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Demystifying microcredentials: Prestigious Halifax university among first to institute digital recognition method

Digital badges can increase employment prospects
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Have you heard about microcredentials but are not really sure what they are? Information can be confusing with “microcredentials” meaning something different across Canada.

What is similar, however, is that they recognize the skills or competencies that are relevant to employment and come in the form of a digital badge that can be shared across social media accounts like Facebook and LinkedIn. 

Dalhousie University was one of the first post-secondary educational institutions in Nova Scotia to explore microcredentials and has now issued more than 1000 to date. 

Since launching in 2020, Dal has discovered that microcredentials can be meaningful to learners for many reasons.

Dr. Dianne Tyers, Dean of the Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development at Dalhousie states, “whether you are starting your educational journey, engaged in a post-secondary program, or considering changing or advancing your professional career, our Dal Microcredentials are designed to offer you an industry-validated recognition of capabilities that matter to you, as well as your current or future employer.”

Dal Microcredentials support learners by enabling them to build unique portfolios that complement their educational achievements to date and highlight their skills across different sectors or interests. They support learners at all stages of their professional growth.

“We have all had those interviews that ask, tell me about a time when…”, says Cindy Russell, Senior Manager, Microcredentialing at Dalhousie. “It is our hope that with a Dal Microcredential you can speak to what you are able to do, the degree to which you are able to do it, provide an example of when you had to do it, communicate that confidently, and provide the evidence through your digital badge.” 

Russell goes on to say that “Dal Microcredentials reflect the skills or competencies that you often find in employment postings or job descriptions, making it easier for individuals to showcase their suitability for a position, and providing a level of assurance to the employer that the person is capable of performing in that role.” 

Current or future employers can verify the microcredential by simply clicking on the digital badge to see a description of the skill or competency, the manner it which it was assessed, the name of the person who received the badge, when it was issued, and when it was last updated. 

Microcredentials can further support employers, communities, and professional associations by increasing their ability to rapidly respond to emerging business needs.  “We encourage employers to reach out to share their training/learning needs, or work with us to develop a dual-branded microcredential that carries the weight and reach of the Dal brand”, says Russell. 

As the number of Dal Microcredentials continue to grow, so do the types of learning experiences offered by Dalhousie.

Microcredentials may be earned through bootcamps, workshops, or modules, online or in-person, or courses that stack into professional certificates allowing learners to take the time they need to pursue their lifelong learning goals. 

Those interested in learning more about Dal Microcredentials are encouraged to visit the Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development’s website here or contact us at micro@dal.ca

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