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Credential News Unleashed…

Since the last edition of Credential News Unleashed there has been continued focus on the emergence of competency-based education, the ever evolving MOOCs, and new company’s emerging to help individuals identify and showcase their skills and match them with employers. There has also been an increased focus on the transcript itself and its potential to help document and drive this change towards stackable credentials.

The following links are intended to provide an overview of what is going on in this exciting market as Parchment helps to turn credentials into opportunities.

Transcripts in the News

Inside Higher Ed reported on a “Digital Upgrade for Transcripts” featuring a company called parchment that is transforming how we use transcripts.

University Business named its “Higher ed leaders select the most effective products of the year” which included an eTranscript category which was awarded to Parchment.

Credentials and MOOC’s

The Census bureau 50 million U.S. adults, or “One-Quarter of Adults Hold Educational Credentials Other Than an Academic Degree,” including professional certification, license or educational certificate apart from a postsecondary degree awarded by colleges and universities.

MOOC’s continue to generate a lot of interest in the education media with some new research that suggests that “Completion Rates Aren’t the Best Way to Judge MOOCs.” Researchers at Harvard and the MIT say that “course certification rates are misleading and counterproductive indicators of the impact and potential of open online courses.

Recent changes in the MOOC landscape include “MIT to offer its first professional MOOC in big data” with participants paying $495 for a certificate for the group of modules. Meanwhile “edX Drops Plans to Connect MOOC Students With Employers,” and “Credit-for-MOOCs Effort Hits a Snag” with students not pursuing college credit for MOOC courses despite 17 colleges prepared to accept them.

A big change announced today is Coursera will start awarding specializations for students who have mastered a series of closely connected online courses, reported on in “Coursera Flirts With Diplomas: Online ‘Specialization’ Is $250.”  The site now invites students to take Signature-track classes, in which final exams are digitally proctored and students pay $100 or so for a completion certificate. Currently more than 200 of Coursera’s total 584 classes are offered in Signature format

Competencies and Skills

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on how “Tech-Enabled Alternatives Must Be Part of Education Reform, Report Says” which featured a discussion about the need for competency and skills-based programs and stackable credentials to support them.

EdTech Digest reported the Skillmeter, a new tool designed to help recruiters hire better and faster by measuring candidates’ skills through personalized tests.  Another education startup Koru raised $4.35 Million to teach students job-specific skills and help match them to jobs. Collegefeed is another new company helping to place workplace-ready college graduates, and is working to identify specific talents sought by employers and makes a match through an algorithm which looks at major and other factors.

Making a Better Match

Earlier this month the White House held an “Education Datapalooza: Promoting Innovation in Improving College Access, Affordability and Comp,” which showcased some upcoming changes to Parchment.com.

Innovation and Disruption

The Harvard Business Review writes in  “The Degree Is Doomed” about the disruptive change affecting higher education and how the unbundling of traditional degree is tied to it losing its relevance in favor of evaluative information.

College Rankings

A new study says that “Your College’s Reputation Matters in Measurable Ways,” and may shape a college’s reputation and short-term enrollment fortunes in measurable ways. The study can be found here.

The EdTech Market

The Chronicle  reported on Mark A. Baker, associate registrar at Whitworth University who launched Software PhD, “The ‘Yelp’ of Higher-Education Software.” Parchment is included in the directory and is currently ranked at 5 stars.

The Chronicle listed “What 5 Tech Experts Expect in 2014,” which includes the familiar themes of analytic, cloud storage, and actionable data.

Happy reading,

-Mark