|Our Research and Knowledge Management Evaluator recently attended an informational webinar hosted by Credential Engine that talked about their Credential Registry. She has also checked out the Credential Registry website and we asked her what her impression is and if she thinks this would be a useful tool for international credential evaluators.|
Recently the Credential Registry (powered by the Credential Engine) has been a topic of conversation, both in the news and in our office. Questions abound as to its content, goal, and usefulness. What is all the hype about?
Institutions and various third-party entities are invited to submit their credentials to the registry in order to capture the components of their program. One question remains as to how the programs are validated and whether accreditation is a concern in recording information. Since this is a self-reporting process, who monitors if the descriptions are being applied appropriately?
It seems their goal is to become a “one-stop shopping” site surrounding all forms of education and training. For employers and corporations, it describes credentials beyond the standard bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, etc. Students can search and find various programs within their fields.
Perhaps the greatest output of the Credential Engine is their attempt to create a universal vocabulary. This will aid in the transparency of education in the future. The Credential Transparency Description Language strives to create common terminology that will be used by all to describe their programs, whether they are degrees, badges, certificates, etc., and offers guidelines to publish information about a credential. But how will this information be used and interpreted outside of the Credential Registry?
It's still in the infant stage, since the framework has been developed, built, and implemented, yet more information needs to be added to increase the value and make it robust and usable. What we currently have is more questions, but hopefully the answers will be coming soon.
It may be too early to determine what, if any, contributions credential evaluators can add to the registry. There are still questions as to what value the registry will hold for the field of international comparative education as well. It may serve as a resource or tool for credential evaluators evaluating U.S. credentials, or when trying to pinpoint a U.S. equivalence, but for the time being, it may not be suitable for international programs and research. The focus is strictly on domestic credentials and programs.
Education is dynamic and fluid, and new credentials are being developed every day. Capturing and categorizing the vast majority of possibilities seems daunting, to say the least. As the registry builds, we’ll continue to keep an eye on its importance to the field. We’re confident this won’t be the last time Credential Engine is a topic of conversation.
Melissa Ganiere is a Research & Knowledge Management Evaluator and has been with ECE since 2006. She specializes in education from Sub-saharan Africa and South East Asia, along with refugee documentation and online verification.