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OEPass introduced to the MOONLITE community

At the end of October 2018 OEPass and its sister project, MicroHE, were invited to be introduced at the first multiplier event of the MOONLITE project. The recognition that these projects have the potential to make welcome changes to the educational landscape, and make a positive impact on the lives of Europe’s migrants and refugees, was a sign that our dissemination efforts are bearing fruits even in niche circles of HE providers.

The extent and significance of the impact made by OEPass and MicroHE depend on too many factors to predict precisely, but as Higher Education Institutions won’t be able to swim against the technological current for very long, we can be hopeful that maybe this time they will seize the day and lead the way to establishing an open and shared credential infrastructure by opening up their own credential offerings and making efforts to validate and recognise that of others, regardless whether these credentials come from formal or non-formal education. If this will also result in better integration of disadvantaged people, such as migrants and refugees, into our European society, job market and economy, we should be doubly pleased.

The detailed programme and all the presentations – that were all recorded – are now available on the MOONLITE website. Click here to view the presentation on OEPass and MicroHE, or find the slides on Ildiko Mazar’s Slideshare.

OEPass at #EDLW2018

First testing of the Learning Passport

It is a pleasure to announce that the first phase of testing the Learning Passport was successfully completed by mid-October 2018.

The purpose of the OEPass Learning Passport is to systematically collect a set of precisely defined data and information about open education experiences which were identified as decisive factors for their recognition. The form’s content is closely related to the ESCO classification of European skills, competences, qualifications and occupations.

The draft template of the Learning Passport is intended to test with real education providers as to what extent their existing (micro-)qualifications can be transparently classified for subsequent recognition by third parties (i.e. by other Higher Education Institutions and/or prospective employers). For the purposes of this piloting exercise, a credential is defined as a certification of a qualification.

During the course of the internal testing, each project partner filled in the form by means of a real online course at his or her institution. The provided feedback is now evaluated in a feedback loop. The Learning Passport will be adjusted in the next steps and will be presented to the public soon.

 

3rd OEPass Consortium meeting in Malta

Since the project started in November 2017 this was the third time the consortium met face to face, and this time it was KIC’s turn to host the partners in Malta.

After an expert workshop held on Monday afternoon with 0xcert CEO, Kristijan Sedlak, and the subsequent consultation with the MicroHE partnership, we gained a very exciting and useful insight into how blockchain technology could potentially support our our efforts in semi-automated credential verification and recognition in a secure decentralised online environment. If you would like to know more about the meta-data standards utilised to facilitate the working of the MicroHE Credentials Clearinghouse, we invite you to participate in the public consultation set up on Github.

By the end of the meeting we wrapped up the internal testing phase of the OEPass Learning Passport, and after having discussed the conclusions, and producing the second iteration of this promising tool, a small team prepared a session to test it with the 2018 EDEN Research Workshop participants on the 25th of October. We wish that this will be an important step towards making the recognition of open learning a reality across Europe. The workshop in Barcelona is only the start of the Learning Passport’s public testing phase, please let us know if you would like to participate.

First draft of the Learning Passport

No common European format exists for describing qualifications and their learning outcomes: this hinders their comparability. We aim to create a standard format for documenting micro-credentials in terms of tokens such as ECTS using existing recognition tools and create a full-system for issuing, verifying and sharing micro-credentials, including methods and technology.

The first draft of the Learning Passport is based on a specific and limited-scale use-case for micro-credentials and it uses a specific set of meta-data extended from the ESCO ontology concept.

ESCO, a Europe-wide initiative, is the multilingual classification of skills, competencies, qualifications and occupations. It identifies and categorizes all of those which are relevant for the EU labour market and education and training, in 25 European languages. The system provides occupational profiles showing the relationships between occupations, skills, competences and qualifications – an ontology, taxonomy or a classification.

By introducing a standard terminology for occupations, skills, competences and qualifications, ESCO helps education and training systems and the labour market to better identify and manage the availability of required skills, competences and qualifications (Orlic, Crnko, Camillieri 2018).

In line with the ESCO mentality, the OEPass Learning Passport consists of information identifying the

  • awarding body (name, public key, etc.),
  • educational credential (e.g. title, definition, ECTS, ways to acquire),
  • credential type (title, definition, credit system issuer, etc.),
  • holder of the educational credential and their accomplishment (name, grade, credits awarded, student identification number, etc.), and
  • evidence (release date, modification date, etc.).

The final Learning Passport version will be uploaded here, after internal tests and a round of external pilots.