Microcredentials and Credit Hours

Microcredentials have been on my radar for a while, and the article ‘Rethinking Credit Hours and Degrees’ by James Thelen has brought it to the fore again.

Without teaching you to suck eggs the established norm is that, for example, a student needs 180 credits to graduate with a master’s degree. Each module within the degree structure is typically 15 credits, the student ‘earning’ this when they complete and pass the end-of-module assessment. There will be a dissertation or project, usually 30 or 60 credits, determining how many 15-credit modules are needed to complete the 180 credits required to graduate.

Microcredentials have been described as ‘part-module’ or ‘half-module’ learning; the learner completes a couple of these, gains the evidence needed and takes it to a sympathetic degree provider (‘Accredited Prior Learning’ – APL) and gains entry to their degree, sometimes this credit can be used as evidence of mapped learning against one or more modules.

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