Monday, March 27, 2023

Microcredentials Plus™

The world of micro-credentials continues to progress. Following this year’s successful Micro-Credential Forum eCampusOntario continues to support the further development of micro-credentials as a core component of a modernized postsecondary education system. 

Last week’s Ontario Budget emphasized Ontario’s Micro-Credential Strategy with continued investment in the Micro-Credential Challenge Fund. And work is proceeding on a Micro-Credential Quality Assurance Framework here in Ontario. 

On the eCampusOntario Micro-Credentials Portal there are over 1800 OSAP-eligible micro-credentials. Some of these may stack into further certifications. We are continuing to develop the portal and for us, finding a way to denote where stackable micro-credentials ladder into other, more macro credentials, is important. 

These MCs should be called Micro-credentials Plus™ (MC+). 

Micro-credentials Plus™ would clearly signal to the learner that the micro-credentials they are considering ladder into further learning. The plus (+) means it is an additive learning experience; it builds on the learning path one is on; it adds up to helping to learn more in a given area. 

The stackability of micro-credentials is an important avenue for developing the full potential of microlearning. 

Stackability refers to the additive potential of micro-credentials when these are used to combine or stack into larger credentials (diplomas, certificates, degrees). As we outlined in our report with the Future Skills Centre and the Diversity Institute, “Micro-credentials are not intended to replace traditional forms of higher education; rather, they are often designed to be connected to or integrated into an established post-secondary education system. This describes the characteristic of stackability” (p 13). 

Currently not all micro-credentials are stackable. This makes sense as they are still relatively new. But there are many options currently that are changing the ways in which micro-credentials can fit into the wider educational toolbox. 

Here are some examples of stackable micro-credentials: 

  • eCampusOntario has a stackable suite of micro-credentials that support faculty professional learning for digital fluency. The Ontario Extend micro-credential gives people advanced standing in the Conestoga College Certificate in Post-Secondary Teaching. 
  • Humber College and the Future Skills Centre partnered on the development of Digital Fluency Stackable Micro-credentials for the Workforce 
  • Centennial College offers options for stackable micro-credentials – not all are stackable, but where feasible they are and this is a good way to frame the role of micro-credentials for learners  
  • Four of the eCampusOntario pilot micro-credentials are stackable:  
    • OCAD University and Myant, Inc developed the stackable Human Centred Design Micro-certification, funded by eCampusOntario, was featured at this year’s Forum 
    • Ontario Tech University and their partner Lakeridge Health created a stackable micro-certification program, “Interprofessional Practice in Healthcare on Care and Safety” 
    • Sault College and Project Learning Tree Canada developed a stackable micro-credential program for various competencies related to Indigenous rights and relationship-building in the forestry sector 
    • York University and Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada created stackable micro-credentials in patient navigation. 
And while stackability is important in the continued evolution of micro-credentials, this alone is not a defining feature. Turning once more to our report The Future is Micro

Overall, we heard that for micro-credentials to reach more learners, they need to have stand-alone value outside of stackability toward a larger credential. While the option of stackability may provide learners with more choice—for example, to continue or return to a learning pathway started through a microcredential—the message was that it should not come at the expense of a micro-credential that has value on its own.  (p28)

Finally, here’s a great overview by Kevin Weaver, president of Georgian College, on 6 Common Misconceptions About Microcredentials and Stackable Credentialing

Micro-credentials Plus™can be one way to signal the potential stackability of learning. Doing so empowers learners to continue in lifelong learning. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

The Spark of Ingenuity: Empowering learners with options

The 7th annual eCampusOntario Micro-Credentials Forum – Pathways for Jobs – concluded today. Over three half days we engaged with hundreds from across Ontario, Canada and indeed the world on how micro-credentials are reshaping the face of education today. 

It was gratifying to get to spend time together as a community, to share stories, experiences and ideas; and to collaborate on a common vision for the future.

Key takeaways include:
  • Empowering learners with options is an important foundational value of micro-credentials.
  • Listening to learners and employers is essential to standing up relevant and timely programs. 
  • There are opportunities to build on the needs of learners with stacking micro-credentials and to use these to promote further engagement.
  • Providing badges and other visible ways of demonstrating completion on platforms like LinkedIn is important for promoting conspicuous contribution and employer and learner engagement. 
  • Micro-credentials support a No Wrong Door approach to education: any point of access to education and pathways for career progression. 
Calls to action:
  • Sectors such as the mobility industry – led by OVIN – have articulated a clear vision for the skills and competencies employers need., Educational institutions have an opportunity to meet these needs today.
  • More broadly there is a need for PSE to engage with employers and partners in new, more agile ways. 
  • Micro-credentials have an “iPad conundrum”: People want them but might not know what they are.
eCampusOntario is the clutch that enables many gears (employers, educators, institutions) to enact the smooth transmission of knowledge. The eCampusOntario Micro-Credentials Framework has provided the blueprint for the Canadian conception of what a micro-credential is.We have tools to construct micro-credentials, and we help broker partnerships between employers and institutions. 

We look forward to continuing to support the future of education with options for learning. 

Below is a more detailed summary:

The theme of the 2023 Micro-credentials Forum was “Pathways for Jobs.” As a frame for our discussion here are a few facts that make the focus on how micro-credentials help put people into programs and into jobs timely. 

  • Canada has the second highest level of tertiary education in the OECD. 
    • Highest in the G7 – 66.4% of our population has a tertiary credential.
  • The majority of students entering tertiary education are mature learners. 
    • The PSE system was designed for direct entry from high school. These are now the (small) minority of learners entering PSE
  • These learners will continue to access tertiary education in order to reskill, upskill and pivot their personal career paths. 
  • Indigenous and immigrant learners are the two growing demographics that will be seeking tertiary education
    • For Indigenous learners micro-credentials are important avenues of access
    • Many newcomers to Canada already possess tertiary credentials; they need fast routes to labour market participation 
  • Fundamentally, Micro-credentials support agile participation in the innovation economy and our collective ability to address key challenges in the world today
    • Climate change
    • New technology integration
    • The Intangibles economy

These are all important shifts that we are collectively responding to. These shifts all emphasize the importance of providing new forms of education, like micro-credentials, to support social, economic and cultural resilience.  

Day one featured really thoughtful presentations by Tricia Williams, PhD and Sanjeev Gill whose presentations each discussed the importance of partnerships between institutions and businesses. There was great discussion about better linking of employers and institutions and the business models of providing micro-credential continuing education, and an exemplary model of this with the RapidSkills program at Georgian College, presented by Holly Burch-Hie, Mary Johnston, and Stephannie Schlichter. eCampusOntario's Alex Hughes, PhD provided insights into the forthcoming report our Research and Foresight team is producing on learner perceptions of micro-credential wallets - stay tuned for the release of this important look into the future of digital credentials!

Our second day, held online, featured engaging presentations broadcast live from the collective studios of the eCampusOntario annual Micro-Credential Forum.

Thank you to Rowan Smith and Rebecca Jamieson from Six Nations Polytechnic for opening the day with a welcome and land acknowledgement. I greatly appreciated your opening remarks and encouraging us to open our hearts and minds to learning.  It was a great way to start the afternoon of discussions.

Thank you to the Honourable Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities | Collèges et Universités for opening remarks about the importance of micro-credentials and how Ontario is leading the country in supporting agile educational options for learners. The Ontario Micro-Credential Strategy is helping to ensure that Ontario remains a competitive jurisdiction – able to help people rapidly retrain and reskill for all sectors of the economy.

And thank you to Steven Murphy, PhD, ICD.D, co-chair of eCampusOntario and president of Ontario Tech University. Your remarks about how we are collectively rethinking traditional credentials and how micro-credentials work effectively with traditional credentials are timely as we realize this opportunity space.

We had excellent presentations from Raed Kadri and Amanda Sayers from the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network who talked about how they are putting in place the conditions for success across the spectrum of inputs to the automotive industry: mobility as a sector, enabled by technology and fuelled by a complex amalgam of people, ideas, raw elements and minerals and the know how and drive to excel, together. As Raed said, "allowing innovation to thrive" is essential, and by working together we will succeed.

Adam Hopkins and Ashley Maracle from First Nations Technical Institute provided excellent insights into linking traditional ways of knowing and learning to micro-credentials with their approach to learning bundles. They also talked about their approach to PLRR: Prior Learning Recognition and Renewal – what a great way to acknowledge the experiences and gifts folks bring to learning.

Allyson Pele from the Northwest Business Centre demonstrated not only that the scale of entrepreneurship in Ontario is really vast, but also the power of micro-credentials to spark ingenuity. Micro-credentials are pathways for jobs, but these are for the job makers - the entrepreneurs - as well as the job takers. Both are essential.

We ended the afternoon with a masterclass presentation from Melanie Gomez-Murphy and Michelle Mouton from TALENT™ (Ontario Tech Talent). Theirs was "a story about relationships" - a common theme in the development of partnerships and the importance of listening – to the needs of learners, to the needs of businesses, and the particular contexts in which people live and work.

Our third day of the 7th Annual Micro-Credential Forum was opened with an address by Deputy Minster Shannon Fuller from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. Deputy Fuller outlined how micro-credentials are helping people build the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Everyone’s path is different and the focus on providing options for learning is important. The many components to Ontario’s Micro-Credential Strategy provide needed supports for learners, institutions and partners to access education in new ways. “We all share a commitment to everyone from all walks of life,” she noted, and “PSE does not stop at the completion of a degree or diploma.” 

Empowering learners with options is an important foundational value of micro-credentials. When micro-credentials are offered online and face to face learners benefit- this helps increase participation in education and ensures that there are opportunities for all learners to build their skills.

We heard from Evan Tapper, Director of Continuing Education at OCAD University, who spoke about the importance of industry partnerships and outlined some of the challenges around objectives, priorities and timelines. Evan focused on the important context of creative entrepreneurs and those who are participating in the gig economy. This is a really important validation of the role of micro-credentials in being pathways for jobs – the spark of ingenuity for entrepreneurship. On a related note check out this recent research by Matthias Oschinski on The Skill Utilization of Gig Workers – it is some really interesting relevant research.

Jonathan Bauer and Nadine Ogborn from RRC Polytech discussed their partnership with Skip the Dishes in their discussion Micro-credentialing for Gap Training. RRC provides education and training and pathways for additional learning. They discussed what I would call the iPad conundrum: People wanted them but didn’t necessarily know what they were. 

This is a “known known” in many respects – microcredentials are a name for something people understand well – continuing and lifelong education. There are many important concepts that accrue to the use of the term micro-credentials, so marketing and communications are important to ensure we share a common understanding of what they are and their potential. 

For micro-credentials RRC focuses on assessed learning as important to defining what a micro-credentials is. This is congruent with the eCampusOntario Micro-Credentials Framework which has provided the blueprint for the Canadian conception of what a micro-credential is. Also important is their point that digital badges provide a really concrete and visible way to demonstrate completion of the micro-credential.

A few presentations focused on supporting faculty. This included Alexandre Bekhradi, Anne-Marie Cantin and Anthony Miron from the Université de Hearst who spoke about their experience on the Co-development of a micro-credential on effective supervision for internships. They provided a great network effect model for supervising internships. 

Nicole Drake and Kathryn Brillinger from Conestoga College spoke about Using Stackable Micro-Credentials for Innovative Faculty Development. Their model is a really excellent and explicit way to ensure that all faculty are able to be content experts and expert teachers. This is such an important avenue for developing our teaching talent. 

Conestoga College is a leader in offering micro-credentials, especially as it relates to faculty development. They are a great partner in our Ontario Extend program; people who complete the full Extend micro-credential gain advanced standing in the Conestoga College Certificate in Post-Secondary Teaching.

John Lewis, University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and Alexis Berolatti of BCDiploma discussed Micro-credentials: the pathway from a learner-focused experience to innovative new blockchain tools. Again, meeting the needs of learners with Relevant and Targeted content, and Funding opportunities – including OSAP eligibility and reasonably priced where not OSAP eligible – is essential. Authentic assessments that reflect workplace deliverables provides a great focus on really relevant learning. And employer endorsements of many of the micro-credentials offered

They showed how sharing micro-credentials on LinkedIn supports further pathways and conspicuous contribution of upskilling and career progression – learners are enthusiastic and positive about their learning and really good organic marketing for the programs. Alexis Berolatti reminded us that the market for micro-credentials is global. Encouraging learners to present their micro-credentials on their LinkedIn profile helps these learners, but also our institutions that offer them. Blockchain-based platforms that use the Open Badge Data Model is important for ensuring that a basic amount of information is presented in any digital portfolio. Complementary attributes further enhance the value of the presentation of a digital artefact. The value of using the blockchain to distribute your micro-credentials is that that are then verifiable, sustainable, trusted and tamper proof (eCampusOntario provide BCDiploma for our members).

The Forum closed with a panel discussing Credit Pathways and Laddering Panel: Building the Micro-credential Learning Journey and Pathways Forward, featuring ONCAT’s Adrienne Galway, John Reid from Yukon University, Sheila Leblanc from the University of Calgary, and William Gage from York University.

Discussion was excellent and focused on recognizing what learners want and what employers want. An intentional approach to design will help employers understand what the students have done and help the students articulate what they have learned. Micro-credentials can help institutions think more overtly about how they work with employers. Creating doorways to education instead of pathways (Sheila Leblanc’s point) will help reframe how we can collectively get better at becoming a more responsive educational system if we are to play a meaningful role in the professional and work force development ecosystem.

The 2023 Micro-Credential Forum was closed by Rowan Smith who noted he has had the opportunity to learn as a young person what the PSE system is becoming. Thank you again Rowan for helping us frame the event.

And that’s a wrap for this year. It was a great series of discussions. 

Thank you all for participating and thank you to the eCampusOntario team for standing up such a best-in-class discussion on the future of education.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Supporting Business Growth through Collaborative Innovation

The postpandemic recovery requires businesses to innovate, to create products and services for global markets while supporting workforce education and training to ensure employees remain at the forefront of business innovation and economic transition.

A series of articles in the Globe and Mail outline Canada's innovation policy and the context in which research and development (R&D) operates as a pipeline for innovation. The first article outlines the work to stand up the Canadian Innovation and Investment Agency. Many good points are raised about the need for clarity of purpose, but I would sum up the issue as a historical inability to differentiate R&D from innovation. Canada is the G7's highest per capita funder of research in the public sector and the lowest for business R&D. Compounding this is the fact that Canadian companies underinvest in education and training and new technology adoption. This is the three-legged stool of innovation and productivity.

The second article outlines the Artificial Intelligence strategy deployed by Ottawa over the past several years. The challenge here is again the over-reliance on basic research, to the detriment to applied research, and most importantly, experimental development. As I have said before: 
This continuum matters. A lot:

The continuum from basic and applied research through to experimental development constitutes the types of activities that make up the innovation carrying capacity of national economies: the ability to proactively create value from public investments in basic research by fostering private sector receptivity and engagement to the public S&T systems.

The third article in the series offers a clickbait title that detracts from the main issues: the need to increase business R&D as well as receptor capacity in Canadian businesses for innovation and Intellectual Property (IP). This includes not just products (which are easy to patent), but also other forms of IP.

The Expert Panel on Intellectual Property Report: Intellectual Property inOntario’s Innovation Ecosystem outlines 13 types of IP that are essential and important to the intangibles economy. We can add to this things like startups, software, databases, policies, traditional knowledge, practices and positions. A commitment to inclusive innovation means acknowledging that there are many types of IP being commercialized, by many types of people running many types of businesses. 

The bottom line here is that it is good to see innovation policy front and centre, it's just too bad that these reports did not unpack many important and related issues: diversity of actors, inputs and outputs; receptor capacity for supporting R&D and IP commercialization; and the role of reskilling for innovation to name just a few (check out two recent reports on the innovation literacy angle - one from Mitacs and the other from the Future Skills Centre). 

There are 440,000 small companies, 9,000 medium sized companies, and fewer than 2,000 large companies in Ontario. Not enough of these companies currently perform research and development (R&D). The most reliable indicator we have for R&D performing companies is from the SR&ED tax rebate program; currently only 2% of companies in Canada file SR&ED claims. The lack of R&D performance is clearly linked to lacklustre economic competitiveness.

Small companies that do R&D are more likely to survive and grow, hire more people, export more goods and services, and have a bigger economic impact in their communities. Startups, new companies, and small companies that are seeking to join the global economy in key sectors like health, IT, manufacturing and automotive – they need help finding supports to conduct R&D. The potential here is vast.

This is why we have built the Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform. By working together the entire Ontario higher education system is able to help support the transit of IP - from idea to invoice.

Logo for the Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform (OCIP)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Intentional Innovation

Much ink has been spilt in Canada regarding our lacklustre innovation capacity as a puzzling counterpart to our international excellence in basic research. I won't be retrying these arguments. Rather, I want to point out an excellent article on the need for intentional innovation and the absolute necessity of updating our approach to how we integrate research and industrial innovation ecosystems. 

In Canada needs a new approach to science, research to stay competitive, Robert Asselin does an excellent job of articulating the need for "The modern application of science and technology is the new frontier of economic competitiveness." This statement will alienate some who might prioritize the approach to publicly funded research outlined by Vannevar Bush in Science: The Endless Frontier, in which public funding was exchanged for autonomy to pursue basic research. Applied research and experimental development were thought to emerge naturally from market-facing actors who would create value from the fruits of basic research as they realized a vague downstream potential. That was good when this was first articulated in the 1945. But as Asselin points out "The arms-length science model we adopted after the Second World War does not provide an adequate framework for today’s economic paradigm."

As Asselin says, "the road to innovation is long and hard," and it requires us to think and act in new ways. This means being intentional about creating and protecting intellectual property (IP), and helping to foster collaboration across the public and private sectors. Below I've put a logic model that outlines such an approach, reposted from earlier

And we have successfully piloted this model in Toronto as part of an orchestrated COVID-19 response where the 8 colleges and universities in Toronto worked together to support City of Toronto research priorities. eCampusOntario is supporting all of our 53 members to bring this model to fruition across the province. 

Watch this space for more, but in the meantime, read this article. And while you are at it, check out this one From Dan Breznitz and Daniel Trefler.

A logic model that articulates the connections between research performers, type of research, and anticipated outcomes
An Integrated Model for Intentional Innovation: From Idea to Impact

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

On marketing and micro-credentials

I had the great pleasure of being a guest on the Marketing News Canada podcast with marketing and  podcast expert Darian Kovacs from Jelly Academy. We talked about

  • How the rise of micro-credentials is similar to streaming music 
  • The importance of micro-credentials in upgrading and upskilling one's career, and how it serves as a form of continuing education 
  • The demand for both a combination of technical and soft skills
It was a great discussion about the importance of micro-credentials and the role of collaboration and innovation in post-secondary education. 

And in an esprit de l'escalier I am really interested in discussing and learning more about the role of marketing and education more broadly, particularly as it relates to partnerships that support collaborative innovation, upskilling outcomes and work integrated learning. 

My thanks to Darian and Jelly Academy for the opportunity to join the discussion. 

logo for Marketing News Canada
Logo of Marketing News Canada

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Local Innovation; Global Impact

Today at the Collision Conference I was pleased to join David West, Mayor of Richmond Hill, Ana Serrano, President of OCAD University, and Walid Mowaswes, CEO of PharmaGuide at the launch of the City of Richmond Hill Centre for Local Innovation and Collaboration (CLIC). CLIC is an innovative approach to supporting local businesses by matching business needs with the design expertise at OCADU. eCampusOntario has been working with our member higher education institutions to support research partnerships using a model pioneered with the City of Toronto in 2020 and 2021. A key difference with CLIC is in the support of businesses through the Small Business Enterprise Centre in Richmond Hill. 

The model here is simple: figure out the innovation needs of companies through a simple diagnostic and match them to the expertise in one of Ontario's leading higher education institutions, in this case OCADU. 

Through CLIC businesses access funding opportunities, tailored solutions, and a network of businesses and organizations to support their short-term, mid-term and long-term needs.

I had a great conversation with Walid about his experience in CLIC. He made the great point that engaging students as interns was a real value add for his business, as it helped expose him to new thinking, in this case about the power and value of user experience design. And this is important - the stats are a bit old now but the Design Value Index some time ago showed that design-focused companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 228%. This is significant. 

With the proven success of the first CLIC cohort, we are ready to scale and expand this model across Ontario. We will continue to support Richmond Hill companies through CLIC to tap into the expertise of OCAD U’s students and faculty, as well as Ontario’s network of higher education institutions.

CLIC is an excellent example of how higher education institutions like OCADU can help businesses to thrive. And by giving students the opportunity to work with businesses we are future proofing Canada”s capacity for innovation. That’s worth celebrating. 

Monday, April 4, 2022

Micro-Credentials are having their Napster Moment

Image of a mixtape with handwritten label: Skills, competencies and Things I've learned

Micro-Credentials are having their Napster Moment

Micro-credentials offer important ways to give educational options to people – those that are reskilling or upskilling, or learning about a new topic of interest. 

Moving forward through the rearview mirror

Micro-credentials are disrupting traditional forms of education. 

Micro-credentials are not necessarily new. 

What is new is how micro-credentials are part of a wider cultural movement toward more granular forms of disaggregation as applied to learning.

Lessons on disruption from the music industry

In the early days of the internet, Napster emerged as a pirating website that incentivized a more atomic model of music consumption. Where you previously had to buy an album if you liked a song on it, post-Napster you could access individual songs. This disrupted the music industry significantly as it called into question many aspects of control over who has the right to say how music is consumed. Music was collected and released on albums, though the 45” single is perhaps the micro-credential version of traditional music. Regardless, initial monetization of this model by the music industry included Digital Rights Management (DRM), which failed. 

Then came iTunes and the ability to buy a song for $.99, followed by other streaming services – Rdio, Pandora, Spotify et al.  The disaggregation of the macro music monopoly was complete. 

The future of music was micro. Fast forward to now, and most music is streamed.

Meso: The mixtape as metaphor

The middle, mediating ground here is the mixtape. Music lovers would take songs from various albums and curate these into personalized collections. Napster built on the curatorial context of the mixtape, and presaged streaming, which is a mixtape at scale, enabled by digital technology. 

Micro-credentials, as part of a history of education, help people demonstrate their learning history but more importantly refer to the skills and competencies they have acquired. Micro-credentials can be bundled into larger curated credential/competency demonstrations. In this case, a learner’s digital credential wallet or passport is like a mixtape. The validation of their skills is this mixtape being played and heard.

Macro: Impacts on skills and education

Micro-credentials are to traditional forms of education what streaming is to music now. This is change, and it is disruption, but it is centred on the learner. 

This moment of micro-credentials means it is time to make space for new forms of learning that are agile and flexible.

Les micro-crédits ont leur moment Napster

Les microcrédits présentent des options éducatives significatives pour les personnes qui se recyclent, qui se perfectionnent ou qui cherchent à se renseigner sur un sujet d'intérêt. 

Les micro-crédits bouleversent les formes traditionnelles d'éducation.

Les micro-crédits ne sont pas nécessairement nouveaux.

Ce qui est nouveau, c'est la façon dont les microcrédits participent à un mouvement culturel plus large, vers des formes de désagrégation utilitaires appliquées à l'apprentissage.

Les leçons de l'industrie de la musique en matière de perturbation

Au tout début d'Internet, Napster est apparu comme un site de piratage qui a encouragé un modèle de consommation musicale plus ciblé. Alors qu'auparavant il fallait acheter un album si on aimait une chanson, avec Napster on pouvait accéder aux seules chansons souhaitées. 

Cette évolution a considérablement perturbé l'industrie musicale, car elle a remis en question de nombreux aspects du contrôle de la consommation musicale. 

À l’époque, la musique était réunie et publiée sur des albums, malgré que le 45 tours pouvait en être considéré comme la version microcréditée. Quoi qu'il en soit, la monétisation initiale de ce modèle par l'industrie de la musique intégrait la gestion des droits numériques (DRM), une approche qui a échouée. 

Puis iTunes et la possibilité d'acheter une chanson pour 0,99 $ sont arrivés, suivis par d'autres services de streaming - Rdio, Pandora, Spotify et autres. La désagrégation du macro-monopole de la musique était terminée. 

L'avenir de la musique se profilait à travers l’offre ciblée des pièces voulues. Aujourd'hui, on constate que la majorité de la musique est ruisselée précisément et sur demande.

Méso : la liste d’écoute comme métaphore

Les listes d’écoute se sont rapidement imposées comme solution intermédiaire. Les amateurs de musique prenaient des chansons de différents albums et les conservaient dans des collections personnalisées. Napster s'est appuyé sur le contexte de conservation de la liste d’écoute et a conçu l’idée du streaming, le ruissellement qui est une liste d’écoute à grande échelle rendue possible par le numérique. 

Les microcrédits appartiennent maintenant à l'histoire de l'éducation. Ils aident les gens à démontrer leur parcours d'apprentissage, mais surtout à référer aux aptitudes et aux compétences qu'ils ont acquises. Les microcrédits peuvent être regroupés dans des démonstrations plus larges de crédits et de compétences. Dans ce cas, le portefolio ou le passeport numérique d'un apprenant est comme une liste d’écoute. La validation des compétences d’un individu consiste à faire la lecture de cette liste d’écoute particulière, faite de crédits et de compétences.

Macro : Impacts sur les compétences et l'éducation

Les micro-crédits sont donc aux formes traditionnelles d'éducation ce que le streaming est à la musique aujourd'hui. Il s'agit d'une perturbation qui est centrée sur l'apprenant.

Cet avènement des micro-crédits constitue un moment particulier dans l’évolution de l’éducation, indiquant qu’est venu le temps de faire place à de nouvelles formes d'apprentissage, plus agiles et plus flexibles.