In the long-term the project will increase the quality and quantity of micro-credentials on offer within the European Higher Education Area, as well as enable recognition of those same credentials by different educational organizations and employers.
In order to achieve this, we have created a public consultation for a Meta-Data Standard for recording Micro-Credentials.
The European Qualification Framework (EQF) enables learners, learning providers and employers to compare qualifications between different national systems. The meta-data is therefore an attempt to create a new or additional EQF schema within the EQF pillar in ESCO that proposes a set of standard meta-data for documenting micro-credentials, and specifically on how to record, store and transfer them via computer systems.
This means interoperability is of crucial importance. The meta-data standard needs to be mapped to other frameworks in order to have a take-up and launch micro-credentials as a feasible innovation in the qualification market.
In order to achieve maximum interoperability, we have chosen ESCO as our default ontology, as it includes EQF and is currently the best classification of (i) 13485 European Skills and (ii) Competences, and (iii) 2444 Qualifications and 2942 Occupations. It systematically shows the relationships between the different concepts via an ontology which can be used by computer systems across Europe.
We are basically mapping the “micro-credentials” concept to ESCO - creating a correspondence table between two classifications. As part of the process, which is assisted by software tools, we as experts have identified corresponding concepts in the two classifications and recorded a relationship (mapping) between them.
The resulting "mapping" or "correspondence table" indicates for each concept in one classification the corresponding concept(s) in the other classification. To do this we used the SKOS relationships, such as "same as", "broader", or "narrower". Similarly, the Commission tested the mapping of national occupational classifications to ESCO during the ESCO occupations mapping pilot. This fits our purpose, as it makes the case for choosing ESCO, as there is a long term plan for using and updating ESCO.
In order to achieve this, we have created a public consultation for a Meta-Data Standard for recording Micro-Credentials, see here https://microcredentials.eu/consultation/.