OEPass: Open Education Passport

The recognition and transfer of individual credits through ECTS was created for an era of physical mobility, and is optimised accordingly. EU recognition instruments, such as the diploma supplement and the EQF, support the award of qualifications in the areas of formal learning, and are supported by recognition procedures for non-formal and informal learning.

While these tools can be used to support open education and virtual mobility, a number of caveats exist to their use, including that:

  • little to no guidance exists on how to document virtual mobility / open education experiences for the purposes of credit transfer;
  • procedures for recognition of prior learning or of non-formal/informal learning do not scale to the massive numbers of students enrolling in open education programmes such as MOOCs;
  • there is no European approach to recognising, transferring or scaling open education modules.

These problems are so pronounced, that many open educational providers are creating parallel systems of credentials that are not even described in terms of ECTS – leading to a situation where millions of students per year are enrolling in open courses offered by universities which do not necessarily award valid or recognised forms of credit.

OEPass intends to address these issues by creating a standard format for describing open education and virtual mobility experiences in terms of ECTS which:

  • addresses common criticisms (lack of trust) of open education, in particular with respect to student assessment and identity;
  • is scalable to hundreds or thousands of students through automatic issuing and verification of certificates;
  • Can capture a wide range of non-formal and formal open education experiences.

The project is divided into five stages