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One of the major challenges faced by alternative, free, and open educational endeavors is their inability to grant students formal credits or certificates for their studies. While it might not matter now for some students, degrees and diplomas are still important to many employers and institutions.

Creative Commons updated its blog today with news about a number of efforts exploring alternative pathways to recognition:

The Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) and Mozilla have been piloting virtual badges for work completed via the P2Pu School of Webcraft. And in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, they've drafted an Open Badge System Framework (Google Doc).

The Open Educational Resources (OER) Foundation is hosting an international virtual planning meeting on February 23 to discuss and design credit pathways for OER learners -- an effort to provide flexible pathways for OER learners to earn formal academic credit and pay reduced fees for assessment and credit.

And in other OER certification news, online learning platform Nixty has announced a partnership with Teachers Without Borders to provide a Certificate of Teaching Mastery for teachers who complete its 2-month long program.

I think there are lots of opportunities here for us to rethink how and what counts as "credit." I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts.

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Audrey Watters


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