Micro-Credentials And Digital Badging for Higher Education

The credentialing industry has come a long way since the introduction of paper certificates. We have left behind the days when unverifiable paper credentials were the only way to honor students’ dedication and hard work in completing a course/program. The rapid global digital transformation has also influenced the credentialing process and given birth to micro-credentials and digital badges.


From higher education to skill-based learning for professional growth, the education and L&D sectors are the biggest supporters of digital credentials. The benefits accompanying virtual badges are non-existent in traditional certification systems. Institutions now are not satisfied with mere regular certificates or badges that learners don’t feel enthusiastic enough to share online, promote the issuer, or a complex, lengthy, manual credentialing. Ease of management is an essential concept that schools, colleges & universities take into consideration. 


Students also prefer credentials that are easy to share online and do not necessitate physically carrying them around, simply storing facilities and establishing them as industry experts.   


This blog highlights the definition of micro-credentials & digital badges and the easy steps to implement badges in the micro-credentialing system:


What Are Micro-Credentials?


Gamification of modern learning & coaching courses has played a critical role in the emergence of bite-sized learning to earn specific skills that leverage career development or promotions. These small sessions are known as micro-credentials. The programs focus on the progress of competency or knowledge in a definite skill set.


These credentials are in no way similar to long-form, year-long, regular courses. The short programs let you earn new skills in a minimal time and add to the resume or digital portfolio for advanced academic/professional opportunities.


Working professionals come right after students among whom micro-credentials are the most popular. Completing a microprogram offers the learners digital proof of the accomplishment that is socially shareable. Adding the credential on Linkedin ‘Licenses & certifications’ section is the best way to flaunt your achievements. It improves the awardee’s employability and demonstrates them as valuable assets in the professional sphere. 


Jemma Vinogradov, a specialist educator in Yale University researched on the impact of Linkedin licenses & certifications on employability. She found out that a LI account with 2 linked licenses & certifications receives 94% more messages from potential recruiters compared to the ones that have none linked.   


According to University of Toronto the most popular micro courses of 2023 are Python, Understanding System & Organization Controls, Good Manufacturing Practice in Biomanufacturing, Business Analysis, Electronic Records and Information Management, Leadership Principles & Concepts, Lean Six Sigma Methods, Digital Marketing Strategy, Agile Leadership, Mastering Presentation with Visual Impact and others.   


What Are Digital Badges?


Simply completing a credentialing program is not enough. Learners need proof to showcase their newly acquired skills & knowledge. Digital badges let students exhibit their expertise and proficiency in the field they enrolled for the credentials. 


Digital badges represent your attendance in micro-credentials. These are more than mere visual representations. They reveal the potency of the badge holders. 

The badges come with integrated metadata that unlocks their earning criteria, acquired skills, issuing organization, and validity period. If you are willing to explore more about digital badges, check the link here.


Green badge 2023  

The common misconception this industry often comes across is that badges represent all sorts of digital credentials. They have become synonymous with digital documents. But the reality is different. learners/students mostly receive digital badges for completing a low stake task. Though there might be instances when students have received them for passing an examination with flying colors or completing a course, they are known to be awarded for attending a short program or watching videos relevant to the domain the awardees work in.

What does a badge include?

Benefits of digital badges:

The small badges remain stored in electronic devices. Thus, there is no hassle involved in physically storing them or constantly reminding yourself to carry them around during interviews or new joining formalities.

Blending amidst the competition doesn’t offer any benefit that helps to accelerate your career. Be distinct and attract the best opportunities for excellent professional growth.

The badges come with a scannable code that unleashes necessary information related to the course the badge holder has attended and the earned skills. Paper credentials do not offer such unequivocal evidence to prove the expertise of the candidate but the verifiable badges rightly address the gap.

How To Implement Digital Badging In A Micro-Credential System?

Before implementing digital badging, clearly define the learning objectives and competencies associated with each micro-credential. Identify the specific skills, knowledge, or achievements that individuals need to demonstrate to earn a badge. This step ensures that the micro-credentials align with the desired learning outcomes and industry requirements.

Choose a reputable digital badging platform to design, issue, and manage your digital badges. Take into notice factors such as security, compatibility with different LMSs, ease of use, and the freedom to incorporate metadata of your choice. The digital credentialing platform, CertifyMe offers all these benefits at inexpensive rates.

Fix criteria for each badge. Determine the assessment methods, such as quizzes, projects, portfolios, or practical demonstrations, to evaluate individuals’ competency in particular skills. Make sure to follow the standard, and benchmark that aligns with the badge’s learning objectives.

Design visually appealing badges that represent the micro-credentials value and purpose. Incorporate visual elements, such as icons, colors, or logos, that reflect your brand or industry standards. Choose recognizable and visually distinguishable badge designs.

Go for a safe, seamless badge-issuing process. This process verifies that individuals have met the badge criteria and justify the integrity of the badges. Blockchain-enabled digital badges are the best solution to protect yourself from credential forgery.

Don’t compromise with the meta-data integration. It boosts badge credibility. Ensure the badges are easily verifiable for third parties, such as employers or educational institutions.

Encourage individuals to showcase their digital badges online. Educate them on the portability and shareability of digital badges, allowing individuals to carry their credentials with them. Let them know how they can add badges on 40+ social media channels.

Establish a system to manage the lifecycle of digital badges, including updates or renewals. As skills and technologies evolve, individuals may need to update their badges to reflect the latest knowledge or competencies. Offer guidelines on how to update or renew badges and ensure that the badge records remain accurate and up-to-date.

Regularly assess the impact of your digital badging program. Monitor badge issuance rates, participant feedback, and the social media impressions they collect. Accumulate data on the positive influence of badges on individuals’ career advancement. Use these insights to make data-driven decisions.

Final Thoughts

Taking a career forward in this digital era without digital help is not a smart choice. Accelerate learners’ career growth by implementing digital badges in your micro-credentialing program. Open an account on CertifyMe and start offering credentials that recipients admire. Choose among our list of thoughtful badge designs or craft your credential design using CertifyMe’s Canva-integrated platform. Remain in control of your institutional certification system.  

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