Alternative Credentialing in The United States: A Lens on Experiential Learning
Concurrent Session 3
In today’s higher education climate, the path to degree attainment includes a myriad of credit alternatives including MOOCs, micro credentialing (badges), non-credit bearing certificate programs and various other opportunities. As these alternatives evolve from their experiential learning predecessors, institutions are faced with the opportunity to treat them as credit-bearing learning experiences. Options include prior learning evaluation such as CAEL’s Learning Counts, institution-specific credit evaluation services and credit recommendation services such as ACE’s College Credit Recommendation Service, as well as micro-credentialing such as MOOCs and badges. However, while these alternatives expand learning opportunities for students, little is known about how institutions accept and document these opportunities, as well as whether these credits can be applied to the students’ degree programs. Join this session to learn about the results of a research study that included six case studies of institutions that have been accepting various forms of experiential learning opportunities, or alternative credits for decades. This study, conducted by the OLC Center for Research in Digital Learning and Leadership, was commissioned by DEAC, Presidents' Forum, and USA Funds.