Tips For Success

Tips for choosing your micro-credential

 Create your criteria for your choice.  Before you even begin searching the database of micro-credentials, decide what you want from this experience. Do you hope to grow in a new skill? Look for micro-credentials which might inspire you to learn about something new and master that skill. Do you want to demonstrate expertise you have already developed? This narrows things down. These are the micro-credentials that cause you to nod a lot as you read them. Other criteria: Are you looking for a particular topic? Does this effort need to be combined with other professional growth plans? Are you part of a team working on this project? Write down your criteria. Once you start searching the database, you’ll be glad you did!

• Gather enough choices, but no more. There are many, many micro-credentials  available. Decide how many you’d like to consider. If you plan to submit one micro-credential, might you like to have ten micro-credentials from which to choose? Five? Fifteen? More?

Once you narrow your choices to a reasonable list, let it sit a bit.
Sometimes quick decisions are good. Sometimes, upon reflection, it would have been better to give yourself time to think on the decision a bit. Take a week or two and reflect. What has been on your mind? Where has your professional focus been? Which micro-credential(s) match up? Which don’t?

Seek another perspective.
There are many who know you and your work well. Ask for their thoughts and input. A trusted colleague or instructional leader or mentor might have just the perspective to help you make your final decision.

Share your choice.
Sharing a decision with someone always makes it feel more “official.” That accountability can be very helpful in getting us in motion. Shout your decision from the mountaintop! (well, at least tell the teacher next door)

It’s not final until it’s final.
Remember, you can always change your mind! :)

Begin with the end in mind.
Relate this to backward planning. 


Tips for studying the submission guidelines for micro-credentials

• Read carefully. Ignore the fact that you “read” this document when you were making your decision. It’s a new ballgame. Now, you have to do this thing! So, make a conscious effort to read it. Repeat after me: I WILL NOT BROWSE THIS DOCUMENT. Read every word carefully.

• Print the submission guidelines.
Sometimes reading the the guidelines on a computer screen doesn’t allow the tactical interaction some need to process information.

• Use active reading strategies.
For example, circle the parts you need more clarification on. Underline the parts you understand. Highlight the parts you already have evidence to support or know exactly how you’d like to answer.

• Study the rubric.
Use active reading strategies on the rubric. Remember, your submission hinges on your ability to provide evidence according to the standards outlined in the rubric. Seek help if you are unclear about any part of it.


Tips for preparing your submission

• Schedule benchmarks for yourself. Each component of the micro-credential will require time and effort. Map out your tasks. (e.g. research, practice of the skill, drafting the context, gathering evidence, writing the reflection, revising, peer input, etc.) Schedule deadlines for yourself for each portion of your submission. One more thing: stick to your timeline. :)

• Draft your context (part one of your submission) before you begin gathering your evidence.
This strategy will help you focus on the exact skill you must demonstrate to earn the micro-credential. Rather than writing this after you gather evidence, draft it first. You can always revise. (a must, of course!)

• Gather more evidence than you need.
If you’re required to submit video or audio evidence, gather numerous samples. If you put all your eggs in one recording, you may end up disappointed.

• Answer ONLY what you are asked.
You have a lot to say. We know. You are brilliant.  Truly amazing things are going on in your classroom and school. We agree. You must resist the urge to share all of that. Answer ONLY what you are asked. You have a tight word limit. Don’t waste any words on anything outside the requirement.

• Seek a critique partner.
One of the best ways to find a critique partner is to offer to critique someone else’s submission. Another eye is always helpful. Be sure to ask specific questions for feedback. Think about what you need from the critique. Feedback on particular sections? Language/grammar edits? Evaluation of evidence compared to the rubric? Be as specific as possible. And don’t forget to find a special way to thank them for their effort. :)

• Give it a rest.
Put the MC work down for a few days and then revisit with fresh eyes.