Micro-credentials (also known as Badges): Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some FAQs about micro-credentials that may provide you with some insight.  

  1. What are micro-credentials?
  2. What are the type of micro-credentials that I can earn?
  3. Why are micro-credentials valuable?
  4. So I earn a micro-credential – what do I do with it?
  5. How do people earn micro-credentials?
  6. How is a micro-credential different from a certificate?
  7. Will I still get professional development points or continuing education credits?
  8. Do micro-credentials cost money?
  9. What can I do with the micro-credentials I earn?

What are micro-credentials?

Micro-credentials (also known as Digital micro-credentials) are digital representations of educational achievements. Just like pins and medals earned for skills training, micro-credentials represent the completion of requirements set by the organization issuing the credentials.

The credentials that teachers earn at the beginning of their careers are often referred to as certification, which are awarded in a particular area of instruction. Micro-credentials are awarded for smaller, bite size learning or mastery of skill awarded for the demonstration of very specific competencies. What comes with a micro-credential is not a certificate or a diploma, but a badge. Think Boy Scout or Girl Scout Merit Badges—learn or demonstrate a skill, earn a merit badge. But rather than requiring cloth and a needle to apply, these new badges are purely digital.

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What are the type of micro-credentials that I can earn?

Participants can earn micro-credentials for ABA Basics, Cerebral Visual Impairment: The Basics, CVI: The Basics, Transition Planning, and more.

Check out the Micro-credentials page for a complete list of currently available micro-credentials.

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Why are micro-credentials valuable?

Metadata is embedded in the micro-credential and therefore has the potential for becoming part of an online record of achievements. By simply hovering over the micro-credential with a mouse, the specific information (description and competencies) about that micro-credential can be viewed. The micro-credentials provide information regarding who issued the micro-credentials as well as the competencies that were attained in order to get them. Teachers can "collect" the micro-credentials in a virtual portfolio, often described as a "digital backpack."

In other words, a micro-credential not only represents mastery of skill, but can also be a tool that shows colleagues, employers and potential employers how mastery was achieved. In addition, micro-credentials can be used to build identity and reputation within learning communities and create pathways for continued learning.

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So I earn a micro-credential – what do I do with it?

Since the micro-credentials are digital, they can easily be shared on social media, displayed on online resume’s, posted to your Linkedin account or as part of your email signature. And YOU will be among the first of your fellow teachers to be doing this!

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How do people earn micro-credentials?

Learners can earn micro-credentials in a number of ways through online educational and training offerings. Perkins eLearning’s micro-credentials are earned by completing specific course material and demonstrating mastery through assigned projects and activities.

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How is a micro-credential different from a certificate?

Certificates are signed documentation that a participant has completed the requirements of a Perkins Professional Development offering. They are official documents from Perkins School for the Blind, but do not indicate the criteria that were required for that certificate.

Because digital micro-credentials contain data embedded within them, the micro-credential image itself is just the surface! Within the micro-credential, one can access the name and date of the course where the micro-credential was earned, and the detailed criteria required to earn it. The name of the participant and the program (Perkins eLearning) is also included, making the micro-credential specific to the individual who earns it.

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Will I still get professional development points or continuing education credits?

Yes, you will still receive documentation for earning credits or PDPs. Micro-credentials are a way of displaying the details of your professional skills and competencies.

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Do micro-credentials cost money?

The Perkins eLearning micro-credential program is built in to the online professional development offering. Earning a micro-credential for a particular class or set of classes does not represent an additional cost beyond regular registration fees.

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What can I do with the micro-credentials I earn?

Perkins eLearning participants may collect their micro-credentials in a digital Backpack, where micro-credentials earned through other programs can also be stored. Your  Backpack is managed outside of Perkins eLearning, and can only be managed and displayed by you!

Include a link to your Backpack in online profiles and digital resumes/CVs to give a powerful graphic representation of the specialized knowledge you have gained. As you earn more micro-credentials, you can group them in ways that are meaningful to your audience, whether that is by the organization that awarded them, or the subject matter they have in common.

Your micro-credentials, like other Honors and Awards tell others about your professional interests and experiences, and provide an in-depth look into the skills and knowledge you bring to your practice.

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How to display your digital credentials