$7M to validate informal learning at ASU+GSV

A major new investment in an open platform learning tracker aims to drive further adoption of the service, validate informal learning.

degreed-investment-learningCould an informal job skills tracking platform signal a major shift in standards of learning and skill measurement worldwide?

Degreed, an education company focused on helping users track, measure and validate everything they learn, announced a $7 million Series A investment at Monday’s ASU+GSV Summit.

“Two of the themes at the ASU+GSV Summit are ‘Open Platforms’ and ‘Knowledge as Currency,’” said Deborah Quazzo, founder and managing partner at GSV Advisors. “Degreed is leading along both frontiers by redefining how we measure and recognize learning and skills, no matter where or how they were obtained.”

Essentially, Degreed enables users to track their academic, professional, and informal learning experiences in a single place, and includes libraries of curated learning content from thousands of different platforms and partners.

Informal learning experiences include everything a person learns that was not required by a university or employer, such as articles and videos seen online (which can be tracked with Degreed’s browser extension or by pasting a link), as well as books read or events attended (which can be logged when completed or synced with services like Pocket or Goodreads).

By describing the platform as open, “we mean you can learn from any university, provider, source, platform and in any modality and have it tracked on Degreed,” said David Blake, co-founder & CEO of Degreed. “Other credentials and micro-credentials require you complete their proprietary courses or training or assessments. At Degreed, we don’t care how or from whom you obtained the skills and learning, you can have it recognized on Degreed.

Blake continued, saying that if you ask someone about their education, he or she will “tell you where they went to college or what degree they have. People skip everything they have learned since. We learn within academia for two, four, six, nine years. We learn within our professions for thirty, forty, fifty years. Degreed enables individuals to capture all of that learning. With this investment, we continue to expand our enterprise platform to help companies enable their employees to leverage all learning–formal and informal–and have their skills recognized no matter how they obtained them.”

(Next page: What  this investment could mean for standards of learning)