For the last year, I worked half-time as a teacher and half time helping manage Utah Microcredentials. What are Utah Microcredentials?
Utah Microcredentials are personalized, competency-based learning for educators.
The most common question I get about microcredentials is how long does it take to earn one?
The answer varies depending on the person. Microcredentials are not courses, and they are not based on seat time or assignments. For each microcredential, educators submit evidence of competency in that area. Evidence can look like lesson or unit plans, pre- or post- assessment data, video, screencast, observation reports, etc.
Once you put a microcredential in your “backpack” to start working on it, you can leave it there as long as needed. I’ve earned microcredentials in as little as a couple of hours (for areas where I knew I had evidence of competency readily available). But I’ve also had some microcredentials in my backpack for several weeks, allowing me the time to plan and gather the evidence I need.
What are the advantages of Utah Microcredentials, or why would you want to earn one?
Utah Microcredentials are a form of professional development that can be earned without ever leaving the classroom. Each Utah Microcredential is worth .5 USBE credits, which can be used toward salary or lane changes in many Utah school districts.
Microcredentials are a good way for teachers to show teacher leadership. Microcredentials can also be done in collaboration with professional learning communities.
One of my favorite aspects of microcredentials is that there are several Utah educator endorsements that are available in microcredentials. These include secondary math and ELA endorsements, PE, health, instructional coaching, elementary math and STEM, and others. There are more endorsements being built all the time.
I’m especially excited about the Utah Educational Technology endorsement microcredentials, which are currently in beta testing, but will become available to all Utah educators later this year.
There are more Utah educator endorsement pathways being built with microcredentials all the time. The goal is that any endorsement that could be earned through university courses will eventually be available through Utah Microcredentials.
How do you earn microcredentials?
Go to the MIDAS website, just as you would to sign up for other Utah professional learning opportunities: https://usbe.midaseducation.com/professional-development/catalog/introduction
Click on “microcredentials” from the menu at the top. (You’ll need to log in with your MIDAS account login before you can put microcredentials in your backpack or start working on them).
Notice the search option as well as the “stacks” on the left. The numbers in parentheses next to each stack tell you how many microcredentials are in that stack. You can earn one microcredential without earning the entire stack. Remember, microcredentials are personalized!
I clicked on the project-based learning stack, since PBL is one of my favorite areas. This stack currently has four microcredentials. The first to come up is called “Designing Authentic Questions.”
If you click on “More Info,” you can read all about the microcredential. You can also click on “Earn this microcredential” to put the microcredential in your backpack and start working.
When you’re working in MIDAS, watch for blue text. Blue text is a button you can click on, for example, to submit evidence.
Microcredential submissions currently require a $20 fee, which you will pay when you have finished uploading your evidence. The fee covers the cost of having the microcredential reviewed and approved by an expert in the content area.
Leave me a comment if you need more guidance or if you would like to share your experience with Utah Microcredentials.