Call for Chapters: Handbook of Research on Innovations in the Use of Alternative Digital Credentials


Daniel Piedra, McMaster University, Canada

Call for Chapters

Proposals Submission Deadline: December 2, 2020
Full Chapters Due: April 1, 2021
Submission Date: April 1, 2021


The world of academic credentials is going through a rapid change that has seen the emergence of alternate digital credentials (ADCs). Among these are micro-certificates, digital diplomas, and open digital badges; all of which provide a digital record of learning and which have the possibility of not only altering the landscape of academic credentials, but transforming the relationship between institutions of higher education, their learners, and society. ADCs are a validated indicator of a specific accomplishment, skill, and quality that can be earned in various learning environments and can be added to a digital portfolio or a professional networking site such as LinkedIn for others to see. Because they contain meta data about what was accomplished in order to earn the badge, they provide more detailed information about what the recipient learned than traditional paper credentials. The use of these digital credentials can provide an information-rich record of career relevant skills and competencies, which could in time, render traditional university transcripts increasingly irrelevant and obsolete. While traditional degrees will remain somewhat important to employers, alternative forms of learning verifications are quickly creating a new system of skill and knowledge validation for the marketplace. ADC's can be used to not only validate knowledge and skills related to skills typically associated with careers, but also to the many soft or transversal skills which are key in succeeding in today's workplace. This publication aims to identify innovative examples of the use of ADCs to validate specific skills within an existing academic program or on their own. ADCs may be the means by which specific skills (hard or soft) are validated with an emphasis on their relationship to enhanced employability and recognition within an industry.


Our world has placed greater emphasis on competency-based learning. In some academic institutions, it has come to play a greater role than the mere acquisition of degrees and standard academic credentials. If the post-secondary education industry is going to truly transform from industrial age institutions to digital age compliant, it will be necessary to re-evaluate how learning is assessed. This includes not only a transformation of how academic institutions assess, but also, how they recognize learning. As institutions turn their attention to ADCs, it will be important to learn from what others have experienced. Models that address issues of financial viability of ADCs systems at scale, how to validate ‘soft’ skills, how to allow students to create their own digital credentials yet retain credibility, and how to accurately identify and address the perception of employers, the public, and administration at academic institutions are all important in creating a single-source summary from which post-secondary institutions can learn to either implement or enhance existing digital credentials systems and approaches. It is also important to highlight partnership opportunities between industry partners and academic institutions working in a tighter partnership so that both stakeholders can better understand what each needs and how open digital credentials can fulfill both needs: the need to validate learning and the need to understand what has been learned for recruiting talent. As this is an area that is currently evolving rapidly, it is important to learn from the successes and challenges of others in establishing a collaborative community of practitioners from which further partnerships and collaboration can take place, while continually fuelling additional research and experimentation in the field of ADCs.

Target Audience

Professors, Deans, Associate Deans Instructional designers Management involved in the oversight of higher education Registrar staff

Recommended Topics

Validation of technical skills in specific industries through ADCs Validation of transversal skills for enhanced employability through ADCs Validation and recognition of prior learning through the use of ADCs The use of ADCs to enhance employability of undergraduate students ADCs as a means to retrain adults learners in workplace transition Examples of the use of ADC in partnerships between institutions of higher learning and industry ADCs as a means to better communicating one's skills and knowledge Implementation of ADC Models within institutions of higher learning ADCs and their viability in an academic world of traditional credentials ADCs: Co-existing alongside the traditional degree

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before December 2, 2020, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by December 16, 2020 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines.Full chapters are expected to be submitted by April 1, 2021, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Handbook of Research on Innovations in the Use of Non-Traditional Credentials. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.

All proposals should be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery® online submission manager.


This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher of the "Information Science Reference" (formerly Idea Group Reference), "Medical Information Science Reference," "Business Science Reference," and "Engineering Science Reference" imprints. IGI Global specializes in publishing reference books, scholarly journals, and electronic databases featuring academic research on a variety of innovative topic areas including, but not limited to, education, social science, medicine and healthcare, business and management, information science and technology, engineering, public administration, library and information science, media and communication studies, and environmental science. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2021.

Important Dates

December 2, 2020: Proposal Submission Deadline
December 16, 2020: Notification of Acceptance
April 1, 2021: Full Chapter Submission
May 30, 2021: Review Results Returned
July 11, 2021: Final Acceptance Notification
July 25, 2021: Final Chapter Submission


Daniel Piedra McMaster University


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