In the rapidly evolving landscape of learning and employment, it’s increasingly becoming important for people to be able to clearly communicate what they know and can do. One useful innovation is digital wallets that can store information related to a person’s education, training, and work records, aka Learning and Employment Records (LERs). LERs are emerging as a valuable tool for accessing, linking, and verifying credential and skill information as part of broader state, regional, and national investments in data transparency and learner/worker empowerment. For LERs to unlock learning and career opportunities, they need to include meaningful information supported by a linked open data structure, the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL). This human- and machine-readable data illuminates and contextualizes a person’s abilities by accurately describing credentials, skills, assessments, jobs, and more.
Two great guides are among the many valuable resources that enable you to build strong, sustainable LER ecosystems: Jobs for the Future’s (JFF) Centering Credential Transparency: A Case-Making Guide and Credential Engine’s newly updated and widely used Learning and Employment Records Action Guide.
JFF’s recently released Case-Making Guide dives into the importance of CTDL and how it is foundational for an “equitable workforce credential marketplace” where LERs unlock opportunities. “Communicating the value (how these credentials help learner advancement) and the usability (what workers and learners know and can do on the job as a result of these credentials) requires data transparency and integration.” CTDL “enables key features of the credential market,” including:
- Dynamic Design: The structure and functionality of the credential market should be able to evolve in response to changes in stakeholder needs, technological advances, and more.
- Democratized Access: All learners and workers should be able to easily access, identify, and navigate through the credential market.
- Interconnected Data: To ensure that disparate systems are able to share data and users are able to easily find relevant information, the marketplace should make use of a rich array of metadata, including skills and competencies.
- Comparability: All stakeholders should be able to compare and evaluate credentials based on specific criteria, including employment outcomes.
This guide provides explicit activation points for each of these key features, aligned to specific stakeholder impacts.
As a great companion to the JFF Case Making Guide, Credential Engine has published the 4th version of our widely and successfully used Learning and Employment Records Action Guide. This newly updated version reflects the rapid changes in this arena and provides clear navigation for the phases and steps that stakeholders can take to develop trusted LER ecosystems (from understanding, engaging, analyzing, and implementing to sustaining). The purpose of this action guide is to support the implementation of LERs and to ensure that “policy and state actions create ecosystems where LERs are widely accessible, understood, and trusted, inclusive of all aspects of an individual’s education, training, military, experiential learning, and work achievements, and securely shareable to connect people with opportunities.”