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In this conversation style interview, Margo Griffith and Professor Mark Brown, Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University have a wide-ranging discussion on the European approach to micro-credentials. Their discussion explores the mindset that education is a 'public good' in Europe, how micro-credentials support lifelong learning in that setting and his experiences in helping to establish a whole-of-Europe framework.

Chapters

Introduction
Summary of the European approach and definition of micro-credentials
Building the European micro-credential roadmap - current and future
The drivers of micro-credential development in European countries
Considerations when co-creating micro-credentials with industry partners
Real-world example of micro-credential co-creation with industry
Storage, verification and portability of micro-credentials and digital credentials
The impact of true innovation disrupting the traditional learning eco-system
Having an ethos of 'education as a public good' fosters diversity and transformation

Individual chapter videos

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Transcript

Margo Griffith (MG) - Hi everyone, I'm here to welcome Professor Mark Brown to our conversation today. Mark is Ireland's first Chair in Digital Learning and the Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University. He has decades of experience in the digital learning space before he began his esteemed career in Dublin, he was the Director of the National Center for Teaching and Learning at Massey University in New Zealand. So we are claiming him as one of ours.

Mark, you've been heavily involved across the globe in many organisations focused on digital learning, student success and more recently, micro-credentials. So I'm hoping that you will summarize for us today the European approach to micro-credentials and really share some of the amazing projects that are being undertaken across Europe and particularly the ECIU group of innovative universities who I know have a very bold vision for the future.

Professor Mark Brown (MB) - Well, thank you very much for that introduction, and it's nice to be introduced as a New Zealander, by someone from down-under and it's in many respects a privilege here living in Europe. But I still bring that down-under perspective to life. And I think that's one of the enriching aspects of being in this part of the world.

But to answer your question, there is a lot happening in Europe right now. I'm going to use the metaphor of a road map, because all roads at the moment appear to be leading towards micro-credentials, rightly or wrongly, actually - and we may get into this outcome - but the European Commission has really been leading the charge with trying to provide a policy framework for all member countries. So something is done in a more coordinated way.

And I'm sure many people will be aware that different countries around the world have been doing things with micro-credentials. But there's a lack of common understanding, lack of shared definitions even, so, the significance of what's going on in Europe I don't think can be underestimated when you have a block of countries trying to adopt what's called a European approach.

That said, and I'll stop on this note for now, it's incredibly complex what's happening so I can explain some of the threads and why it is so complex. But it's certainly significant.

MG - Thanks, Mark, and I'm glad you touched on that, because when I've been investigating and researching and reading everything that comes up around the European approach, there are just so many things going on that I really do get a little lost in, you know, which thread to go down. Where would you start?

MB - Well, I think I'll start with the European Commission because the Commission has an interesting role in education. Each member state sets its own policy agenda, its own frameworks for education. It's responsible, each country is responsible for education. So the commission can only nudge and set policy architecture, encourage support with funding.

And the funding is not insignificant, I should emphasize. But the commission last year, actually, really before COVID decided that it wanted to help to produce something that would support a more European-wide approach because observers were seeing what was happening - New Zealand was well known for having started with something that was linked into the qualification framework. It often gets acknowledged for that. But the United States similarly, more at a state level, which is kind of a little bit like cowgirl or cowboy land with all different manner of things happening with badges and the like.

So the last thing in Europe, and it's kind of around European values that a whole of European approach. So the commission formed a
large consultation group. Well not huge, but it's certainly a wide number of stakeholders. For whatever reason, I had the privilege
to be able to serve in that group. I sort of say for whatever reason, slightly tounge-in-cheek, because my own background is around
providing access to education. I actually don't like necessarily sort of just, you know, interested in new technology in teaching and learning. And so when I was at Massey University, New Zealand's large distance and online provider, I had responsibility for that portfolio so I come with a long track record of trying to grow access to education and support lifelong learning. And so there isn't an accident that I'm around the table in a number of places.

What happened, of course, is COVID of came along. So instead of having interesting and long meetings in Brussels where we tend to go the base of the European Commission, we met virtually and that was in itself quite a challenge for quite a sizable group. But we had a series of meetings to try to produce something as a European-wide approach.

Of course, the very first thing we needed to do and many people listening to this might be wondering what the heck is a micro-credential And that took us a number of months - in fact almost a whole year - and I'm not sure we've fully resolved that. We have produced a European draft of the European definition of what a micro-credential is, some cornerstone principles underpinning 
that definition about proof of learning, the need for assessment, transparency beyond, shall we say, warm body badges, that are
sometimes referred to.

So - needing to have, we often talk about three C's, the currency of a micro-credential, I'll refer to a macro-credential to start with for people who are not as familiar with this area. We all understand what a degree is, a macro-credential, if you like. So we're talking about the micro version of that. And it just so happens, actually, you know, the degree, the macro-credential is not quite as consistent as we might think it is globally - in some countries degrees are four years some they're three, variations across disciplines. So we don't actually begin with quite the same solid foundation as we might like to think we do with macro-credentials.\

But nonetheless, the commission's work to produce in the end, published in December, quite a substantial report defining what a micro-credential is in the European context, and then producing a roadmap for how we might go forward to, in a common and shared way.

MG - Wow, is all I can say, I know that was a few sentences, but that's a huge, huge body of work. Once you had to have that definition of the micro-credential, what was the next step?

MB - So in many respects, we're still working on that next step. And there are a lot of analogies that are used around micro-credentials or metaphors, you could say where, you know, we're building the plane, while we're still in the air. A great comment came through from a Canadian last week I think it was or the week before that micro-credentials are a bit like catnip for politicians or for perhaps university Vice-Chancellors or Presidents.

I mentioned at the start that all roads are leading to micro-credentials, but there are a fair few back roads and some of them were broken bridges that don't connect. So right now we have a framework, shall we say, of a road map. What we're trying to do at the country level, at the state level, is align that into the European road map and put more flesh or detail or shall we say, to the back road into something that ultimately might become more like a highway. And we're all on the same road. So I think it's very much the case that this is I mean, it's a cliche that it's a work in progress. And I think we are still at a very early stage.

It's quite notable that only two weeks ago, probably even less than that ,10 days ago, the European Commission has issued a public consultation process on micro-credentials. So I think this is very encouraging because as a policymaker, if you want a policy to be effective, if you want a policy to be owned and understood, consultation with a big 'C' is crucial.

And whilst in the European context, sometimes that can grind things down and slow things down. Ultimately, if the end goal is that we want micro-credentials to be highly credible, to have currency like a degree does, to be recognised by employees, employers, to be valued by employees, then all of this, I think, is crucial work. And Europe, the Bologna process, which is essentially very influential in many parts of the world, including down-under, because it's the process that provides mobility across qualifications. Recognition of what credit value is the aim is to have micro-credentials fit in to the European qualification framework. And that in turn would align or other countries will align with that. It's just so influential. But there are also lots of things going on.

If I use the roadmap example at the country levels and Ireland is leading the way in many respects as well. Finland is doing quite a lot of work and one of the challenges, because me, of course, not English speaking my first language. Italy has a huge investment in various initiatives in micro-credentialing. But here in Ireland, our government, through digital transformation funding for teaching and learning for universities, has funded 12 million euro for the seven Irish universities to work on a national micro-credential platform. So a small country like Ireland, similar to New Zealand in many ways, if you can't do it in a very small country with coherence, then I suspect that would be pretty hard elsewhere.

So you have those different initiatives going on at the same time. But in micro-credentials, we must not lose sight of industry initiatives.

And MOOCs are a little bit of the middle-ware in many respects, because the evolution of the MOOC, what we're seeing is MOOCs and micro-credentials now becoming almost synonymous. And in particular, the MOOC platforms are reaching out and partnering with industry providers and universities in some cases, but not always. Some of them are industry led. And what I often argue here in Europe is if all we do is take the macro-credential and turn it into a micro, and there's a question of how small is small, then we will have lost an opportunity to have fundamentally transformed - I'll use that word - our credentialling landscape or ecology. And what I mean by that is - we need to reach out and have more of our stakeholders, not just industry, but also community groups -t there's a great example in Canada just recently of a micro-credential in well-being and workplace well-being in partnership with the university - but that's coming out of a community organisation.

I'll stop on that note - there are just many things going on and you might want to expand or ask me to elaborate on any one of those.

MG - Yeah, thanks, Mark, you're right, there are just so many things going on, and I thank your for that overview, it's fascinating. For me, you mentioned Ireland, you mentioned Italy, you mentioned Finland. Why do you think those particular countries are sort of moving ahead with micro-credentials, what are the driving forces, do you think, that are pushing that forward?

MB - Yes, so I speak a lot about the drivers because I think the drivers help us also try to figure out what the definition is and then what the end game might be. And it's a bit of a slogan, but I frequently say that micro-credentials need to be in the service of big ideas - they are not the big idea themselves. And I'm even critical of my own organisation in some respects because we've just established a new position with a responsibility for micro-credentials. I've seen this happen in Australia. There a number of universities, leading universities with that focus.

The reason I'm critical is - should we be focusing on micro-credentials or should we be focusing on lifelong learning being the outcome, or should that be employability or other things? So, one of the challenges, I think, around micro-credentials is that there are different ends that people have in mind.

Right now because of COVID - and this is certainly my reading of what's happening in Australia - there is a focus on employability, upskilling and the influence of agents, like agencies like the World Economic Forum with claims that 50 percent of employees are going to need upskilling within the next five years. Certainly influential. The changing nature of work cannot be underestimated and is real. But I think there's a lot of myth and misinformation packaged with that.

We have heard for probably about 30 years now. In fact, the original source for this claim that 65 percent of jobs won't exist in the future has not ever been found. That is just something that's become one of these truisms that's quoted. But the research shows that there's no evidence to support that. There are many jobs that haven't actually been lost. They've morphed, they've changed, but they haven't been completely lost. Now, I wouldn't say there aren't going to be jobs, and again, AI is real.

So we have a number of different drivers, one being employability, another being, in Europe, lifelong learning is actually a very important tradition. It's part of what it means to be European, for the Scandinavian countries as I mentioned Finland lead in this area, but there are other factors as well. And if we look at our education system, arguably it's a product of the 19th century, certainly not the 20th century. And so the idea that we could somehow front load people by sending them off to kindergarten play centers, I mean, and then they go off to school and do their number of years, they acquire their various qualifications. And we can argue whether the way we measure and assess learners is still relevant. And then if they're lucky, they'll go off and do further education in a College, University, a TAFE and once they graduate from there, our idea that that's it! You've had your education for life - that was my experience...

MG - Mine too!

MB - And I'm unusual because I came back as an adult. But this does not make sense. So put aside employability. If learning is life and I repeat that learning is life, if that's the ethos and the mindset we want to embrace, then of course we're going to want to have just enough just-in-time, just-in-case opportunities to keep learning. So for me, this is about mindsets more than anything else.

MG - Mark, I know that there is almost a hyperfocus in industry at the moment around the need to really reskill, upskill the current employees that are there within corporations. How do you think universities or learning institutions can work with industry in a meaningful way to actually make that happen? So as I was saying, this is part of what micro-credentialing is about as a movement.

It's again, the narrow focus on just micro-credentialing. We want to look at the use a bit of a cliche again, in some respects, what does
Higher Education 4.0 look like? And I mean, it's not really because Industry 4.0 is real. We do need to be a little critical of some of what we're being told. But we would be pretty naive if we didn't think that there was going to be this ongoing transformation through the nature of work through technology, and that has implications for our educational institutions. Of course, they're not with universities are not just here to produce people for jobs, but we would be pretty naive again if we didn't think that that's what many of our students are actually wanting.

So and the work that we're doing, we're looking for ways that we can work with industry and not just delivering students with different skills. Because another aspect that I haven't touched on is a development of more transversal future skills, soft skills - people have different terms, and they're not all necessarily the same - But that's, again, a recognition that knowledge by itself can be become
pretty redundant, obsolete quickly.  And there are certain skills that are required - that the ability to work in teams, to problem solve, critically think - these are all things that employers tell us they want. So I have a little bit of caution there because I'm not sure they actually always employ people with those. But nonetheless, the opportunity to work much more closely alongside industry partners in a co-construction or a co-design model.

The value of giving students the chance to do internships as part of their learning. As part of the degree in my own university is a very high proportion of students. That's part of the ethos of the particular university being a younger university. Those links tend to be part
of what we've done from the start.

But recognising also that there are and not just when I talk about industry, I'm not just talking about big corporates. There are different professional bodies that have their own standards, their own requirements that need to be met. So to be alongside and influencing those, because equally, some of those professional standards, whether they be lawyers or whether they be for construction workers - I actually gave a talk last week for the entertainment industry that is very interested in micro-credentialing and I'll elaborate on that shortly for why - to show you the different drivers, but basically being able to work alongside each other so that we're informing and learning from each other and in the end, supporting the kind of learner that we might want going forward.

But just to give you a little of how complex it is when you start doing that alongside industry and professional bodies. Last year, we our team was involved in a national survey of micro-credentialing in Ireland, which included employers and employees as well. And only half the employers had any sense of what micro-credentials are. From the employer and employee perspective, when one embarks on some professional development, in many cases that's recognised in their contract, and if they happen to require a macro-credential or some kind of recognition that's identified in their contract and the award that the union may have negotiated, then they might get a pay rise for that, or they may get a promotion.

It's recognised, built into their, their professional frameworks. Micro-credentials, have no recognition currently at all because they just don't exist. They weren't there. So in order for those to be built in to, say, that contract at a national level, the unions would need to be involved in that. And those negotiations typically happen on a - not necessarily an annual basis, but on a three to five year time frame. So there's certainly a lag there.

In Europe, one of the combined unions came out very suspiciously about micro-credentials last year in a report because, again, macro-credentials have status. They're recognised - so micro-credentials are being seen as somewhat suspicious and even a form of deskilling because of the fact that on-the-job training by itself wouldn't be recognised and provide the mobility that a macro-credential does. So, again, there's lots under the bonnet.

if I want to take the road map analogy and then put a car there and say we really do have to think through this very carefully.

MG - Well, thank you for that, and I truly had not thought about the union aspect of that, and gosh, that feeds back into one of your big 'C's and that's currency for employees. If that's not there and won't be there for some considerable time, then yes. Where are we going with micro-credentials and where are they going to land? Interesting stuff.

MB - Just to come back to the entertainment, or event management example, because it is a really interesting one that made me have to think, because I come from a university perspective and I'm actually trying to almost talk about universities needing to change in the way they do things. I would say that we shouldn't expect universities necessarily to be re-engaging in new ways of 'credentialising' when it's our very credentials that are the ones that have the elitist status. So it's not necessarily in the interests of universities to threaten their status with lots of these micro-credentials unless we capture that area.

But the entertainment slash event management talk that I was giving, they're interested because they go to different set ups for different gigs and they have no control over the venue typically. But they pay a fortune for insurance. So their scaffolders that need to put up the lights, they also typically employ a lot of casual staff or local staff. So knowing that someone has the certificate that knows how to put up the lighting, as an example, for an event means that they can arguably reduce their insurance liability because they can show that their staff, the labor are adequately trained to do the job.

So that has nothing to do with a credential that necessarily builds into being a degree qualification, for the micro-stacking to the, to the macro. And I often talk at the definition level, of seeing it on a horizontal and vertical axis, in that some, if you think stacking type micro-credentials building up together are more like lifelong learning stacking. But then we have, like, wide-learning where we're not necessarily doing things that are connected - I might be interested in keeping bees and I can do a course on bees, but similarly I might want to learn something about cooking and I can do a class that leads me to have a micro-credential. And that's not for work purposes, but it is equally valid you could argue, if the end goal is to have people who are committed to their lifelong learning and development.

MG - Couldn't agree more. And it also leads into then, the notion of where do you store those - like where's the container for all of those credentials? And certainly when you touched on the aspect of certification for compliance around insurance, I mean, that's a very big market from my perspective, and crucial - but where do you store it. I mean, I think and I know that there are lots of people looking into this notion of a skills passport or a skills wallet. What's your thoughts on that?

MB - Well, whilst I don't get too much under the bonnet to use the expression I used previously around the technical platforms - they do matter and - from a university perspective, I can only speak on behalf of my own university - if we understand that our credential is actually the thing that we issue that really does have value in society and the way it's regarded - so that's what universities have as their credentials. You can argue whether the curriculum is as valuable or as relevant as it should be and that will vary from one university to the next. But that piece of paper, or now digital credential that's issued, really is important.

So if we're going to start issuing micro-credentials with our logo or letterhead on them, we do not want those to be all around the world unless we can verify them, because we know that fraud in this area is already quite common with macro-credentials. And we have to go through to verify those, particularly when we accept international students. So if we're going to be issuing thousands, even millions of micro-credentials, somehow you've got to have a means of recognising and verifying them and perhaps in a way where they, to save the overhead costs, because otherwise you can have a very large university opening emails every day asking to be verifying various qualifications where employers and employees, citizens can go in themselves and do that. So it's basically seamless.

So for that reason, yes, back-end platforms really do matter. It's a quite an ironic twist in many respects, because Digitary, which I know is used in Australia and New Zealand universities, is now the platform of choice in Canada for the universities, began many years ago at Dublin City University as a startup, and it still has its head office here in Dublin, only a stone's throw from the main campus of the university. So we have a strategic partnership with Digitary, we are fortunate last year Digitary issued our macro-credentials, so we're committed to a working - not to suggest we're solely committing ourselves to one platform or one company - but we're committed to something that is credible, that has international mobility and scale. Understanding the real challenges in Europe, just like elsewhere, there are many different platforms emerging, many that would claim the blockchain is essential to this. I'm still not convinced right now. I am, I sometimes say, you know, you actually don't need a platform for a micro-credential. If all you're doing is
issuing a certificate. That's a micro-credential. Of course you do, if you want to scale up.

But where the European Commission is really, I think, going to ultimately be incredibly influential is we have a thing called the Europass. It has been around for a while and and it's Europass vision one was essentially a glorified electronic CV that you can upload. And every citizen is able to do that. Fairly one dimensional. What the commission is doing is putting millions, if not more,
into the development of the Europass as the one-stop-shop platform for micro-credentialing. Well, not just for micro-credentialing, actually, for your portfolio, for your profile as a citizen. Anything that you have done, you can upload into this.

So whilst I don't think there will ever be a single micro-credential platform, what we're talking about here is interoperability. So anyone who has a micro-credential or platform that's capable of issuing badges in the future will be constrained if they're not interoperable
with the Europass. I'm involved in a project we were piloting, trying to get our micro-credentials working within the Europass and bringing all the information that needs to come with that, all the metadata, the ability to look at the evidence that sits behind it.

Because, again, this is about what do employers really want to see? Do they just want to see the certificate, the badge - or do they want to understand what you've done? I lean towards, what I'm much more interested in when I'm employing someone, is their trajectory. Where, what's the kind of curve they're on? Is there real evidence that they committed to their own development and lifelong learning? That's the kind of person we want to employ because they're going to be committed to re-learning and un-learning and continuing. So I want to see that evidence, not just the badge itself.

MG - I'm very happy to hear you bring up the word evidence, of course, the company that I work for, that's our main focus is all around the evidence of learning. What does that look like? How does that align to your skills? How does that reflect your personal skills and competencies? So it's very nice to hear you talk about the evidence of learning as being important in this whole ecosystem.

I do think, though, there's a lot of energy being placed globally around getting our language right. Getting a shared language, whether that's a shared skills language, whether that's a shared language around competencies or whatever it is, I know that there are various pockets around the world focusing on that. I would think in an attempt to sort of make a little sense out of the chaos and try and see if we can have that eventual interoperability, not just on a structured data level, but on all levels. How much do you think that will slow things down? Or is this, is that a necessary step?

MB - Well again, what I want us to do with micro-credentialling is use it as a vehicle for truly transformation and if you like, I know these are buzzwords or I had a colleague that used to call them aerosol words - you spray them around and they sound good, but they kind of disappear, there's no substance - but disruption.

Here's an opportunity, a disruptive movement. You could argue that this is a once in a generation opportunity to rethink the 19th century credentialling model that we have, which is still pretty enshrined in most countries. And so the example of the ECIU universities - a bit of a mouthful - the European ECIU stands for the European Consortium for Innovative Universities, and my own university, being a younger, under 50 years of age university, with innovation in its DNA, has been a member for many, many years, several decades. And so there are 13 institutions, 13 universities plus in addition to that, take the Monterrey and Mexico, which is a very innovative university as an associate member.

And just for your listeners, Dublin City University is Arizona State University's European partner. So we're very privileged in many  respects that we're able to take advantage of, and learn a lot from, what is known as the US's I think for about the fifth year running
now, these various awards that are given out the most innovative university in the US and it and it stands for trying to do things differently in terms of university education. So there's a network here that's quite powerful.

What we've received is quite a sizable amount of funding from the European Commission to develop micro-credentials, but for a whole new ecosystem for, for learning and higher education. But even when I use the word 'higher education' that suggest it's only a small part of the ecosystem, when I was referring previously to work with industry partners, it's very much part of what we're trying to do.

So, we are developing micro-modules that learners can share across the partner universities. Whether that's part of the curriculum
or the co-curriculum, it can be either or at the moment - this is still very much a work in progress. We've offered up to 70 in the first
iteration of these micro-modules. We're planning at the moment to shoot for the new academic year, for us which starts in September, a suite of really signature micro-credentials, we're calling them ECIU Creds that focus very much on the kind of high-level skills that employers tell us they want. So there'll be a select number focusing very much on transversal skills, twenty-first century skills, and then there will be things like data analytics or data literacy.

So just like we perhaps now see, digital literacy is quite important in today's age, data literacy is very important. So that will be one
of the micro-credentials and the advantage for us as a consortium is that we can pool our expertise, our innovation. We may not have the same capacity and just one partner university or one university to do a particular knowledge area of the main. By partnering, we managed to harness the expertise that exists across the partners. Ultimately, though, all with a view to give learners a much more enriched and transformative learning experience.

So that's a very exciting project. And that gives not only an insight into perhaps a different model, a different type of ecosystem, but first hand experience on how challenging it is. It's hard to get two universities truly working and collaborating. Getting this group - and we're talking here, also we're - in many respects in Ireland we're fortunate because you could say that we're Europe's now only English speaking country as a first language, but we're talking across multiple languages - Interestingly, supporting multiple languages is also part of what we're trying to do, being multilingual with micro-credentials, that the skilled employee of the future, if you really want to future-proof your career, you need to be multilingual.

This is something very foreign for many of us down-under, particularly if we haven't had a European background in the way we were settled. So and that's really fundamentally about what it means to be European, to be multilingual, to be, to have mobility across borders, to be multilingual.

Another one of our micro-credentials is going to be on active citizenship, which is perhaps linked into intercultural awareness, understanding what it means to be a citizen and an active contributing member of society. And so that's more true to, shall we say, the principals of a university in a true-er sense, but at the same time, things like data literacy and other really cutting-edge areas like the Internet of things (IoT) where there is clear skill shortages, that's the focus of what we'll be doing, when in that consortium.

MG - Brilliant, well, it sounds like a model that a) should be watched carefully, but b) would be wonderful to attempt to replicate in other areas of the globe. However, I think your statement earlier probably leads to why it's happening in Europe and not in other places. Is, it's that ethos of education of the public good and that...

MB - Yeah, I was going to say that there are many good things about working in this part of the world, there are elements where perhaps we could be more businesslike, not 'a' business, but businesslike processes. But on the other hand, the reason we've got 12, 13 universities sharing and willing to share and collaborate at a deep level is because we're not seeing ourselves as competing with each other in the same way as we might in a smaller ecosystem, smaller fish bowl in some respects, not trying to be disrespectful,
but it is most definitely a different ethos and a different role that universities in particular play. European universities, are actually quite small in comparison to Australian universities, and particularly the idea that you could have a university of ninety thousand students is mind boggling in this part of the world.

But they're unique. They add their own flavour within that ecosystem. They have a niche, if you like, habitat within the wider ecosystem, and diversity and richness comes from that. So we're better for that variety. And if you think even the ecosystem analogy or metaphor is quite a good one in many respects, because the future of any species plant or animal depends on its adaptability as the environment changes. So the more diverse the environment, the more arguably you are ready to adapt, you're being prepared to adapt. It's the very reason my own university, that ecosystem it's sort of metaphor I've given you, why my own university chose to get into MOOCs, because we wanted to position ourselves not to showcase our wares on the global stage, but to learn how we could do things differently in a different sandbox. Position us for what's coming.

COVID, I think, showed that those institutions that had made an investment in new models and particularly digital infrastructure 
and different ways of doing things were far better positioned. In our case, it was not a difficult pivot, not to underestimate how  challenging it was, but that advanced work we had done really positioned us.

MG - Yeah, I think the work that universities who had started that transformation process, prior to COVID are the ones, frankly, going to survive in a post-COVID world. Couldn't agree more.

Mark Brown as usual, it has been an absolute delight to talk with you. I thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I thank you for sharing your thoughts and views on the European approach to micro-credentials, and I wish you all the best with your myriad of projects that you have your fingers in. So, thank you so much.

MB - Well, thank you very much. And just to make sure that I'm only one of many people that are working in this space and we all need to join up to and activities and opportunities like this to share our thinking and learn what works and what doesn't work.

So I'm very interested to see what's happening in Australia in particular, because there is certainly momentum in this area. It's just how we scale that up is one of the large challenges we all face.

MG - Thanks.

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Credentialte Guides - Learn Micro-Credentialing, Digital Badge, Skills and Employment BasicsThe world's first Credential Evidence Platform

Launched In 2019, Credentialate is the world's first Credential Evidence Platform that helps discover and share evidence of workplace skills and analyse competency achievement across an institution like never before. It automatically extracts data from your LMS and issues a digital badge with an embedded personalised evidence page. This unique page details learner achievements using qualitative and quantitative data and can be issued together or separate to the digital badge. Available for the first time globally through Credentialate, is a suite of Skills-First Evidence Alignment tools - such as a Skills and Competency Library, Evidence Matrix builder and Framework Alignment - which recognise and support the burgeoning skills economy, and enable educators to apply backwards-design to micro-credential development. Credentialate was developed by Edalex - an edtech company on a mission to surface learning outcomes, digital assets and the power of individual achievement. Founded in 2016, Edalex brings together the team behind the CODiE award-winning openEQUELLA open source platform that centrally houses teaching and learning, research, media and library content.

Find out more at: edalex.com/credentialate

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