If I beat you in chess, you know that I can play. Does good learning design create evidence, which can replace credentials?
One of the most interesting topics in the open education movement focuses on certification and credentialing of learning achievements by participants in open learning environments. The underlying assumption is that we need some form of certification, to validate what we have learned. In this session, I would like to to suggest (slightly tongue-in-cheek) that if we can re-imagine learning as a process that is authentic, social, and open - we might not require a separate certification process. Achievements can be evident in the learning itself.
== Does learning require certification? ==
Certification is a signal or currency, that lets us transfer achievements to those outside of our learning community. As a student, I don't need grades to signal my skills to those I studied with - but to those who don't know me, my abilities, or my achievements.
== If I beat you in chess, you know that I can play ==
Jim Gee calls testing "primitive" and the result of poor learning design, and compares students to game players. There is no need for testing in games, because each stage of the game requires some form of mastery and achievement before the player can enter.
== Does good learning create evidence, which can replace credentials? ==
If we follow Gee, we must ask if the problem with credentials is not rooted in the design of learning environments and experience. Can we borrow lessons from game design to make learning so authentic, engaging, and social that it produces all necessary evidence of achievements as a byproduct of the learning? (Or the other way around, does the learning become a byproduct of achievements?)
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