eCampusOntario leads micro-certification framework development in Ontario post-secondary system
TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2019 /CNW/ – eCampusOntario is driving a harmonized micro-certification system among Ontario higher education institutions and the workforce by leading the development of a common set of specifications, deploying a micro-certification platform and hosting a community forum.
According to RMIT University, micro-certification is the official certification of an acquired skill or capability. Compared to traditional education credentials, micro-certifications are shorter, often shared across networks in digital formats, and tailored to employer needs. Micro-certifications verify in-demand skills and help match work-ready employees with gaps in Ontario’s labour market.
eCampusOntario, a consortium of all 45 colleges and universities in Ontario, is promoting a province-wide perspective on micro-certification. In collaboration with representatives from 12 Ontario colleges, 9 universities, and 10 employers, eCampusOntario published a set of living principles and a framework that provides high-level guidance for micro-certification development in local academic and workplace settings. Public and private sector employers involved in the framework creation process included the City of Toronto, LinkedIn, Shopify, the Regional Board of Economic Development, Toronto Public Library, and IBM.
Dan Piedra, Assistant Director, Continuing Education at McMaster University states that, “micro-certifications have made it possible to view skills and the knowledge of individuals with a specificity that has never existed before. They provide a view to the inner potential and capacity of learners and help to answer the question of what an individual is capable of doing because they have proof of it which can be shared. eCampusOntario is a key player in leading Ontario’s post-secondary institutions through the consistent application and development of micro-certifications”.
Dr. Audrey Penner, Vice-President, Academic and Student Success, echoes this sentiment of adaptation in the higher education landscape. “eCampusOntario is leading the way in Ontario, in terms of micro credentialing by way of micro-certification. This is a complex issue and colleges are working with eCampusOntario to help define and refine the process, implementation, and outcomes of this innovation in education. This is about the digital world’s impact on the world of work and skills development. Individuals will want to tailor their learning and credentials to their work environment. The world of work is changing and post-secondary education will change, as well.”
Funded by the province of Ontario, eCampusOntario continues to build connections and pathways between higher education and the workplace through a series of pilot projects that will test the principles and framework. In February 2020, eCampusOntario will host a full-day forum to discuss the outcome of those pilots and, through that exchange, build collective learning for those committed to rethinking how learner skills are recognized within the Ontario education system.
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