Tag: micro credentials

Practicing What They Preach: Micro-Credentialing at Kettle Moraine

January 15, 2018 by

This article is part of a series on personalized, proficiency-based education in Wisconsin and the eighth in a ten-part series on Kettle Moraine. Please read the first post on Kettle Moraine before continuing to read this post, as it will prepare you to fully take advantage of the ideas and resources shared in this series.

Kettle Moraine School District (KM) is practicing what they preach. If one-size-fits-all doesn’t work for students, why would we think it would work for teacher professional development?

KM is embedding personalized learning throughout their organization. (Reminder: In Wisconsin, personalized learning has three core elements: learner profiles, customized learning plans, and proficiency-based progression.) With the support of the school board, they have organized learning for adults the same way they do for students in the personalized learning campuses. As one of the district team members explained, “Micro-credentials are about embedding design thinking and research into the professional lives of teachers. But it doesn’t stop with just knowing. The important step is implementing it with classroom.”

Here’s how it works: Teachers develop and submit learning plans that indicate the specific skills they want to develop. Educators can choose from micro-credentials offered through the district, select ones available through the partnership with Digital Promise, or suggest ones of their own making, thus ensuring they can meet their various needs. Teachers build the skills, apply them in their classrooms, and then submit artifacts of their learning for approval of their skill. Artifacts might include teacher self-reflection or student work. A panel of their peers reviews the artifacts submitted and award the micro-credential. After receiving a micro-credential, teachers are awarded an increase in their base salary.

Although interest in micro-credentialing is high, the interest in linking it to teacher pay is not. When Wisconsin state legislature passed Act 10 that limited collective bargaining to wages, KM was able to design a strategy to link learning with teachers’ base salary. As teachers earn micro-credentials, it increases their base salary from anywhere between $100 and $600. Patricia DeKlotz, Superintendent, explained, “If districts are going to fully transform schools, we need to make sure everything we do is aligned with our strategic goals. We need to support our teachers in a way that allows them to become familiar with personalized learning and to build the skills to effectively implement personalized learning strategies.” To date, KM may be the only district that has fully linked their micro-credential professional learning strategy to teacher salary.   (more…)

Personalized PD and Collaborative Teams: A Symbiotic Approach to Professional Learning, Part 2

December 1, 2017 by

This post originally appeared at the Center for Collaborative Education on September 7, 2017. In Part 1 of this series, Lebeaux shared some analysis of the ways in which Personalized Professional Development and Collaborative Teams mutually benefit one another and support a school’s process of sustainable, positive transformation.  In Part 2, below, she provides some guidance on potential approaches to bringing both of these into practice.

Bringing about transformative teacher practice is challenging in any circumstance; in a low-performing school falling under local and state scrutiny, it’s particularly dire. And yet schools fraught with high pressure for students to “perform” well and for data to demonstrate their turnaround most particularly require the kind of motivated, self-improving, and engaged staff that these tandem PD structures would provide. As a result, we require a strategic and intentional approach to implementing these two practices, each of which is revolutionary in their own right, to make them feasible and accessible to the schools that need them the most.

Although the two structures mutually reinforce each other, they need not be introduced simultaneously. The two columns of tips in the infographic seen here are not chronological steps in a process so much as attributes important to the success of each. As a result, we can explore the earliest steps of each approach individually below.

Click here to view the full image.

Getting Started with Personalized Professional Development

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5 Things I Learned While Scoring Micro-credentials

November 14, 2017 by

This post originally appeared at the Center for Collaborative Education on October 18, 2017.

How can we create learning experiences that respect adults as learners and support teacher driven professional development? That was the question educators in Rhode Island set out to answer as part of the Assessment for Learning Project. At the heart of the project was a set of performance assessment micro-credentials designed by teachers. I had the task of reviewing many of the 100 submissions we received and two things are now clear to me. First, writing a performance assessment micro-credential is a performance assessment in and of itself. Second, adults are not much different from younger students when it comes to assessment. I found being a reviewer to be fascinating! Here are some of the things I learned while scoring micro-credentials.


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