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Procedure: Micro-credentials

Purpose

To describe the University's requirements regarding the preparation, submission and consideration of requests to establish, modify or disestablish micro-credentials, and the roles of key stakeholders and committees involved in the processing of proposals.

Definitions

Micro-credential: A micro-credential is a short-form credential designed and taught for lifelong learning rather than as part of an ANU program. For clarity, a micro-credential is not a program or a course as defined in ANU policy and procedure.

Micro-credential stack: a cohesive group of micro-credentials designed to achieve an overarching description and set of learning outcomes.

Lifelong learning: “Lifelong learning is the term used to describe any learning activities that are undertaken throughout life to acquire knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills within personal, civic, social and/or employment-related contexts” (Australian Qualifications Framework, 2nd ed. (January 2013), p. 97 (https://www.aqf.edu.au/; accessed 02/04/2019).

Procedure

Governance

  1. The Governance framework reflects that an ANU credential is awarded upon successful completion of an ANU micro-credential.

Creation

  1. A proposal for a micro-credential or a micro-credential stack may be submitted at any time and is considered on a rolling basis.
  2. A proposal for a micro-credential or micro-credential stack must be made on the approved form; the key content of the form is outlined below.
  3. The Head of the proposing AOU (Academic Organisational Unit) or Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT) considers the proposal and the resourcing of the teaching and either endorses or does not endorse.
  4. If endorsed, the Associate Dean (Education) of the proposing College or, for CLT, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) considers the proposal and whether it is compliant with this policy and procedure and either endorses or does not endorse.
  5. If endorsed, a University-level ad hoc ANU Micro-credentials Committee considers the proposal, especially strategic alignment, consultation, and fees, within ten business days of receipt of the proposal. The Committee is appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (DVCA) and must consist of at least three (3) persons, including either the DVCA or a direct academic report of the DVCA as Chair; and at least one (1) Associate Dean (Education) not from the proposing College. All proposals are made available to all Associate Deans (Education) and the Director of CLT. The committee may meet virtually. The decision is made by simple majority. If approved, approval is for a period of three years and the micro-credential or micro-credential stack is published.
  6. If approved, the paperwork for the micro-credential or micro-credential stack is to be included in the papers of the next Education Committee meeting of the managing College or the CLT Board of Studies as an item approved by Executive Action; and is to be included in the papers of the next Academic Quality Assurance Committee as an item approved by Executive Action.

Amendment

  1. Amendments to micro-credentials and micro-credential stacks, excluding to fees, are considered for approval by the Associate Dean (Education) of the managing College or, for CLT offerings, the Director of CLT; if approved, the amendments are published. The amendments are included in the papers of the next Education Committee meeting of the managing College or the CLT Board of Studies as an item approved by Executive Action; and a list of amended micro-credentials or micro-credential stacks is to be included in the papers of the next Academic Quality Assurance Committee as an item approved by Executive Action.
  2. Amendments to fees are considered by the ANU Micro-credentials Committee.
  3. The title of a micro-credential or micro-credential stack cannot be amended. If a different name is preferred a new proposal must be made.

Disestablishment

  1. A micro-credential or micro-credential stack may be disestablished by the Associate Dean (Education) of the managing College, the Director of CLT for CLT offerings or, in rare circumstances, by the ANU Micro-credentials Committee.
  2. To ensure that the ANU suite of micro-credentials reflects what is actually taught, any micro-credential not taught at least once over the previous three (3) years is disestablished. This is undertaken as part of the annual review process of the policy and procedure.

  1. A list of disestablished micro-credentials or micro-credential stacks is included in the papers of the next Education Committee meeting of the managing College/s or the CLT Board of Studies as an item approved by Executive Action; and a list of amended micro-credentials or micro-credential stacks is to be included in the papers of the next Academic Quality Assurance Committee as an item approved by Executive Action.

Review

  1. Six months before the end of their accreditation, micro-credentials or micro-credential stacks are submitted for consideration for reaccreditation by the hosting College or CLT using the approved form. Enrolee and any employer survey data must be submitted. Approval is by the College Associate Dean (Education) or, for CLT, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education). The review form is included in the papers of the next Education Committee meeting of the managing College/s or the CLT Board of Studies as an item approved by Executive Action; and a list of reviewed micro-credentials or micro-credential stacks including the review outcome is to be included in the papers of the next Academic Quality Assurance Committee as an item approved by Executive Action.
  2. The Associate Dean (Education) of the managing College or, for CLT, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) may call a review at any time and for any reason.

Surveying engagement and impact

  1. Each iteration of a micro-credential or micro-credential stack must implement an enrolee survey to measure engagement and impact. The preferred, but not required, model is to have one pre-credential survey undertaken on enrolment and one post-credential survey, to measure change in sentiment.

Content of Proposal

  1. A proposal for a micro-credential or micro-credential stack should be made on the approved form which will include:
  1. Name and Code;
  2. Language of instruction (if not English);
  3. Statement of alignment with the ANU Strategic Plan;
  4. Evidence of the outcome of consultation with other AOUs/CLT with an academic interest in the discipline/s and/or fields;
  5. Description of content (max. 100 words); for micro-credentials only: if taught as a “special topics” micro-credential, this is stated here and is to be based on the principles in the section “course topics and repeat enrolment” of the Academic Programs and Courses Accreditation Procedure;
  6. Learning outcomes;
  7. For micro-credentials only: assessment of the learning outcomes;
  8. For micro-credential stacks only: list of all micro-credentials that constitute the stack at that time;
  9. Assumed knowledge (there should not be formal prerequisites except that an ANU micro-credential may specify another ANU micro-credential as a formal pre-requisite, but there should be a statement that it is taught at graduate level);
  10. Workload in hours, including number of hours of face-to-face contact (see 7.2 below);
  11. ANU unit value, which may be either specified or unspecified; if specified, any programs to which credit is guaranteed (noting that credit for other programs may be applied for under the ANU Credit Policy);
  12. The AQF level (8, 9, or 10) or course code level (7000, 8000, or 9000) at which credit into an ANU program would be given;
  13. Proposed Fees; and
  14. Contact details.

Workload and unit value

  1. The ANU standard course workload is 130 hours workload = 6 units. Drawing on this, any assigned unit value is based on 21 hours = 1 unit. Micro-credentials that are not primarily designed for credit towards an ANU program are not required to assign a unit value.
  2. All ANU micro-credentials are required to include in-person face-to-face contact. This may be supplemented by on-line offerings. The in-person face-to-face contact is normally taught in intensive mode. The in-person face-to-face contact requirement may in rare circumstances be replaced by synchronous online face-to-face contact with the approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
  3. The face-to-face contact may be on the ANU campus or at any other location in Australia; off-shore teaching of a micro-credential is required to be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Assessment

  1. To receive a micro-credential, an enrolee must demonstrate attainment of the learning outcomes through completion of assessment. Owing to the brief nature of the micro-credential and its assessment, the ANU Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure do not apply.
  2. Assessment must have the following characteristics:
  1. all written assessment is to be submitted electronically using university-approved text matching software;
  2. each assessment item is to be marked as pass/fail and written feedback is provided to the enrolee;
  3. where more than one staff member is involved in marking, moderation processes must be undertaken to ensure consistency of marking;
  4. supplementary assessment is not available; if an enrolee receives an overall failing mark (less than 50%), the enrolee may request that all assessment be remarked by a marker who was not involved in the teaching of the course and who is appointed by the Head of School or, for CLT, the Director of CLT; if there is disagreement between the markers, the final decision shall rest with an Associate Dean of the managing College or, for CLT, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), whose decision is not subject to further appeal;
  5. the micro-credential outline must state principles for extensions and any penalties for late submission;
  6. given the level of assumed English language ability required for admission into micro-credentials, there are no special assessment arrangements for enrolees from language backgrounds other than English; and
  7. assessment is subject to the same rules, policies, and procedures regarding Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct as for ANU courses.

Academic Integrity

  1. All enrolees before commencing the assessment for their first ANU micro-credential must declare their commitment to abiding by academic integrity as part of the induction process. To support enrolees in understanding the University’s current standards, training in Academic Integrity is made available. The nature of this training is approved by Academic Board. There is no additional fee for this training.
  2. All assessment task submissions require agreement to the following declaration by the enrolee: “I declare that this work:
  • upholds the principles of academic integrity, as defined in the Academic Misconduct Rule;
  • is original, and is my own work except where collaboration (for example group work) has been authorised in writing by the convenor;
  • is produced for the purposes of this assessment task and has not been submitted for assessment in any other context, except where authorised in writing by the convenor;
  • gives appropriate acknowledgement of the ideas, scholarship and intellectual property of others insofar as these have been used; and
  • in no part involves copying, cheating, collusion, fabrication, plagiarism or recycling.”

Admission requirements

  1. All ANU micro-credentials has an admission requirement of completion of at least an AQF Level 7 Bachelor Degree or equivalent work experience, with no minimum GPA specified.
  2. Where the language of instruction is English, all micro-credentials must state the following: the assumed level of English Language competency is equivalent to completion of an undergraduate degree program taught in English.
  3. Although it is preferred that prior knowledge is stated as assumed knowledge, an ANU micro-credential may specify another ANU micro-credential as a formal pre-requisite; no other formal pre-requisites may be specified.
  4. The following assumed knowledge may be specified where relevant:
  1. A minimum period of work experience may be assumed, which may include particular type/s of work experience.
  2. Specific knowledge or skills may be assumed (e.g. a specific software package or a specific research technique)
  1. Micro-credentials, or specific iterations of micro-credentials, may be available only to nominated members of specific organisations.
  2. If cohort size for particular offerings is capped, a transparent selection mechanism must be specified.

Credit into ANU Programs

  1. Enrolees who have attained a micro-credential or micro-credential stack may apply for credit towards ANU programs under the ANU Credit Policy and Procedure. To facilitate this, ANU micro-credentialled offerings designed primarily as pathways to a graduate certificate or graduate degree are required to specify an ANU unit value. Just because an enrolee is eligible for or receives credit into an ANU program does not mean that the credit is able to be counted towards completion of the ANU program: enrolees must complete the approved program requirements and there may be no space in the program for the credit to be used.

Fees

  1. Fees are approved by the ANU Micro-credentials Committee. Standard fees must be at least the pro rata amount for an equivalent non-award course. Offerings tailored to and taught to particular closed cohorts may have their fees set in the contract.

Teaching

  1. A member of the teaching team who is an ANU academic staff member or, for CLT, a professional staff member of CLT, must be present at all teaching events.
  2. Convening and teaching must not be contracted out to third-party organisations; this does not preclude the payment of guest teaching staff.
  3. There is no requirement that any part of the contact is recorded or that a written record of the content is made available.

Publication of Micro-credentialled offerings

  1. A single consolidated website is to be created to allow publication and searching of micro-credentialled offerings.
  2. To avoid potential confusion with ANU AQF qualifications, ANU micro-credentialled offerings will not be published on programsandcourses and not available for enrolment through ISIS.
  3. Information to be published is:
  1. Name and Code;
  2. Language of instruction (if not English);
  3. Description of content (max. 100 words);
  4. Learning outcomes;
  5. For micro-credentials only: assessment of the learning outcomes;
  6. For micro-credential stacks only: list of all micro-credentials that constitute the stack at that time;
  7. Assumed knowledge;
  8. Workload in hours including hours of contact;
  9. ANU unit value, which may be either specified or unspecified; if specified, any programs to which credit is guaranteed (noting that credit for other programs may be applied for under the ANU Credit Policy);
  10. The AQF level (8, 9, or 10) or course code level (7000, 8000, or 9000) at which credit into an ANU program would be given;
  11. Admission requirements;
  12. Fees (if available for individual enrolment); and
  13. Contact details.
  1. Optional information
  • Offerings (for example, offerings only available to members of a particular organisation are not required to have the offering advertised).
  1. Standard statements:
  1. Academic integrity
  2. The micro-credential is taught at graduate level
  3. This is not an AQF Qualification
  4. Feedback mechanisms

Review of this procedure

  1. Owing to the sector-wide fast moving-developments relating to micro-credentials, this procedure is to be reviewed on an annual basis with the review submitted to the final AQAC meeting of each calendar year.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Micro-credentials
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_5972718
Version 5
Purpose To describe the University's requirements regarding the preparation, submission and consideration of requests to establish, modify or disestablish micro-credentials, and the roles of key stakeholders and committees involved in the processing of proposals.
Audience Staff-Academic
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Teaching & Learning
 
Effective Date 5 Oct 2019
Review Date 5 Oct 2020
 
Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Division of Student Administration and Academic Services
Authority Australian National University Act 1991
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Delegations 0

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Micro-credentials