How to Build a Credentialing Pathway - The Basics

Pathways are a valuable way of giving your students the roadmap to earning high-stakes credentials. Here are the basics on getting started with Pathways.


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Node:  A container for a specific set of requirements in a specific place in the pathway

Root Node: This is the end-goal credential that your pathway culminates in.

Requirements: Credentials that your students need to earn in a particular node in order to advance further in the pathway.

Branch: A specific sequence of nodes within the pathway.

Milestone: This can be the end-goal credential contained in your Root Node or an end-goal credential set on a Node of your choice.

Good to know: A pathway can't dictate the order that a student can earn credentials in. Instead, pathways provide a recommended track to earning an end-goal credential, and determine at what times stages certain credentials can be auto-issued.

Example: Where all the nodes on a pathway are mandatory, if the student earns all the credentials on the pathway in reverse order, they will receive all the milestone credentials and the final end-goal credential at the same time.

Start a New Pathway

  1. From the top of your Accredible Dashboard, select Pathways option
  2. From the Pathways Dashboard, click 'Create Pathway'
  3. Provide a name, description and skill category for you pathway
  4. If you would like to see enrollment statistics for this pathway, keep the 'Show Enrollment Statistics' option checked. If not, you can disable this option.

Start New Pathway

Build Your Pathway

Good to Know Before You Start:

When building your pathway you'll start with your end-goal credential; the big achievement at the end of the road that your students will be working towards. From here, you'll work backwards, identifying each of the credentials your students need to earn from latest to earliest. 

This means that when building your pathway, you as the creator will be working from right to left. Once the pathway is complete, you'll see all the earliest requirements on the left of your pathway, and the later requirements on the right.

Select your End-Goal CredentialScreenshot 2023-02-21 at 3.57.48 PM

  1. Select the Root Node (This is the node at the very end of the pathway, on the far-right)
  2. In the Node Name field, you can name the Root Node if you wish (this is optional).
  3. In the On Completion section, click Select Group.
  4. From the pop-up menu, select the group that has your end-goal credential that you wish students to earn after completing the pathway. You can search for it using the Group Name or Group Identifier.

There is also a section for Completion Prerequisites, once you have begun to build other nodes in your pathway this will start populating with the requirements needed in order to trigger the issuance of the end-goal credential.

Select End Goal

Add a Node

Now that you've identified the reward at the end of the journey, it's time to build the roadmap that tells your students how to get there.

  1. Click on the Untitled Node to the left of your Root Node.
  2. For easy identification, add a name for your node in the Node Name field (this is optional).
  3. Under Node Type, select how you want this node to behave in your pathway. For more information on Node Types, click here.
  4. If you would like to automatically issue a credential to a student for completing the requirements for this node, you can do so by using the On Completion section to select the relevant group. Unlike the Root Node, this is optional.
  5. Select your Completion Requirements, these are the credentials that your student must earn before they can advance further in the pathway. These can be Required Groups, Optional Groups, or a combination of both.

Required Groups vs. Optional Groups

In your node, you will need to specify what your student needs to achieve in order to satisfy the requirements and progress further in the pathway. You can either make these requirements mandatory, or provide your students with a variety of credentials that they need to earn a certain number of in order to advance.

You can have all your groups be required, or they could all be optional. You can even have a mixture of the two within one node.

Required GroupsScreenshot 2023-02-21 at 5.28.07 PM

These are groups that your students must earn credentials from in order to satisfy the requirements of the node. No 'ifs' or 'buts' - the student must have these credentials in order to complete the node, and ultimately the whole pathway.

Optional Group

Screenshot 2023-02-24 at 6.49.31 PM

Optional group requirements give you the flexibility of being

able to offer your students a wide range of credentials they can earn and only require them to have obtained a selection of them to satisfy the node, or earn the end-goal credential.

Example: You offer a wide range of 15 different modules for a specific stage of your degree program, but you only need students to complete four of these modules in order to satisfy the stage's requirements. By listing these 15 modules as Optional Groups in a node, and then specifying the number of items to complete as '4', your students only need to earn four credentials from the list of 15 in order to be then moved on to the next stage of their program. 

Optional Groups

Auto-Issue Credentials based on a Pathway

If you need, you can auto-issue credentials based on the completion of a specific Node. This Node will become a new Milestone within your Pathway. It won't replace the end-goal credential selected in your Root Node.

To set a new Milestone within your Pathway:

1. Click on your Node to open its settings at the right of the page.

2. In On Completion, click on Select Group. You can only select a group that already exists in your account

Following the example shown in the screenshot below: Once recipients complete all the courses contained in the Year 1 Node, they will be automatically awarded the 'A History of Female Poets' credential selected in the On Completion section.

If you select the wrong group by mistake, click on Change Group in the On Completion section, or the Undo arrow located at the top-right of the page. 

If you want to delete a group from the On Completion section, click on Delete (red bin symbol).

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