ICDE Working Group on the Present and Future of Alternative Digital Credentials


ICDE invited members to submit an Expression of Interest for participating in the Working Group on the Present and Future of Alternative Digital Credentials. The working group has been appointed.

The ICDE Executive Committee appointed the following to the Working Group:

  • Dr Darien Rossiter, RMIT University, Australia

  • Allyn Radford, Independent Consultant - Transforming Credentials, Australia

  • CHEONG Hee Kiat, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore

  • Dr Gabriela Geron, Connecting Iberoamerica, US/Mexico

  • A person from the staff of Mark Brown, NIDL , Dublin City University, Republic of Ireland

  • Ansary Ahmed, Asia e University, Malaysia

  • Deb Adair, Quality Matters, US

  • Stefania Acetor, UNIR, Spain

The Working Group is led by Dr. Gary Matkin, Dean, Continuing Education, University of California, Irvine, USA. Secretariat by Larry Cooperman, vice-dean Continuing Education, University of California, Irvine, USA.


The rapid adoption of Alternative Digital Credentials (ADCs), sometimes loosely termed “badges,” is an imperative for higher education institutions around the world.  ADCs will significantly transform the relationship between universities and their students, and, ultimately between higher education and society.  The use of ADCs will challenge the traditional university transcription process through the offering of a fully digital, information-rich record of knowledge, skills, and competencies.  While degree attainment will continue to be important, alternative forms of learning will quickly create a new ecosystem of skill and knowledge acquisition and evaluation for the marketplace. The demonstration of learning will be more important than where or how the learning occurred.  Traditional university transcripts, walled off by fees and the requirement for confidential dissemination, will be replaced, over time, with student control over the choice and dissemination of their individual learning accomplishments.  The challenge to higher education institutions is the creation of a competency-based system for attesting to the competency of individuals in defined, workplace-relevant learning projects.  Institutions that ignore the power of ADCs will quickly lose relevance and their position in the marketplace and surrender to other organizations the credibility they currently possess as certifiers of knowledge.   

The Mandate for the Working Group

The ICDE Working Group on the Present and Future of Alternative Digital Credentials is called upon to inform ICDE members about, and help them prepare for, the coming of ADCs.   The Working Group will prepare analysis and summaries of the current and future of ADCs related to their adoption by institutions and their use by institutions, students, and employers.  It will prepare reports on the current issues with regard to the implementing of ADCs by institutions, including reports on the vendors and system utilities available for adoption by institutions.  Importantly, it will propose institutional standards for the issuance of ADCs, standards that will inform institutions as they determine their own individual standards to meet the particular needs of their constituencies.  The Working Group will anticipate the future of the ADC movement and what impact this future might have on institutions.    Finally, the Working Group will identify opportunities to influence public policies in favor of the adoption of ADCs.

The Working Group will collaborate by virtual means.

Tentative Timeline

The Working Group is expected to deliver its recommendations late autumn 2018.

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