The European Commission supported the project VMPass in order to unite MOOC certificates, as well as other advances in the formal and informal learning of online education. Students, online education providers and employers now need only to wait for the widespread application of the new standards.
Despite the significant growth of virtual mobility and open online learning resources in educational institutions across Europe, the lack of formal recognition of the achievements of, and qualifications gained, from such training is still the main obstacle to the further expansion of such flexible forms of learning.
Nowadays, students more frequently take advantage of informal learning opportunities via a variety of open educational options, such as the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Mass Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Although the flexible informal learning resources are often created by teachers from within the higher education system, as a rule there was until recently no formal link between the institutions offering the courses and the specific achievements of the students who enrolled on them. They rarely can be transferred to other areas, limiting their practical mobility.
In addition, for many people, access to higher education not readily available. The project VM-Pass (VM — Virtual Mobility) suggests that informal learning of the type described has meaning and value which warrants official recognition.
The mission of this project consists of providing informal learning achievements with meaning and significance within the system of formal education.
The project will allow training to recognize OOP and MOOCs and thus support the virtual mobility of students by creating an innovative «Learning Passport», which is a standardized template, where informal training and assessment can be documented so that it can be considered alongside higher education qualifications.
The product of the template is in the form of a certificate, which is completed both by institution(s) which provide the training and online students themselves. This documents not only the subjects and courses studied, but also specific acquired skills, for example, learning programming language.
University of Leicester has initiated a universal certificate for Digital Education, presented as a template design for VMPass. Instructions for completion in VMPass already provided.