Professional Learning: Defined Learning Digital Medallion (Micro-Credentials)

Defined Learning Digital Medallion: Completion of 9 Identified Micro-Credentials

The Defined Learning Digital Credential is a synthesis of important micro-credentials from the Defined Learning catalogue focusing on critical attributes of teaching and learning. The micro-credentials align with best classroom practices associated with Project Based Learning and Defined Learning.  Additionally, each micro-credential is aligned with the essential elements of the Danielson and Marzano effective educator frameworks.

Each Micro-Credential: 1-2 hours

Total: 12-18 hours

Stack Micro-Credentials
Planning and Preparation Designing Authentic Tasks
Infusing Skills (5C’s, 21st C, Workplace, SEL)
Planning for Student Voice and Choice
Instruction Providing Scaffolding
Effective Facilitation/Coaching
Assessment Formative Assessment- Checking In
Summative Assessment- Making Sure
Classroom Environment A Culture of Reflection
Creating an Environment of Sustained Inquiry

A brief overview of the micro-credentials in the Defined Learning Digital Medallion can be found below:

Micro-Credential: Designing Authentic tasks

When students are engaged in authentic learning, they are more likely to develop a deep understanding of content and skills, take responsibility for their own learning, and become intrinsically motivated to do their best work. Teachers who design authentic tasks can select projects that use realistic scenarios, customize learning tasks based on what their students care about, and develop tasks designed to meet school and community needs.

Micro-Credential: Infusing Skills

Infusing skills beyond academic standards adds rigor and relevance to traditional coursework. A variety of skills are needed to accomplish real-world tasks. Students must be able to flexibly use 21st Century skills, career and workplace-readiness skills, and social-emotional learning by the time they graduate from high school. Students must be provided with real-world scenarios to authentically practice these skills. They also need feedback in their progress as they develop these skills.

Micro-Credential: Planning for Voice and Choice

Providing students with voice and choice activates learning. Every student is different. Students have different needs and interests. They are also empowered in their learning when they have an opportunity to make an academic choice and reflect on its success or failure. Teachers can provide choice in content, product or process. They can also provide opportunities for students to co-create projects as they become more experienced and confident in their choices.

Micro-Credential: Providing Scaffolding

PBL is appropriate for all learners. Engaging in PBL allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in authentic ways. Students who may struggle with traditional instruction and assessment often thrive while completing PBL tasks because they are engaged and motivated to succeed. Teachers can scaffold content, process or product to create engaging learning opportunities for all students, regardless of their level of readiness.

Micro-Credential: Effective Facilitation

Project-Based Learning (PBL) requires students to be self-directed and actively transfer knowledge and skills into authentic contexts. Sometimes this requires direct instruction, but more often it requires effective facilitation from the teacher. Effective facilitators ask probing questions, listen, provide feedback, encourage reflection, gradually release responsibility to the students, and demonstrate trust through affirmation.

Micro-Credential: Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is a vital element of Project-Based Learning (PBL). Effective facilitators of PBL constantly evaluate student knowledge and understanding by informal questioning, exit tickets, short quizzes, and conferences. The results of these assessments inform instruction and guide student learning throughout a project.

Micro-Credential: Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is often associated with the final product in Project-Based Learning (PBL). Summative assessments can be used in a variety of ways to evaluate student mastery. Teachers can use reflections, portfolios of work, or student conferences as summative assessments in addition to products completed. In PBL, summative assessments provide formal feedback to students and allow teachers to grade student work, often after numerous formative checks for understanding. 

Micro-Credential: A Culture of Reflection

Reflection is a powerful practice for students to make meaning of what they are learning, particularly during process-based experiences like Project-Based Learning (PBL). Classrooms that establish a culture of reflection help students understand that thinking, talking and writing about learning is often more impactful than the products they create. Building in opportunities for reflection into the regular classroom routine empowers students to use reflection flexibly throughout the learning process.

Micro-Credential: Creating an Environment of Sustained Inquiry

Inquiry, the simple act of asking a question and seeking its answer, can be a powerful motivator and increases engagement in the classroom. When students learn to ask their own questions, the learning environment becomes dynamic.  Teachers become influential in student success when they teach the students the tools to seek out the answers to those questions, so that students learn to apply the content and skills in meaningful ways.