Navigating the Landscape of Micro-Credentialing in Higher Education: Exploring Potentials and Pitfalls

In the dynamic realm of higher education, the concept of micro-credentialing has emerged as a promising avenue for learners seeking to augment their skills and knowledge. Micro-credentials, often referred to as digital badges or nano-degrees, offer a flexible and accessible means of attaining specific competencies within a particular domain. However, amidst the enthusiasm for this innovative approach, it’s essential to distinguish what micro-credentialing is, what it isn’t, and what it could potentially evolve into, while also critically examining its strengths and pitfalls.

What is Micro-credentialing?

Micro-credentialing is a process through which learners acquire recognition for mastering specific skills or competencies, typically through short-term, targeted educational experiences. These credentials are awarded upon the completion of focused courses, projects, or assessments, often facilitated by educational institutions, professional organizations, or online learning platforms. Unlike traditional degrees, micro-credentials emphasize proficiency in discrete areas of expertise, allowing individuals to tailor their learning journey to align with their personal and professional goals.

What Micro-credentialing Isn’t

It’s crucial to recognize that micro-credentialing is not a substitute for traditional degrees or comprehensive educational programs. While micro-credentials offer valuable opportunities for skill acquisition and professional development, they do not encompass the breadth and depth of knowledge conferred by a formal degree. Additionally, micro-credentials may not always carry the same level of recognition or legitimacy within certain industries or academic circles, underscoring the importance of discernment when evaluating their relevance and applicability.

What Micro-credentialing Could Be

Looking ahead, the landscape of micro-credentialing holds considerable potential for evolution and expansion. As advancements in technology continue to reshape the educational landscape, micro-credentials have the opportunity to become increasingly personalized, adaptive, and integrated into lifelong learning pathways. Furthermore, collaborations between educational institutions, employers, and credentialing bodies could lead to the development of standardized frameworks for assessing and validating micro-credentials, enhancing their credibility and portability across diverse contexts.

Exploring Strengths and Pitfalls

While micro-credentialing offers numerous benefits, including flexibility, affordability, and targeted skill development, it also presents certain challenges and considerations.


  1. Flexibility: Learners can pursue micro-credentials at their own pace and convenience, accommodating busy schedules and diverse learning preferences.
  2. Relevance: Micro-credentials focus on specific competencies that align with current industry demands, allowing individuals to acquire skills that are directly applicable to their professional endeavors.
  3. Accessibility: Micro-credentials are often delivered through online platforms, making them accessible to learners worldwide, regardless of geographical location or socioeconomic status.


  1. Quality Assurance: Ensuring the rigor and credibility of micro-credentials can be challenging, particularly in the absence of standardized assessment and accreditation processes.
  2. Fragmentation: The proliferation of micro-credentials from various providers may result in fragmentation and lack of coherence within individuals’ learning pathways, posing challenges for employers and educational institutions when evaluating candidates’ qualifications.
  3. Equity Concerns: There is a risk that micro-credentialing initiatives may exacerbate existing inequities in education and employment opportunities, particularly if access to resources and support services is unequal across diverse learner populations.

Join the Discussion

As we navigate the terrain of micro-credentialing in higher education, it’s essential to engage in a dialogue that encompasses diverse perspectives and insights. What are your thoughts on the strengths and pitfalls of micro-credentialing? How can we harness its potential to foster lifelong learning and professional development? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and let’s explore this evolving educational paradigm together.

Enhancing Collaboration and Engagement with Notion

I recently developed an innovative learning experience leveraging Notion, a versatile workspace and project management platform, for professional development. Participants use Notion’s collaborative features to tackle real-world challenges, honing critical thinking and creativity in a digital environment.

Throughout the design process, I received UDL and intersectionality feedback aiming to enhance accessibility, engagement, and collaborative abilities. Integrating this input led to notable improvements.

For instance, I learned that clearly accommodating varying skill levels is vital for an excellent user experience. My original plan lacked details around supporting different technology literacy. However, after receiving UDL feedback, I explicitly incorporated flexibility for multiple literacy levels through accessibility tools, personalized support, and multimedia integration.

I also gained perspective on how digital experiences can isolate those requiring extra assistance. The remediation now includes one-on-one mentoring to nurture collaborative abilities alongside technical skills. Providing individualized emotional support promotes engagement, especially for struggling learners (Hernández-Sellés et al., 2019).

Additionally, I added multimedia content, like videos and images, to aid engagement and comprehension. As the intersectionality feedback indicated, visual and auditory elements assist English language learners. Aligning with UDL, multimedia functionality also appeals to different learning preferences.

However, some suggestions did not align with the experience’s objectives. For example, offering predefined templates could restrict creativity in solving open-ended problems. Since adaptability is core to the learning goals, I opted to focus support around Notion literacy rather than content structure.

By listening openly to UDL and intersectionality input, I gained crucial insight for strengthening user experience through strategic alignment with researched best practices. The improved learning plan better equips all participants to excel both individually and collaboratively within an innovative digital environment.

  • Draft version of learning plan
  • Final learning plan after feedback


Hernández-Sellés, N., Pablo-César Muñoz-Carril, & González-Sanmamed, M. (2019). Computer-supported collaborative learning: An analysis of the relationship between interaction, emotional support and online collaborative tools. Computers & Education, 138, 1–12.

Masayu, M. M., & Karani, E. (2022). Introducing Notion Workspace as Media of Language Learning: Materials Based on Local Culture of Central Kalimantan. PROSIDING SINAR BAHTERA, 211–223.

Exploring the Intersection of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the Notion of Failure in Higher Education

UDL :: Failure

In the landscape of educational technology in higher education, the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) have gained prominence for fostering inclusive and accessible learning environments. However, an intriguing aspect that warrants exploration is the relationship between UDL and the concept of “failing” within the academic context.

To illustrate this connection, I have crafted a mindmap that visually represents how the principles of UDL can be harnessed to address and mitigate the fear of failure among students (CAST, 2010). The infographic highlights key UDL principles such as multiple means of representation, engagement, and expression and how these can be strategically employed to create a learning ecosystem that embraces the inevitability of setbacks and failures.

In our pursuit of effective educational practices, it is imperative to acknowledge the symbiotic relationship between UDL and the concept of failing. The fear of failure often acts as a barrier to learning, inhibiting students from exploring beyond their comfort zones. The principles of UDL, with their emphasis on flexibility and accommodation, offer a powerful antidote to this fear.

By providing multiple means of representation, educators can privide diverse learning modalities based on the content, ensuring that students grasp content in ways that resonate with them based on their current understanding (CAST, n.d.). This not only reduces the likelihood of failure due to misunderstandings but also instills a sense of mastery and accomplishment. It also makes space for failure to be an essential aspect of any learning process by recognizing its formative properties rather than its unhelpful and punitive utility.

Furthermore, UDL’s focus on multiple means of engagement encourages educators to create learning experiences that captivate and motivate students (UDL: The UDL Guidelines, n.d.).. This proactive approach to engagement can help diminish the stigma associated with failure by fostering a positive and supportive learning environment.

Lastly, UDL promotes multiple means of expression, allowing students to showcase their understanding in varied formats (UDL: The UDL Guidelines, n.d.).. This not only respects individual preferences and strengths but also promotes a growth mindset where failure is seen as a stepping stone toward improvement.

In conclusion, the synergy between UDL and the concept of failure is a testament to the transformative potential of inclusive educational practices. By embracing UDL principles, educators can cultivate an environment where failure is reframed as an integral part of the learning journey, fostering resilience and a deeper commitment to academic success.


CAST. (2010, January 6). UDL At A Glance. [Video].

CAST. (n.d.). About Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved November 22, 2023, from

Navigating the Tapestry of Perspectives: A Reflection on Media Consumption

In the quest to broaden my understanding and challenge my thinking on educational technology, this week’s exploration into my media consumption proved enlightening. Analyzing my sources and introducing new ones opened doors to diverse viewpoints and pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone.

Experiences and Insights

Reflecting on my media consumption revealed a certain level of comfort in echo chambers, emphasizing the importance of intentional diversification (Coiro, 2017; Gee, 2004). Adding Audrey Watters to my Twitter feed brought forth critiques challenging prevailing narratives in educational technology. The podcast “The EdSurge Podcast” provided nuanced discussions, prompting me to reevaluate some preconceptions (Leetaru, 2017).

Meaningful Ideas

One particularly impactful realization was the tendency to gravitate towards familiar voices. Intentionally engaging with contrasting perspectives became a conscious effort. Deleting a few sources that only reaffirmed existing beliefs emphasized quality over quantity, reinforcing the idea that meaningful insights can arise from a curated, diverse media landscape (Coiro, 2017).

People or Organizations Added/Deleted

The addition of TeacherTube brought practical classroom perspectives, enriching my understanding of how technology is employed in diverse educational settings. Deleting sources that only reaffirmed existing beliefs was a deliberate move to break free from the confines of a digital echo chamber (Gee, 2013).

Affinity Spaces and Filter Bubbles

This week underscored the challenge of stepping outside familiar spaces. The curation process prompted reflection on the inadvertent formation of filter bubbles and the need to consciously burst them. The internet’s vastness can be both a blessing and a curse, as it allows for tailored content but also reinforces biases if not navigated thoughtfully (Leetaru, 2017).

Relevant Media

Caption: Embracing diverse perspectives in educational technology (Coiro, 2017, p. 11).

In conclusion, this experiment illuminated the necessity of a dynamic and diversified media diet. The journey continues, but this week’s insights have sown the seeds for a more inclusive, enriching exploration of educational technology and its manifold dimensions.


  • Coiro, J. (2017, August 29). Teaching adolescents how to evaluate the quality of online information. Edutopia. Link
  • Gee, J. P. (2004). Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling. Proquest. Link
  • Leetaru, K. (2017, December 18). Why 2017 was the year of the filter bubble? Forbes. Link
  • Gee, J. P. (2013). The anti-education era: Creating smarter students through digital learning. Palgrave/MacMillan.
  • TED. (2011, February). Beware online “filter bubbles” | Eli Pariser. [Video]. Youtube. Link

AI Hype and the Risks of Dehumanization: A Critical Look at Education Technology

EdSurge Logo

I listened to an EdSurge podcast on my commute this morning titled “How AI Could Spark Fundamental Shifts in Education.” While the podcast raised thought-provoking questions about how AI could transform learning, it also revealed the tendency for experts to overhype and make overly optimistic predictions about these technologies.

The podcast interviewed two authors of a paper speculating on the future impacts of AI in education. They discussed scenarios ranging from AI being banned to humans uploading knowledge directly to our brains “Matrix”-style. While imaginative, all of these predictions need to be taken with a huge grain of salt. As the history of AI shows, our ability to foresee technological change is extremely limited.

Past predictions about AI have almost universally overestimated its capabilities and timeframe. For example, the podcast mentioned how one of the pioneers of AI in the 1950s thought we would solve computer vision in a summer. Yet it took over 50 more years to achieve major breakthroughs in that area. This illustrates the poor track record experts have in forecasting AI’s development.

Furthermore, the speakers gave little attention to the risks and potential downsides of these technologies. There was an implicit assumption that AI will inevitably advance and that we must adapt our education systems accordingly. But there are real dangers in terms of these technologies deskilling professionals, displacing human roles, and diminishing rather than enhancing our capabilities.

Rather than speculating on fanciful scenarios of brain implants and AI-run corporations, we should have a sober assessment of if and how to implement AI ethically. This requires focusing less on hypothetical futures and more on education’s core purposes – fostering creativity, critical thinking, empathy and human connection. If technology is dehumanizing or detracting from those goals, it should be rejected, not embraced.

AI may yield transformative changes, but they will likely unfold gradually and unevenly. Evaluating new edtech tools requires avoiding both utopian dreams and dystopian nightmares. With care and wisdom, we can harness AI’s benefits while avoiding its hazards. But we must approach it skeptically, not as cheerleaders or passive determinists. The future remains unwritten, and we must take responsibility for shaping education technology, not be shaped by it.

Just Another Dave: Unpacking Copyright in Podcast Episode 001

just another dave…

Welcome to the very first episode of “Just Another Dave,” a podcast that explores the complex and often perplexing world of copyright. A special thanks to Tracy Balduzzi, a people connector and aspiring world traveler from Syracuse University who I met last week at OLC Accellerate in Washington D.C. and who encouraged me to do this. I honestly wouldn’t have without her nudging. So, thank you. In this inaugural episode, we delve into the age-old wisdom of “nothing new under the sun” and examine how copyright intersects with our quest for knowledge and creativity.

Episode 001 Outline

Nothing New Under the Sun

I start by contemplating the ancient wisdom of Ecclesiastes 1:9, which reminds us that there is “nothing new under the sun.” This timeless concept lays the foundation for our discussion on copyright, where the old meets the new.

Re:mix Assignment

Reflecting on my recent experiences in school, I discuss the “re:mix assignment,” wondering if I should be taking courses I have taught before. I’m wondering about the importance of honesty about my learning journey being key as I explore the evolving landscape of copyright. I resonate with Ecclesiastes 1:18, which warns that “the more knowledge, the more grief.”

The Internet’s Own Boy

In this section, I link copyright to the story of “The Internet’s Own Boy,” underlining the significance of intellectual property and how knowledge can sometimes bring misery.

Imposter Syndrome

I explore the concept of imposter syndrome in the context of copyright, discussing the challenges of individuality, standing out in the world, and the multiplicity of ideas that share the same name. I’m pondering the age-old questions: “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?” and “Where am I headed?”

Artificial Intelligence

I begin a very brief dive into the questions raised when we explore the implications of artificial intelligence on copyright and intellectual property.

All Things New

I wrap up by reflecting on the idea of singing “to the Lord a new song” and the potential for innovation and change in the realm of copyright.

Bob Dylan

Finally, I conclude with an inspirational Bob Dylan video that echoes the themes of creativity and originality in the world of music and art.

Join me on this intellectual journey as I embark on “Just Another Dave.” In this podcast, I’ll explore the intersections of copyright, education, and technology, drawing on timeless wisdom, modern insights, and thought-provoking discussions. Stay tuned for future episodes that promise to be as honest and raw as they are entertaining.

The Joy and Power of Learning Through Creating

Shared freely on Unsplash by Toa Heftiba

Learning is a lifelong journey full of twists, turns, and opportunities for growth. As we learn, we build new connections in our brains, construct knowledge, and expand our perspectives. This process of learning can be challenging yet rewarding. Two learning theories that provide frameworks for effective learning are constructivism and constructionism.

Constructivism views learning as an active process where learners construct new ideas and concepts based on their current and past knowledge and experiences. Learners are not blank slates but bring their unique backgrounds to the learning process. Under a constructivist model, instructors act as facilitators who help guide student learning through strategies like encouraging reflection, providing mentoring, and designing authentic tasks. Students are empowered to take ownership of their learning journey (O’Donnell, 2012).

Constructionism builds on the ideals of constructivism by emphasizing the importance of learning through creating. Papert’s theory of constructionism posits that people learn best when actively creating, exploring, and pursuing projects. This hands-on approach allows for deeper engagement and gives learners control over synthesizing and demonstrating their knowledge. Constructionist learning often involves using technology as a creative tool. Students gain robust understanding by designing artifacts like computer programs, sculptures, films, or blogs (Ackermann, 2001). The act of creating externalizes internal learning processes.

Both constructivist and constructionist approaches recognize the motivating power of giving students agency in learning. When learners take an active role, they gain lifelong skills like problem-solving, communication, and critical thinking. By tailoring education to students’ interests and enabling them to construct meaning, student engagement and self-efficacy rise (Rob & Rob, 2018).

Failure in Constructivist Learning

Failure on the path to success is natural and even necessary when employing constructivist and constructionist techniques. We must reframe failure not as a negative endpoint but as feedback used to iterate and improve. As Edutopia (2013) states in their video “Reframing Failure as Iteration Allows Students to Thrive,” failure motivates students to find new strategies, seek input, and strengthen perseverance.

The constructivist learning environment is ideal for normalizing failure as part of the learning process. When students have space for open-ended exploration, creative risk-taking is encouraged. Failure shifts from being personal to being informational. Each failure gives students data to adjust course and improve. Open communication about what went wrong can help students extract lessons. Constructivist instructors aid this process with guidance on responding resiliently to setbacks.

Embedding failure as a welcome part of the learning loop empowers students. It promotes stretching comfort zones, pursuing ambitious work, and dusting oneself off after setbacks. Students realize failure is not a statement on their abilities but a sign of engagement. Adopting this mindset helps students take ownership of their education as they design constructs to apply their developing knowledge.

The Path Forward with AI

Artificial intelligence has potential to enhance human learning in alignment with constructivist and constructionist values. AI tutoring systems allow personalized education based on each student’s changing knowledge state. Collaborating with idea-generating tools like ChatGPT allows students to bring their creativity to life efficiently. AI image generation promotes multimedia constructionist learning through artmaking.

Carefully designing the roles between educator, student, and AI is key. AI should not replace human teachers but act as a tool to amplify human strengths. AI can reduce busywork to provide space for reflective discourse and knowledge co-creation. Students remain the drivers of their learning, leveraging AI to construct meaning and artifacts. Used ethically, AI propels constructivist and constructionist techniques into the future.

The wonder of learning is that the journey never ends. Each lesson, whether success or failure, expands our perspectives. Constructivism and constructionism empower learners to chart their own course through this exciting voyage of growth. By remembering failure’s hidden gifts and utilizing new tools like AI responsibly, education continues to flourish. I invite you to join me in embracing the joy and power of learning through creating.


My “Why Go Up There” Re:mix…

My “Why Go Up There” SpaceX Video Remix

Grab your spacesuit and buckle up,

because we’re about to blast off on

an exciting journey to the stars!

The date – February 6th, 2018. The place – Cape Canaveral, Florida. The event – SpaceX’s first test launch of the epic Falcon Heavy rocket. I watched with bated breath as the engines ignited and the rocket took to the skies. My heart pounded as the boosters separated and returned to land smoothly back on Earth. Then the second stage soared higher into orbit, carrying SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s shiny red Tesla Roadster with the mannequin “Starman” at the wheel.

It was a picture-perfect launch, defying the odds and exceeding expectations. As the Roadster drifted alone through the cosmos with the Earth spinning magnificently behind it, I was filled with wonder and optimism about the future SpaceX is helping create.

This astonishing event deserved an equally epic soundtrack. Luckily, I stumbled upon a relic from the dawn of the space age – a 1960’s album called Singing Science that used catchy tunes to teach kids about the universe. One song in particular, “Why Go Up There,” captured the hopeful spirit of SpaceX’s accomplishment. I couldn’t resist remixing SpaceX’s launch footage with this retro space shanty playing proudly in the background!

Now I can’t stop watching the remixed video, geeking out as the Falcon Heavy launches to the tune of “Why Go Up There.” It’s the perfect marriage of the past dreams and present marvels of space exploration. I hope it inspires you too to reach for the stars!

The cosmos awaits, my fellow space cadets! 🚀

The original video footage of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy test launch is owned and published by SpaceX. The video was uploaded to YouTube on the official SpaceX channel on February 6, 2018. The SpaceX launch footage has been remixed with the “Why Go Up There” song by Dave Goodrich. This remix video constitutes a transformative work for commentary purposes under fair use copyright guidelines.

Navigating the AI Landscape in Education: My OLC Accelerate Reflection

Teaching with Generative AI Keynote

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the OLC Accelerate conference, a gathering of brilliant minds in the world of online learning and educational technology. Among the many intriguing themes, AI stood out prominently. It seemed like everyone had something to say about artificial intelligence, and as a Learning Experience Designer with a deep commitment to education, I was eager to dive into these conversations. What I found was a spectrum of views, from outright skepticism to unbridled optimism. In this blog post, I’d like to share my thoughts and experiences from the conference, as well as my encounters with both old friends and new acquaintances.

AI: The Dilemma of Two Extremes

Leveraging AI to Enhance Higher Education Access

The prevailing discourse on AI in education at the conference seemed to fall into two camps: the “AI is bad” and the “AI is a panacea” perspectives. While both views have their merits, I couldn’t help but feel that we needed more nuanced discussions. Education is a complex field, and AI’s role within it should reflect that complexity. It’s crucial that we explore the nuances and find the middle ground, where AI can enhance education without compromising its core values.

Promoting Deeper Conversations

Friends in an elevator

To encourage a more profound exploration of AI in education, I had the opportunity to share the “A.I. Dilemma” video on YouTube with fellow conference attendees. The video aims to broaden the AI conversation beyond the context of education, inspiring viewers to think critically about the broader implications of AI in our lives. I hope that by sharing this content, we can spark more nuanced discussions about AI’s role in education and beyond.

Meeting Old and New Friends

UNC Charlotte Team

As always, the most enriching part of the conference for me was the conversations. I reconnected with old friends, Maddie, Clark, and Angela, and had the pleasure of making new acquaintances like Josh, Chuck, Curtis, Garvey, Lynn, Melanie, Blair, Megan, John, and many more. These interactions allowed me to see diverse perspectives and approaches to AI in education, broadening my own understanding and deepening my commitment to the field.

Sessions I Attended

Josh Herron, PhD

During the conference, I had the opportunity to attend a range of sessions that touched on various aspects of AI in education. Some of the highlights included the Leadership Network Symposium on leveraging AI for higher education access, the discussion on equitable and inclusive mental health and wellness solutions, and a session on personalized professional development in the changed world. I was also excited to present on “Design for Change: Building DEI Training Hiring Committees at MSU.” These sessions I attended provided valuable insights and reinforced the idea that AI should be used thoughtfully and purposefully.

The Way Forward

Charles D. Dziuban

As I reflect on the conference, I’m convinced that AI’s role in education is not a binary choice. It’s a tool that can be harnessed to make education better but should be used with care, consideration, and nuance. Our journey to harness the potential of AI in education requires ongoing conversations and a commitment to responsible AI integration.


Angela Gunder, PhD and I being goofy

The OLC Accelerate conference was a remarkable experience filled with insights, conversations, and meaningful connections. As I continue my path as a Learning Experience Designer and a PhD student in education, I’m excited to contribute to these discussions and work towards an educational landscape where AI supports our goals without compromising our values. Thank you to all the friends, new and old, who made this conference so memorable.

I look forward to continuing the dialogue on AI in education and exploring the ever-evolving world of educational technology.


Holy bananas, Batman, OLC Accelerate is next week!

I’m so excited to be heading to Washington DC next week for the OLC Accelerate conference! This will be my first time attending since the pandemic and I’ve missed it. I’m also looking forward to presenting on Design For Change: Building DEI Training Hiring Committees At MSU,” which has been a rewarding project I have been able to be a part of this past year.

View from above to Washington DC, US Capitol Building. Constitution Avenue. Free to use under the Unsplash License from Vlad Gorshkov

OLC Accelerate is one of the premier conferences for online learning professionals. It brings together over 2,000 attendees each year to discuss the latest trends, research, and best practices in online education. I’m really looking forward to learning from the excellent keynote speakers, thought leaders, and practitioners who will be presenting.

The timing couldn’t be better either. Our university is working to grow and improve our online programs. I plan on attending sessions on instructional design, online student engagement, and using data and analytics to enhance the student experience. I hope to discover new strategies and tools we can implement to take our online offerings to the next level.

Networking is another benefit I’m eager to tap into at the conference. I’ll have the chance to connect with peers from other institutions, vendors, and online learning experts. Building these relationships will be invaluable as we continue innovating. I’m excited for the opportunity to exchange ideas and get feedback on the work we’re doing.

Washington DC is such an amazing city as well. I’m looking forward to exploring some of the history and culture during my free time at the conference. This will be my first visit to the nation’s capital. I can’t wait to see the monuments and museums, take in the architecture, and sample local cuisine.

Attending OLC Accelerate is an investment in my professional development and growth as an online learning leader. I’m confident I’ll return with fresh inspiration, knowledge, and contacts that will help strengthen our university’s online offerings. I can’t wait to immerse myself in the latest ideas and connect with fellow practitioners who are as passionate about digital education as I am. It’s going to be an amazing experience! I’ll be Tweeting (or Xing is it now?) from my account here during the conference next week and look forward to meeting you in person if you are there!

See you soon!