Mastery-Based Learning Design via Microcredentials

Promote personalized learning by defining mastery through scaffolded standard levels articulated through microcredentials.

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Photo of Summer Drum
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What an amazing idea, Matthew! This is super inspiring for me. As an elementary educator, I envision using this on a smaller scale (for example, the steps to mastering a particular unit). These individualized mastery plans could inform center and small group activities, and to help me with differentiation. Students could cover each spot with a sticker once they demonstrated mastery.

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Team

Sure! Or they could design their own picture/badge to glue onto an overall "competency chart" to show their progress and what they've learned. Getting students to creatively depict the critical aspects of knowledge in a pictorial or symbolic form is a great measure for deep comprehension!

Photo of Christopher Start
Team

I love this approach.
What sort of safety nets would be needed to catch students, early on, who struggle academically but may not qualify for a 504 or IEP? One thing a private high school does (Maur Hill-Mount Academy) is to have Independent Learning Time (ILT). For sophomores-seniors, this time is relatively unstructured, so long as their grades are high enough. For freshman students and those with lower grades, it is more structured. A key component for ILT is that the teachers are available to meet with students in the teachers' common offices.
A key difference with micro-credential system would seem to be establishing at what point does a teacher or staff-member intervene.

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Team

In terms of intervention, I think it comes down to what type of intervention is needed. Is the intervention academic, behavioral, or based on an exceptionality? In my mind, the purpose of this structure is not to lock students into a traditional system of credits or seat-time, but that rather the learning is what is most important. It expects students to meet proficiency/competency requirements without a given timeframe, while also giving them flexibility in learning timeframes, honoring the needs of the individual over the collective managerial desires.

Photo of John Faig
Team

I love this type of personalization because it provides some autonomy and shows students their strengths and areas of improvement. It could also help them find a mentor for help.