This paper shares some of the early findings of the OpenCred study, conducted by the Institute of Learning Innovation at the University of Leicester in collaboration with the European Commission's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies IPTS) and funded by the IPTS.
It describes a range of institutional initiatives by higher education institutions in Europe in recognising non-formal learning achievements in open education. Recognition of learning is almost always conferred in consideration of the type of assessment used, and so a matrix has been developed to show the relationship between these two features. The vertical axis of the matrix comprises a five-level hierarchy of formality of recognition (from no recognition to full recognition in line with the European Credit Transfer System), while the horizontal axis represents a five-level hierarchy for robustness of assessment (from no assessment to formal examinations). Examples of European open education initiatives are discussed and plotted on the assessment-recognition matrix. The paper concludes with a summary of the tensions between assessment procedures used and the nature of recognition awarded, and offers recommendations for institutions wishing to evaluate the nature of recognition awarded to students in open education. It also identifies further areas in which the framework could develop.