Dan McFadyen - How Organisations Can Use Micro-Credentials and Personal Evidence to Recognise Workplace Skills


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[Dan McFadyen] 16:02:50
So hello everyone, my name is Dan McFadden I'm the managing director of LX, I'm actually based in Melbourne, there are a few of us here but yes, we have a strong contingent down in done in Hobart, and the title of our discussion today is using

[Dan McFadyen] 16:03:08
micro credentials and personal evidence to recognize workplace skills, that's, that's a mouthful. And so I've.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:03:18
I, I've noticed that it's a very active chat and certainly would love to see that continue during the session as well so I came up with it with an alternative title to assessment beyond and beyond.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:03:30
But, but certainly welcome to, to hear your thoughts and additions there. And really, you know, it's a great opportunity for me to participate I've jumped in and out of various sessions throughout the day to get it, get a flavor of of assessment and and

[Dan McFadyen] 16:03:48
really for what we do and what we talk about assessment is is at the core. So, What you see on this slide now is what we call this the skills recognition continuum.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:04:00
With obviously components from left to right around content and the curriculum, but it really is that assessment, that is that is at the core of what enables us to take that content, call it micro credentials or, or short courses or or full, full degree

[Dan McFadyen] 16:04:17
or other programs. Any, any size, but then it's ultimately the assessment component that enables us to to differentiate individual learners performance, and ultimately translate that into the recognition of skills and giving learners advice so.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:04:37
So, without further ado to further contextualize it.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:04:50
Well, you know, it's certainly been better than theirs here in Australia and certainly everywhere around the world around the, the global war for talent. So, some, some all time high numbers in terms of the number of companies that are struggling to acquire

[Dan McFadyen] 16:04:56
So, some, some all time high numbers in terms of the number of companies that are struggling to acquire talent in Australia instead of 75%, it's 81% here, which I interpret Is this me being that is 19% of of company Australian companies are actually sole

[Dan McFadyen] 16:05:08
practitioners that are not looking to bring anyone else on because anyone who's tried to hire has certainly found that that struggle and, and we're seeing a transition at a at an employer perspective, from an institutional perspective and even from a

[Dan McFadyen] 16:05:25
learning perspective to shift across from a from a credential, or degree as the signal to higher to skills.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:05:35
But what we're seeing, and this is backed up by some market research that were commissioned last year that only 33% of graduates felt comfortable voicing their skills during their first job search, and obviously as you move into the workplace that competency

[Dan McFadyen] 16:05:50
increases, but we still, still do see the challenge that people are comfortable talking about their degrees or they're talking about their job title, but what skills do they have and and ultimately whatever it is they have to back it up, and and yes,

[Dan McFadyen] 16:06:18
In the US, it hasn't quite happened here in Australia but but certainly there's been, there's been increased moving across and between companies.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:06:27
So this is something that is of utmost importance for companies to to retain their best talent.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:06:35
And, and also to help develop that talent further. So, so the question is then how do we develop those skills, how do we recognize those skills, how do we give the learner, be they be the student employee and increasingly with lifelong learning, that's

[Dan McFadyen] 16:06:52
that's one of the same.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:06:53
So to talk through this this process, the diagram, you see here is one that.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:07:01
Now we Boyer from education Design Lab but nonprofit out of Washington DC has developed and she's kind of given us permission to use it to think about this process of what does it take to to really surface skills for for learners in any in any context

[Dan McFadyen] 16:07:24
in any organization.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:07:26
And I'll walk through them very quickly now but then then actually dive into them a little more and, and, and, yeah, I'd love to discuss with you. Where assessment fits into that and certainly build on.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:07:42
And some of your earlier discussions.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:07:45
So first, first starting point is identifying skills and, and we'll talk in talk, we'll dive into that more, but, but from there, you know we go through compiling those skills into an open digital skills framework or frameworks surface create visibility

[Dan McFadyen] 16:08:03
for, and for what the skills are, and obviously that that's where assessment starts to come in and then document that, and it can be it can be in the, in the form of my credentials and, and there's, there's a bit of confusion around you know there's those

[Dan McFadyen] 16:08:21
terms can be used interchangeably. In some cases, for, for digital credentials or alternative credentials.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:08:29
And then, step one through four from an organization perspective, five and six are for the learner. But again with it's still within, within corporate space that the steps are still very relevant in terms of identifying what skills that employer has overall

[Dan McFadyen] 16:08:45
and what what skills are looking to develop.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:08:48
So diving into step one, identifying skills and, and obviously there's a lot of work that's that's gone into this from a from a learning design perspective and.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:08:59
And so, so I'm going to go through this this step very quickly because their whole conferences on these topics but, but, you know, in terms of thinking about what what skills are we talking about here.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:09:11
The Institute for working futures markets balls, also down in Tasmania has identified your core that the the domain specific or technical competencies, soft skills, people skills 21st century skills, call them what you will, but also very interestingly,

[Dan McFadyen] 16:09:31
cognitive and mindset and personal attributes and behaviors. And I know there again. their whole conferences around well how do you assess each of each of those different aspects and Kenny reliably at what is true authentic assessment of these different

[Dan McFadyen] 16:09:45
What is true authentic assessment of these different areas but but again for those organizations that are just looking to get started there there's a great, great modeling work that Marcus and the team they're done.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:09:56
And then certainly education Design Lab again that organization already mentioned, from a 21st century skills they've developed a really robust set of micro credentials in terms of content, but that that is available but also assessment, so rubrics and

[Dan McFadyen] 16:10:29
other other assessment structures around these skills and, and they. We call this the subway map of their nine, not the 920 First Century skills that they've developed initiative resilience intercultural fluency oral communication critical thinking.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:10:34
Empathy creative problem solving collaboration and self directed learning. And what you see in the subway map is the overlap and at some of those core skills are really essential to so many of these of these 21st century skills and competencies.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:10:52
So again, for those who are who are interested in exploring this space and certainly highly recommend education Design Lab and, and their work.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:11:02
And then, again, talking about domain specific or maybe more technical, the digital skills organization has done a lot of work here in Australia, in terms of defining pathways and how individuals can develop and demonstrate increased levels of competency

[Dan McFadyen] 16:11:23
and mastery of digital skills. So again, there's there's really been a lot of work that's been a lot of, lot of thought and a lot of this very much in a collaborative open skills community, type, type model so that there's a lot of great resources out

[Dan McFadyen] 16:11:40
there to reference and build from.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:11:45
So then step two is compiling skills into open digital skills frameworks. And this is where there are standards and tools, such as, including our Estes and not sure.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:12:02
Well, camera, it's a little hard to do a show of hands, how many people have heard of rst, I would imagine most have not. And what what they what they are rich skill descriptors.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:12:14
And it's basically a rich way of describing a skill. So, if we have are many there maybe I see three schemes of attendees on on here so so let's say this 75 people if I asked each of you what teamwork means, we'd get at least 75 definitions, right.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:12:33
So, I could, I could come up with a few.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:12:36
So, so what we really need is a common language and that's that's what rich skill descriptors are all about. So it's, it's having the statement of what a skill is and tying that into occupational data particular standards, and ultimately making that definition

[Dan McFadyen] 16:12:56
as rich as possible. And we really think of ourselves as the building blocks of an open and equitable skills based economy.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:13:08
Now, this may sound like a lot of work.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:13:11
And it can be. But the good news is that they're there, there's organizations that have already done a lot of work, like Western Governors University in America.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:13:23
Melbourne Uni here domestically education Design Lab again have built built around. so there, there are open platforms.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:13:33
Open rst is, is one of them so open rst com it's it's freely available to just search and to contribute to.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:13:41
So if we want to do the research on collaboration.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:13:50
Then we can see we can look for definitions of what are the skills.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:13:55
So we can see their contributions from education Design Lab Western Governors Union University as well as intrinsic learning and another Australian company.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:14:05
So for each of these, we can we can really dive in to the skills in a particular context and we can say in this case, in that in the healthcare context.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:14:19
What, what I might do is just go back and look at another example. So if we were to explore data science

[Dan McFadyen] 16:14:33
Since here, again, what are all the, the atomic level skills that are involved with, with data science.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:14:40
And we can see there's there's quite a few of them.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:14:43
And with any of these, we have the ability to go in and understand what that skill is about.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:14:53
Examples information and links off to different sources, but very importantly to contextualize it also looking off to the job market data to get a sense of, of, of context, so that we understand when we're talking about skills.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:15:10
Skills around, around data science, what, what the implications are there.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:15:15
So again, there's, there's a lot of a lot of thinking and work that it's been that has gone into building these, these are Stacy's rich skill descriptors to help, help with with this, this transition so so step one and step two are really putting the

[Dan McFadyen] 16:15:34
building blocks in place. And again, an organization may choose to do this at a very late level, or, or really to dive deeply into it so it depends. If you take the example of a hospitality company, they really want to define, they may want to define

[Dan McFadyen] 16:15:52
what are their skills that are that are involved and for their hospitality workers so that they can truly understand and and assess those skills or, or you can think about in a metal medical context as well so it's really very broad open.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:16:11
And now with with that foundation in place, then returned to steps three through six.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:16:20
And this is really where, where the assessment data comes in and. And at the heart of these steps is is extracting that personal evidence based on the assessment data that exists inside of learning management systems inside of assessment platforms.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:16:38
So that, that is, is that is that the core.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:16:44
And in our case we have a credential evidence platform that is extracting that that data. And then, then being able to run that data through a series of tools and models to ascertain who's demonstrated what level of mastery.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:17:03
Obviously we have our own platform but but that the most important part is that the personalized evidence, and then to contextualize it against a range of frameworks.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:17:05
And very importantly, it's it.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:17:16
And again, they're fantastic frameworks like like Sofia Qf here domestically, but then to also tie that into the job and skills data. And ultimately, connect that into a digital digital badge.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:17:33
So, and I'll show you examples of this.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:17:37
But it but at its heart, is that assessment data that is that is driving this information. Now, one of the, one of the key, key aspects in terms of that is what assessment data is is relevant.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:17:54
And certainly, when we started our focus was around using rubrics, as providing that the very strong structure, but we recognize Not, not everyone uses rubrics or that don't use them consistently, so having the ability to to look at other data from Greg

[Dan McFadyen] 16:18:13
books from assessment platforms, and to be able to, to, to amalgamate that that data, and then ultimately synthesize out the varying levels of of evidence from from there.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:18:27
And ultimately, this data is, is critically important for the learner to give them that voice for their own for their own skills from a workplace construct thinking about what skills do they have in within the organization, what levels of mastery or competency

[Dan McFadyen] 16:18:46
competency do each other do each other's learners have.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:18:50
But, at its heart, it always comes back to that assessment data that that is the source so so all the hard work and all the discussions that everyone on here has been has been discussing leads on to that.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:19:05
So, and, and I'll dive in a little bit more just to explain you know why, why is this is why is important.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:19:14
And in terms of digital credentials, there's there's been an explosion in their, their usage which which is fantastic. The challenge comes as just as I said, if you get a badge and teamwork or, or collaboration.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:19:28
What does that mean and how did each of us performing what our work what are our different, different skills. So, and again this this is a step stepwise progression.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:19:41
So, getting to that digital recognition of of individual performance is a is a great first step. But then, then the challenge comes.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:19:53
Now in the, in the recruitment space.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:19:56
Getting an undergraduate, is not a differentiator.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:20:00
In this case, if we look at you know silver versus a gold digital credential and collaboration.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:20:08
The context in here is largely the same, the criteria for achieving it is, you know, there's the same criteria. There's some vague difference in what those levels are but but that's not really clear to anyone who's just looking at that digital credential.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:20:24
You know what, what is the micro credential the content the training that that learner went through to achieve that versus versus another learner who received another one.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:20:38
And just to give you an example I attended one another conference.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:20:43
There was a great conference and, and they were awarding digital badges for activity and participation in the in the conference, and in the space of half an hour I received 11 badges.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:20:58
So, you know, I'm that I'm not putting those on my LinkedIn profile.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:21:03
And how does someone know that I just did that because I click one button, and I got that versus. This was actually an in depth in depth study and and the recognition of learning behind that.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:21:13
And that's, that's really where we pull on this, this rich assessment data that we like to.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:21:22
We, in many cases, we think of it as dark data that it's, it's in a learning management system it's in the assessment platform it's in a work integrated learning system or anywhere else.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:21:33
But it's just not being used. So, so we we focus on bringing that data to the surface. And, and again, here you can see two examples of different quantitative feedback, as well as qualitative feedback.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:21:51
And ultimately, if there are assessment artifacts.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:21:54
So couldn't be could be a video or file or an image or other other file artifacts that someone has created. Having the ability to to present present that as well, is, is for us.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:22:12
A true.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:22:13
A true differentiator.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:22:15
And I'll just quickly show you just a couple examples.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:22:21
And again, certainly, feel free to post questions in the, in the chat as we go and I'll wrap up in just a few more minutes so we, so we have some time for discussions.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:22:32
But again, here's, here's perhaps a more legible version of that where you can see the, the, the quantitative, qualitative feedback, driven by those who score, those scores from from the assessment data.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:22:49
Even if there were.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:22:51
If there were a set of activities so we might have a.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:22:57
This is just a quick little video but it could be an example of, of, you know, how the team interacted or how they presented or how someone achieved or a particular goal.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:23:09
So, so that that versus for for someone else. Their quantitative, qualitative, as well as their artifacts, that, that, that are associated with with that.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:23:26
With that personal evidence record can be can be very different as well.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:23:32
So, so that, you know, and again, I keep on stressing that none of this exists without the assessment data that that exists within the dilemma management system or assessment platform.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:23:46
And it's the it's the mapping to libraries of skills and competencies that enable the display of others, very meaningful evidence

[Dan McFadyen] 16:24:04
and jumping back.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:24:09
I think I have two more slides.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:24:12
So just in terms of of LX and where, where we fit.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:24:17
Yeah, we, we, we provide platforms that support this this skills continuum.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:24:22
I see yeah people really loves the idea of skill rich skills descriptors and and so to wait and that's, you know, we see that as fundamental underlying, that, that, that whole continuum that it's the building block.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:24:38
And it's, it's the definition and and so we're assessments can be can be thought of in terms of what skills are you assessing in a, in a particular learner.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:24:48
That's, that's really, really, really, really important.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:24:52
And, and, yeah, in terms of the formal session that's that's it there's, there's my contact details.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:25:03
I certainly open for for questions and can can dive into rst in more detail, or, or answer answer any other questions.

[Robin Petterd - Host] 16:25:21
I can jump in a little bit because er estates, I actually think a really interesting and really powerful in terms of industries, which I was just actually looking at the outcome, our State Library, which industries and disciplines have developed the most

[Dan McFadyen] 16:25:43
scripted so far. Yeah, great, great question one and rst some selves are, are fairly new concepts so Western Governors University was one of the was, was a key driver.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:25:59
As part of the open skills network and that's, that's a fantastic organization that that we belong to as well.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:26:06
So it's ww has they've created around. Well, at last count was around 12,000 hours days.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:26:14
So, around, around different, different disciplines such as data science or nursing so they they've identified some, some really key, key areas that they are are focused on on building out.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:26:30
But it's ultimately up to the community, in many ways.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:26:37
And now, Melbourne Uni for one of their micro credentials, and I think Josephine Lang is actually on in the audience somewhere.

[Robin Petterd - Host] 16:26:48
So they actually built it around, mindfulness in the US yes yes in a in a clinical setting. So, you know, I think it's, it's, it's our cities are great in that you can you can build them incrementally.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:27:05
If you're looking in areas such as 21st Century Skills there's, there's been a lot of work there.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:27:11
We also know that for some employers they want to build their own private sets of ours, which is fine as well. So being able to say I'm a hospitality company, or I'm focused in drone company so I'm focused on drone repair, and any of those does is fine.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:27:32
And just looking through some of the some of the comments to use rst to assess soft skills, okay, yeah so psychological safety. Yeah, that look that's, that's great and I think that's where looking at some of the examples out there from from from education

[Dan McFadyen] 16:27:50
design labs or WGU would be would be great.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:27:57
Good question from David How do you see the aggregation of skills working for people to get, for example, getting a credential from LinkedIn learning versus from Open University.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:28:07
I, you know, one of the things that we always talk about is, is giving learners a voice, and that stat that I revealed at the beginning of only 33% and feeling, having confidence in voicing their own skills.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:28:20
So, it ultimately people, people will have a digital wallet or a skills passport, call it what you will, and and assemble different views of themselves depending on on certain contexts.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:28:35
And for us that's incredibly powerful in terms of learner earner agency.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:28:43
But, but it's also a challenge of comparing apples and oranges and just like that example that you asked about David.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:28:51
How do you compare that and I think part of it is is that internal knowledge and confidence and the ability to share evidence of that, where it's where it's provided.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:29:03
But, but then knowing which ones are relevant and again, those 11 badges that I got in that half hour conference. I'm never going to use that.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:29:12
But some of the more more meaningful ones. Absolutely, with us.

[Robin Petterd - Host] 16:29:25
Yeah, thank you. I really liked that example, David of the fact that sometimes these things can be a bit too flippant in terms of things as well i think the risk is the script is a really powerful thing for organizations to both look towards now that

[Robin Petterd - Host] 16:29:26
Oh, yeah. David is, as you say, just watch the videos and you'll get a credential. So there you go.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:29:42
I keep telling us me, where literally I can pick something up tomorrow, that I found very quickly and take it into a project. And one of those moments where it's like, Ah, that's just saved week of work, work around things so I think this is a, that's

[Robin Petterd - Host] 16:30:03
a really powerful thing same tourists, so she shared with us all.

[Robin Petterd - Host] 16:30:07
Yeah, and that's. If someone wants to get started in working with this type of marketing angels What did what would actually be the first step for an organization.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:30:18
Yeah, great, great question one I've just, I just posted to two links in the chat. So, we are having a webinar next week, and that will actually dive into credential eight and that that recognition.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:30:31
There's also a white paper around harnessing your skills so it's Rob revenue. It's like, Hey, that was a perfect question for me so.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:30:41
But yes, look that's you know there's there's it, and also we, we have a whole host of other resources and I think one of the, one of the great things we found in the skills communities that everyone is is open and collaborative.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:30:55
And again, open rst is an is an Open.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:30:59
Open Library so please do feel free to go open our studio. com.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:31:04
You can go in there you can can set up an account if you want, and actually you can start contributing your own. That's part of the the effects of it.

[Dan McFadyen] 16:31:11
But, but coming back to your original question Robin. Yeah, we also do have a white paper and we've actually developed micro credential maturity model that's free to download and it takes takes you through a series of of a number of different elements

[Dan McFadyen] 16:31:28
and factors in terms of readiness to launch a micro credential program and various considerations. So, and certainly. Yeah, feel free to reach out to us, we'd be happy to help, happy to talk.