The ECCOE final report has been approved and we are all extremely proud to have been awarded a Good Practice label for the way we ran the project, met the challenges along the way and exceeded our targets!
ECCOE – the European Credit Clearinghouse for Opening up Education – tackled the issue of digital micro-credentials by developing and implementing a solid, trustworthy system to support the recognition of learning achievements by both higher education institutions and employers. Micro-credentialing took off worldwide during the lifetime of ECCOE (2019-2022) and the project made a considerable contribution to the field by raising awareness, identifying opportunities and barriers for take-up, and by developing, testing and implementing the use of the European Learning Model for improving both the description of modular learning opportunities and the digital credentials which recognise the achievements awarded to learners having completed these learning opportunities.
The ECCOE approach was developed in the context of the drive towards more open, online and flexible higher education, in response to the needs of an increasingly diversified student population, and the wider European focus on employability through the development and recognition of competences.
The main methodology applied by the ECCOE partnership was that of iterative improvement cycles, mobilising both internal and external expertise throughout cycles of development, peer-review, open consultation, piloting, improvements and final validation.
Each concrete output listed below was produced collectively by the partnership, with selected partners taking the lead.
ECCOE also ran a series of six Multiplier Events and disseminated the project results widely through research papers, conferences and social media, and forged links with key stakeholders such as representatives of European University Alliances, researchers and other projects operating in the field.
The ECCOe project produced:
- A refined set of descriptors applicable to both learning opportunities and digital credentials, drawing on open metadata and standardised vocabularies;
- A Model Credit Recognition Agreement available in 7 languages (DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, LT, NL);
- An online catalogue of over 100 disciplinary and transversal learning opportunities;
- A system and process for designing and issuing digital credentials;
- The overarching ECCOE-system, which brings together the aforementioned components and supports individuals and institutions through a series of multilingual How-To guides (DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, LT, NL).
328 digital micro-credentials were issued and a total of almost 4000 stakeholders were reached through the Multiplier events, other dissemination actions and open consultations.
ECCOE has thus made a significant contribution to the sustainable take-up of digital micro-credentialing, although further work is needed in terms of awareness-raising, bringing clarity, adapting existing recognition practices and developing interoperability with Higher Education information systems.
Feedback from the evaluators
Some of the comments we particularly appreciated are:
“The determination of the partnership and in particular of the coordinator is to be underlined. All project objectives were achieved and in some cases exceeded, despite the complicated health context.”
“The consortium was able to develop the project with relevance according to the context (the pandemic, the emergence of micro-certifications supported by the European Commission, etc.) and enrich its impact on stakeholders.”
“The Management Dissemination Sustainability tool used makes it easy to follow the progress of the project, whether in terms of resources, schedule, but also to measure the reaching and/or exceeding of the planned objectives. This mode of project management could be promoted to other European project promoters, its relevance and effectiveness having been demonstrated for the management of your project.”
Thanks and congratulations
As ECCOE coordinator, I would like like to thank and congratulate all the project team members for their dedication and perseverance throughout these three years. For AUNEGe: Gérard Casanova, Violaine Colin, Jacques Dang, Florence Ducreau, Christophe Fournier, Solange Faria Pereira, Thomas Fradet; for KIC: Anthony Camilleri, Ildiko Mazar, Carmen L Padron Napoles; for UNED: Beatriz Sedano, Timothy Read; for METID-Politecnico di Milano: Ada Giannatelli; for EADTU: Alessandra Antonaci, Piet Henderickx and George Ubachs, for DHBW: Jochen Ehrenreich, Raimund Hudak; for VMU: Estela Dauksiene, Mykole Lukosiene, Danute Pranckute, Airina Volungeviciene, Vida Zviniene…