Digital Credentials Consortium releases updated map of Learning and Employment Records

With key terms and technology frameworks, the dynamic map is critical for a skills-based hiring future.

MIT Open Learning
MIT Open Learning
3 min readJun 5, 2024

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Three illustrations depicting a yellow lightbulb on the left, a degree certificate in the middle, and a person with buildings in the background on the right
Image: Illustrations by NationSwell; collage by Kerri Lemoie

By Digital Credentials Consortium

The ways people access education and career opportunities around the world are rapidly changing, largely thanks to Learning and Employment Records (LERs) — data-driven, digital catalogs of a person’s skills and abilities obtained throughout their lifelong learning journey.

As part of ongoing efforts to advance the adoption of LERs, the Digital Credentials Consortium (DCC) — a group of post-secondary institutions headquartered at MIT Open Learning — released in September 2023 an interactive map of the LER ecosystem in collaboration with a group of education institutions, employers, workforce development, governance organizations, and human resources. Now, DCC has released a second version of the map that builds on recommendations from a broad network of experts including the Aspen Institute, Credential Engine, and Arizona State University’s Trusted Learner Network, with funding from Walmart.

The LER Ecosystem Map is a tool designed to define work streams and align key players in the ecosystem towards using LERs to unlock opportunities for all. The map’s initial version described the roles and work streams of stakeholders, offered recommendations for mitigating barriers to adoption, and defined economic and social value propositions. The newly released version of the LER Ecosystem Map boasts new and updated features, including:

  • stakeholder pages with definitions, examples, quotes, and more specific work streams and action areas;
  • an extensive list of cataloged resources;
  • more thorough guidance on technical frameworks; and
  • a glossary of key terms that have been cross-referenced with the T3 Innovation Networks LER resource guide.

“Building on the shared vision that inspired the original LER Ecosystem Map, the updated map clarifies the key terms and technology frameworks that are the foundation of this important work,” says Kerri Lemoie, DCC director. “The new map provides a critical touchstone for our community as we continue to work together to promote the adoption of LERs.”

The LER Ecosystem is ever-evolving as researchers, advocates, and technologists seek to improve software and tools, workstreams, and public awareness of data privacy and utility. The LER Ecosystem Map will remain a living document in an effort to promote adoption of LERs with the goal of creating equity for learners and job seekers. The project team encourages users to offer comments and suggestions via the feedback form or through the github repository.

The initial version of the LER Ecosystem Map was developed by the Digital Credentials Consortium, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, Competency-Based Education Network, Digital Promise, Jobs For the Future, National Governors Association, Society for Human Resource Management Foundation, and the T3 Innovation Network (an initiative by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation), with support from Walmart.

Founded in 2018, the Digital Credentials Consortium is a group of higher education institutions in North America and Europe that is advancing the use and understanding of portable, verifiable digital academic credentials in higher education through open source technology development and leadership, research, and advocacy.

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MIT Open Learning
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