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Lumina-Backed Contest Seeks Crowdsourced Digital Credential Concepts

Experts in digital credentials are turning to members of the public to come up with new ideas for getting colleges and universities and industry to work better together in tighten the skills gap.

The crowd-sourced competition is being run by Credly, a for-profit digital credential platform, and the Lumina Foundation, a well endowed non-profit that promotes success in post-secondary education, whether that be through college degrees, certificates or other forms of credentials. They're working with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the American Council on Education (ACE) to seek new approaches for using digital credentials to connect qualified workers with available opportunities.

At least one solution among those submitted will be awarded a cash prize, which could be as high as $10,000, and the opportunity to speak at an upcoming conference. As of Nov. 15, 76 solutions had been submitted.

Specifically, the solution needs to adhere to three requirements and one recommendation:

  • The proposal must describe "how individuals, organizations or opportunity providers" or some combination "can use digital credentials to address the skills gap";
  • It must also lay out the expected impact and provide measurable outcomes for tracking success;
  • It needs to include actual examples from real life or describe potential use cases; and
  • It should, optionally, include a deployment plan

All of that needs to be covered in 10 pages. Somebody is guaranteed to win one award of at least $5,000; though multiple prizes may be given. The top contender will also be invited to speak at the ASAE "Great Ideas" conference in Orlando next March.

"Using digital credentials to surface skills learned in the classroom and through industry experience can help bridge the gap between education and the world of work," said ACE President, Molly Corbett Broad, in a statement. "We are eager to bring to light innovative models and ideas that help learners get credit for meaningful knowledge and abilities observed across learning and professional environments."

The challenge is being hosted on InnoCentive, a web service for crowdsourcing problem solving.

The deadline for solutions is Dec. 30.

Users who register can gain access to the challenge on the InnoCentive website here.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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