The Taxonomy for Credentialing Australasian University Educators (TCAUE)
TCAUE credentials are created on minimum volumes of learning, application, and evidence. They act as a starting point for continuous improvement. The emphasis on impact on student and educator learning and practices is established, and attention to lasting, continuous improvement is expressed and actioned through designated recognition pathways, such as a Graduate Certificate, fellowship, or promotion. Each institution has freedom in the design and evidence of learning, and the taxonomy encourages individual, tailored approaches to professional development.
As mentioned in Chapter 7, the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) and the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) are comparable at levels 1-9 (Department of Education and Training NZ & NZQA, 2015). The AQF (2013) defines volume of learning as a dimension of complexity of a qualification.
The taxonomy aligns with the recommendations of the AQF Review (Department of Education, Skills and Employment [DESE], 2019), as it has a notional base of 1200 hours per full time student study load for articulation into an AQF level 8 Award qualification (approximately 120-150 hours per subject/unit of study). As the predominant AQF qualification for Foundation University Educators, the Graduate Certificate equates to four subjects/units and approximately 480 to 600hrs.
The NZQF correlates well with this model, and presents a volume of learning framework where one credit is equivalent to approximately 10 hours of learning, and a Graduate Certificate in New Zealand requiring 60 credits or 600 hours.
Subjects/Units of Study
Development of the taxonomy was based on national benchmarking of foundation and induction programs and professional development frameworks, and therefore each subject/unit of study has a volume of learning of between 120-150 hours. This 120-150 hour commitment is offered in a variety of modes, such as in person, online, or as a hybrid model. Approaches are evidence-based and include self-directed study, reflection, working with peers, and synthesising of learning (capstone modules).
Individual micro-credentials, which may have different volumes of learning, make up the full subject/unit of study. This may be operationalised, for example, by offering 6 x 15 hour micro-credentials (=90) plus a capstone of 30 hours (=120), or 10 x 12-hour micro-credentials (=120). Each full (120 to 150 hour) subject/unit must include assessment to satisfy the adopted definition of a full credential.
Micro-credentials ‘add up’, ‘stack’, or ‘aggregate’ to an Associate, Foundation, or Advanced credential. Each micro-credential in the TCAUE specifies its volume of learning and how it articulates into a full 120-150 hour credential. Assessment may be present in each micro-credential, or aggregated over a series of related credentials/modules. The literature review demonstrated that this type of short-form, personalised and integrated offering, when part of a coherent framework, is far more attractive to learners than long periods of prescribed study.