SLERD 2021: Open debate


 Towards Learning Ecosystems Based on Competences: the promise of the micro-credentials

June 25 – h: 11:00

In recent years, awareness has been growing about the limits inherent in traditional qualifications which are increasingly less associated with well identifiable levels of preparation and competences and, sometime, are also undermined by the obsolescence of the latter. The trend towards a bulimic “inclusive approach”, with consequent compression and even loss of any value of the merit scales, for example, are making some qualifications less and less attractive for the job market to the point that actors like “Ernst & Young” are giving more and more relevance to other experiences. A logical consequence of this trend is the emergence of a social boomerang that attenuates the potential as “social lift” of traditional study paths. In such a context, unavoidably, are increasing the demand and the search for ways of recognizing informal experiences and of certifying the real possession competences; to demonstrate the willingness of the subjects to constantly develop their potentialities through a process of Life Long Learning. Learning ecosystems and micro-certifications could contribute significantly to the building up of a new perspective.
The relevance of micro-certifications, however, could go well beyond being a useful tool for bridging formal and informal education and for facilitating the access to satisfactory jobs. In fact, they could become the pillar of a real revolution in the educational system which from a process to transmit knowledge could finally become a process to develop true competences (whatever: vertical, transversal, digital). In this way, students could develop their own portfolio of skills that could also become the passport for the admission to the tertiary education courses with the elimination of questionable entrance exams, in those countries where they still exist.


Carlos Alves (HFA, SA – Administrator)

Soulla Louca ((IFF – University of Nicosia)

Alexander Mikroyannidis (KMI – Open University – UK)

Sandra Soares (Dep. of Education and Psychology, Univ. of Aveiro)

Moderator: Gabriella Dodero (ASLERD)



• Smart Learning Ecosystems as Engine of the “new normality”

June 25 – h: 15:40

Smart learning ecosystems are such if they guarantee the wellbeing, the personal development and the fulfillment of all actors involved in the educational processes and if, at the same time, are capable to foster social innovation and territorial development.
During the pandemic all learning ecosystems and related educational processes have experienced sudden and disruptive changes. After a certain number of months they have reached a sort of steady state where physicality and virtually from one hand tend to be integrated and from the other tend to fight to overwhelm each other. The centrality of the learning ecosystems as both social dumpers on one hand and promoters of social interaction on the other has taken the stage placing in the background their role as engine of individual and territorial growth.
The notion of quality of the learning processes and that of smartness of learning ecosystems, together with their relevance for the territory, are open to the discussion and for exploration as never before since the time of the industrial revolution.
The “new normality” toward which we are moving demands for a phase transition that one can consider completed only when many factors will be balanced to preserve the centrality of the students as individuals and their relation with the community of belonging.
Thus the understanding, the models and the implementation of smart learning ecosystems are of paramount relevance for what will be the “new normality” … at present under construction.


Inger Birkeland (University of South-Eastern Norway)

Ross Hall (Jacobs Foundation)

Ameena Hussain (WISE Foundation)

Patrizia Marti (University of Siena)

Sébastien Turbot (eko6 and WISE research fellow)

Moderator: Carlo Giovannella (ASLERD and University of Rome Tor Vergata)


How to attend and participate to the debates

Fill the Open Debate registration form and indicate if you wish to contribute to the discussion.