To build greater trust, we need improvements across the three domains of trust—quality, evidence and transparency. We need quality assurance processes to become more transparent and aligned with workforce needs and to promote adherence to, and continuous improvement of, these standards. We need more complete and comprehensive data collection and research/evaluation efforts to produce evidence of credential outcomes and value. We need increased transparency and much greater investment in guidance to help users make informed choices about a credential’s value for their purposes. To make informed choices, consumers, especially “first-generation learners,” need help and context to understand what data are important, what the data mean, and how to rely on evidence and data to make decisions.
The Building Trust report identifies some promising approaches in the field to address this issue, and concludes with a set of recommendations for action.
The five reports are:
- Building Trust in the Quality of Credentials – This workgroup identified three interrelated factors essential to users trusting credentials: quality, transparency, and evidence.
- Equipping Adult Learners to Attain Market-Valued Postsecondary Credentials -This group urged communities to develop comprehensive, integrated support services adults can draw upon to remove barriers to learning they encounter.
- Aligning Supply and Demand Signals – This workgroup describes the opportunity presented by the convergence of technology changes and increasing focus on competencies to transform hiring and job searches.
- Improving Learner Mobility – This group recommended actions to strengthen the meaning and role for shorter-term credentials (certificates, certifications, badges, and more) in education and employment.
- Making All Learning Counts a Reality – This group created a two-part model to help understand what learning doesn’t count for either educational credit or employment, and made recommendations centered on opportunities to ensure work-based learning is recognized for both purposes.
Each report contains an overview of the issue on which the workgroup focused, examples of promising practices, and recommended actions. This set of reports offers an important supplement to the recommended actions published a year ago in From National Dialogue to Collective Action: Building Learning-Based Credentialing Systems.