. Right? Yeah. Yes. And that that really is kinda puts us in the kind of the open bag was three point o conversation, which is learner owned data that, and, you know, they can manage I mean, there's some there's definitely some friction there, some things that have to be worked out.

But then the system is pushing out data and the data falls into the control as it should of the learner. And at that point, the system becomes significantly less important. Right? It just it's just the generator of the data, the packaging of the data, and and So that's gonna change things too. Like, that the the introduction of Openbadge three point o is gonna have a definite, it's gonna be slightly seismic. Well, well, so what you've done is what good presenters don't do is leave the biggest, harriest question for last And we all have to say, what happens when students own their own records? Yes.

They own their own identity. And they don't depend on any of us for that anymore except the contribution to it. In other words, I'm no longer spelling you your transcript. Time, and, and no entity controls it, then you control it. That's that they change in the way we all do business I think that's a great question to leave with people who are not gonna answer it.

No. There is no answer to this question just by the way. So that's That was a little mean. You're absolutely right. And I'm very sorry for anything with that.

I will tell you that there is a lot of good information kind of already in the ecosystem. If you wanna catch up, if you feel a little behind, and you wanna kinda catch up to where these conversations are, This is certainly going to advance, over the next year or two or five, and there's lots of gray smart, insightful people doing lots of great work, including Mike Simmons, who I'm so glad that we were able to have this conversation it's been super interesting, for me. And so, and I hope for everybody on this call, thank you to, to Joanna, for monitoring the the chat for us. We'll if you have other questions, our email addresses are gonna be in the, in the deck that we send and in the follow-up email, So we're happy to engage those. Please do not ask us everything about Openbadges three point o and what it means for all of us.

You know, but we're happy to engage. This is this is an important topic, and you won't be bothering. So please email if you have any comments or questions or ideas based on what we said. I'd love it. Alright.

Thank you all so much for your time and attention I know your days are busy, and this is important work that you're doing. So we're very happy to have had this this time with you, and I will leave you. I'll actually leave you with this slide. If I can. There we go.

There's our email addresses. So thank you all very much. We look forward to the next time. Thanks, Mike. Thanks, Taylor. Thanks Joanna.