Digital skills, badges, and microcredentials: Reflections on the basis of a use case
12-01, 15:30–15:35 (Europe/Berlin), Stage 2, Einstein-Saal, BBAW

Digital microcredentials are key for the future of education. Governments and the private sector are offering multiple frameworks and solutions. At UC3M we are involved in multiple initiatives. However, if a university wants to offer them today it is not easy to bet for the right decision for the future. We offer a practical use case of a program of digital skills that is taken as a basis for piloting and reflection.

Microcredential frameworks are a moving target. At Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) we are involved in multiple initiatives about microcredentials:
- Early Adopter’s program of the Diplomas use case (CEF, EBSI, EC) [1]
- EU Report “A European Approach to Micro-Credentials” [2]
- The CertiDigital project (UniDigital, Min. Univ.) [3]
- “Cartera Digital”, a pilot project with the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation (MAETD) [4]
- DC4EU proposal of the eIDAS call of DEP focused on the EUDI wallet led by the MAETD [5]

While these are initiatives that are relevant for the future, if a university wants to offer digital credentials today, it must find pragmatical solutions that work technically and legally. We present a practical use case of a pilot of the MDU program. The MDU program (Mochila Digital Universitaria, University Digital Backpack) will help students acquire digital skills for their work life [6]. It consists of 6 subjects of 3 ECTS and one (EXP) of 2 ECTS. Since this is a new program, it offers itself to introduce innovation based on badges and credentials.

In the same way as assessments can be formative (during the teaching period for learning) and summative (at the end for the final grade), we define badges as the statements about learning achievements during the teaching period, eg. for feedback or gamification, and (micro-)credentials as those statements that are granted at the end if successfully finished. For badges, we need a framework that works today with our LMS Moodle. Badges will be granted for attendance, participation, and active participation. These statements stay within the subject and are not seen outside except in summative form of the final grade that gives rise to the credential. For microcredentials we must follow RD 822/2021 [7]. For badges we have chosen OpenBadges [8] from 1EdTech. For credentials we will use EDC [9] from the EC. This allows us to pilot today and draw a path to the future. In the lightning talk, we will present the line of thought for the subject EXP of the MDU program.

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Carlos Delgado Kloos received the PhD in Computer Science from the Technische Universität München and in Telecommunications Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. He is Full Professor of Telematics Engineering at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, where he is the Director of the GAST research group, Director of the UNESCO Chair on “Scalable Digital Education for All”, and Vice President for Strategy and Digital Education. He is the Coordinator of the eMadrid research network on Educational Technology in the Region of Madrid and Senior Member of IEEE. He has been the Manager of ICT research projects at the Spanish Ministry and has carried out research stays at several universities (Harvard, MIT, Munich, and Passau). His research interests are in Educational Technology. He has been involved in a large number of research projects, published around 500 articles in conferences and journals, written a book and co-edited over a dozen. He has coordinated MOOCs and is promoting the of digital micro-credentials in Spain through the project CertiDigital (

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Carlos Alario-Hoyos holds a degree in Telecommunication Engineering and a PhD in Information and Communication Technologies from the Universidad de Valladolid, Spain, in 2007 and 2012, respectively. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Telematics Engineering at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain.