I’ve got far more to say about this than the space I’ve got here on Thought Shrapnel. This article from edX is in the emerging paradigm exemplified by initiatives such as Credential As You Go, which encourages academic institutions to issue smaller credentials or badges as the larger qualification progresses.

That’s one, important, side of the reason I got involved in Open Badges. It allows, for example, someone who couldn’t finish their studies to continue them, or to cash in what they’ve already learned in the job market.

But there’s an important other side to this, which is democratising the means of credentialing, so that it’s no longer just incumbents who issue badges and credentials. I feel like that’s what we’re working on with Open Recognition.

A new model, modular education, reduces the cycle time of learning, partitioning traditional learning packages — associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees — into smaller, Lego-like building blocks, each with their own credentials and skills outcomes. Higher education institutions are using massive open online courses (MOOCs) as one of the vehicles through which to deliver these modular degrees and credentials.


Modular education reduces the cycle time of learning, making it easier to gain tangible skills and value faster than a full traditional degree. Working professionals can learn new skills in shorter amounts of time, even while they work, and those seeking a degree can do so in a way that pays off, in skills and credentials, along the way rather than just at the end.

For example, edX’s MicroBachelors® programs are the only path to a bachelor’s degree that make you job ready today and credentialed along the way. You can start with the content that matters most to you, online at your own pace, and earn a certificate with each one to show off your new achievement, knowing that you’ve developed skills that companies actually hire for. Each program comes with real, transferable college credit from one of edX’s university credit partners, which combined with previous credit you may have already collected or plan to get in the future, can put you on a path to earning a full bachelor’s degree.

Source: Stackable, Modular Learning: Education Built for the Future of Work | edX