RE: schema-course-extend: credential or award offered through course.

Part of the problem lies with how ‘credential’ is defined, which I know is going on elsewhere:

·         Qualification actually awarded on successful completion (eg a BA Honours degree that I have been - or unconditionally will be - awarded)

·         Qualifications that will be awarded on successful completion normally to students successfully completing the course (eg a BA Honours degree that I will be awarded conditional on my successful completion of the course).

·         Other exit qualifications (eg CertHE, DipHE) that I may claim in some circumstances if I decide not to complete the whole degree.

·         Credit, sometimes certificated credit (eg I have OU certificates that show I’ve successfully completed OU modules).  But these are not qualifications; they are awards of credit.

·         Certificate of Attendance (eg I can pay to show I attended a course, often now used for MOOCs, often used for training courses).

There are probably others.  Note the context is either related to the Student (EducationalOrg awards Qualification to individualStudent), or to the course (Qualification(s) linked to Course, eg for marketing purposes, or for validation and approval).

I think that we should stick to credentials as qualifications in this context, UNLESS we want to get this wrapped up in the complexities of credit accumulation and transfer – increasingly important now in the UK.  If we include anything ‘certificated’ (including credit), then we muddy the waters considerably.  I’d rather go with qualification in the first instance.


From: Phil Barker []
Sent: 16 June 2016 15:05
To: Stuart Sutton <>
Subject: Re: schema-course-extend: credential or award offered through course.

On 16/06/2016 11:35, Stuart Sutton wrote:

Richard, as for the property name grantsCredential, I'd rather go for something a little "softer" like relatedCredential partially for the reasons you state--i.e. that an instance of Course does not "grant", some authoritative agent does that.

Yes, I take this point

Second, while it is not impossible for a single instance of Course to lead to Credential, that is most frequently not the case in formal educational contexts. However, if we interpret the current definition of Course to include a set/sequence of Courses ("...a sequence of one or more educational events and/or creative works...") then it can be akin to "course of study/degree/trainingl program" where the result of successful completion is an instance of a (yet-to-be-defined) Credential.

This seems problematic to me. Some of our first year courses are common between several programmes, say Computer Science, Computer Systems, Information Systems, Software Engineering.  Also, while the target award will normally be a BSc (Hons) or BEng, if the student leaves the programme early they will still get an award of CertHE, DipHE or BSc (ord). So, in this case there may be 20 'relatedCredential's (and that is quite a conservative analysis)

In fact, no credential is awarded for our first year courses; what we do award is 'credit' which can be accumulated through a program of studies to count towards the awards mentioned above. Clearly, this program of studies meets our definition of a Course, and it hasParts which also meet our definition of a Course. Of course it is the award-bearing program that we advertise externally, with links to the modules it comprises, and that is what we would want students looking to qualify for a BSc in Computer Science to find.

In short, I would rather address the issue that Stuart raises through modelling composite courses (aka programs, tracks) than muddy the answer to a simple question of "how can I study for a BSc in Computer Science".



Phil Barker           @philbarker


Heriot-Watt University


Received on Thursday, 16 June 2016 15:18:57 UTC