🧬 The Academic Genome Project

What is the genome of an academic credential?

In 2003, the scientific world mapped the human genome and unlocked new opportunities with genomics, deeper understandings of human health and evolution, and greater knowledge of our own heritage.

The academic world is at the crossroads of a similar opportunity with the credential. Let's call it The Academic Genome Project.

🧬 The Academic Genome Project

Currently, credentials offer little precision. An employer will see where you studied, the grade you received, and the courses you took.

However, the credential confuses coverage with competency. 

Just because you studied a biology course that covered the topic of genetics, doesn't mean that you understand and have competency in genetics. Just because you took a course that covered macro economics, doesn't mean that you understand and have competency macro economics.

Maybe you did well enough in the rest of the course to pass without gaining a skill covered in the course. Sound familiar? 🙋‍♂️

The Learner Employment Record - or LER - is the antidote to this challenge.

The LER offers precision to the credential. Learners can credential specific skills, regardless of where those skills came from. Whether they learned about genetics from a class, the Discovery channel, or a conversation with a friend, they can validate their knowledge, add the skill to their LER, and share that personal portfolio with employers.

By combining these skills into a single machine-readable record that can be understood across geographies and industries, learners unlock opportunities such as jobs, school acceptance, or access to events.

🧰 The Future Credential

The Academic Genome Project is already underway.

This week in the Ed3 Podcast, I interview Greg Nadeau about the work underway to build LERs and unlock opportunity with interoperable, machine-readable credentials.

The ingredients are in place and select programs and industries are starting to map their corners of the Academic Genome Project. Soon, the future will become the present, and learners will have the control and ability to design their own learning paths to pursue the opportunities they seek.

I'm excited about this topic and hope it inspires you to help build this future.

Have a great day!


Greg Nadeau is the Mr. Rogers of the Ed 3.0 community, welcoming new members and diverse stakeholders working to build the future of an interoperable education credential.

In this conversation we discuss the Academic Genome Project. This project looks to build future of the credential where individual Learner Employment Records - or LERs - enables mobility and unlocks opportunity across geography, industry, and skills.

Nadeau walks through how to crosswalk skills to new domains, how to ensure quality and trust, and why this work matters for employers and learners.

By the end of this episode, you will understand the "academic genome" the Ed 3.0 community is working to build in which credentials are precise, machine readable, and interoperable.