Validating a learner’s life and working experiences as currency for future opportunities.

XCredit blog: Get the most up-to-date information about XCredit.


The Education Design Lab developed the concept of an employer-validated “XCredit,” or Experience Credit, which signals to employers the skills attained informally on the job or in life. In the XCredit project, the Lab will design, test and pilot two approaches to assessing and validating these skills:

Skill Assessments:

Experiential assessments that allow an individual to showcase the skills they have gained.

For example, to demonstrate their active listening skills, learners might participate in a virtual reality simulation in which they gather client feedback after an event. The Lab is currently piloting a set of performance-based assessments and digital credentials for six durable skills and their corresponding sub-competencies.

Skill Artifacts

Real world evidence of soft skills that can serve as a proxy for more formal credentials.

For example, an Uber driver’s performance score, a waitress’s tip percentage average, or a military cook’s record of success with large machine maintenance can be excellent signals for customer service, oral communication, or project management skills.

Taken together, these two approaches will help learner-earners seeking better job and career outcomes to leverage the skills they already have, giving value and respect to their lived experiences.


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An “XCredit” is the value given to an individual’s existing skills. The Lab is prototyping next-generation 21st century skills assessments and identifying other “artifacts” people might possess which can serve as credible evidence of skills.

We want to facilitate simple, open and low-cost ways for people, particularly transitioning military members, veterans, and unemployed and underemployed civilians, to validate their skills, earning credentials to signal these skills to prospective employers.

Who is the XCredit Learner-Earner?

Our Civilian Persona

Sandeep Singh

About Sandeep: Sandeep (32) is a delivery dispatcher by day, earning $21 per hour and rideshare driver working mostly in the evenings. He has a high school diploma with some postsecondary coursework and years of varied experience across retail, banking, and building maintenance. He considers customer service to be one of his top skills.

His primary goals and dreams: After 10 years of working at hourly rates, during odd hours, in many frontline industries, Sandeep is interested in making a career change to an “office job,” preferably in IT or customer service. He wants to start a family and have more flexibility on evenings and weekends, with a stable income and retirement options. Sandeep heard that there are many jobs in manufacturing, and is considering that as an alternate career pathway as well.

His challenges and pain points: Sandeep is motivated to make a career shift, he knows his strength lies in customer service, but is struggling to take the next step. He struggles with how to organize his online resume. He does not think employers in an office setting, such as customer service in an IT firm, will see his experience in retail or banking as valuable or transferable. Since most of his work has been hands-on or over the phone, he worries about his lack of digital skills.

Our Military Persona

Andrea Rico

About Andrea: This is Andrea Rico, age 24. She is serving in the Navy and will transition to the civilian workforce in 3 months. She joined the military at age 18, right after high school. She has developed many skills over the past 6 years, notably leadership, problem-solving, and technology skills.

Her primary goals and dreams: Andrea would like to move straight into a decent paying civilian job when she leaves the military, without going back to school to get a degree. She sees herself working in IT and eventually managing a small team. She’d like to start a family but wants to be financially stable first.

Her strengths: Andrea loves facing new challenges and inspiring others to help her tackle those challenges. She also gets excited at the prospect of new technologies as tools to help solve complex problems, something she was very good at during her time in the military.

Where she is in her journey: Andrea is motivated to excel, and to show others she is highly capable. She will choose her next opportunity based on alignment with her skillset, company culture, and salary. She is open to relocating if necessary.


To get in touch, contact the XCredit project lead, Dr. Tara Laughlin.

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