Frequently Asked Questions

What is a microcredential?

Colleges & Institutes Canada defines a microcredential as “a certification of assessed competencies that is additional, alternate, complementary to, or a component of a formal qualification.”

Guiding Principles

  • Microcredentials can be a complement to traditional credentials (certificate, diploma, degree or post-graduate certificate) or stand alone.
  • Microcredentials are subject to a robust and rigorous quality assurance process.
  • Microcredentials should represent competencies identified by employers/industry sectors to meet employer needs.
  • Microcredentials may provide clear and seamless pathways across different credentials (both non-credit and credit) and may be stackable.
  • Microcredentials are based on assessed proficiency of a competency, not on time spent learning.
  • Microcredentials are secure, trackable, portable and competency is documented in students’ academic records.
  • Microcredentials are to follow institutional approval processes.”

In short, microcredentials are condensed, granular units of specific learning that can be accessed to upskill and become more proficient in a particular area. Microcredentials are generally, though not always, non-credit training opportunities. They are often taken up for immediate application to the learner’s career responsibilities, in addition to being opportunities available for lifelong learning.

What is a micro-course?

A micro-course is a learning opportunity that is short in duration (typically 10 hours or less). Micro-courses cover a variety of topics and are open to students of all backgrounds, without any eligibility requirements.

What is a digital badge?

A Digital Badge is an online form of Record of Completion to demonstrate your achievement.

The University of Alberta is a member of MyCreds™ (owned by ​​the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada). MyCreds™ is powered by Digitary, an international document issuing organization that stores learner documents securely.

Through MyCreds™, the University of Alberta is able to issue digital badges to students, for the completion of applicable microcredentials and micro-courses. A digital badge is a verifiable credential that can be used to demonstrate skills and competencies on students’ social media platforms and to employers. Within each digital badge is metadata that communicates pertinent information about the micro-course or microcredential, such as types of assessments and activities, instructor and skills that were acquired.