What Are Digital Badges? How Do We Use It?


What Are Digital Badges? How Do We Use It? 


A digital badge is a digital depiction of a learner’s accomplishment that includes the organization’s accreditation, the recipient’s name, and the newly acquired skills & knowledge. However, a digital badge is significant in the sense that a person only achieves it when he/she attends a course/program and completes a module/modules with flying colors. A digital certificate might be awarded for official documentation but an open badge is only offered to recognize achievements.  


Why did digital badges suddenly become the talk of the town? 


The global pandemic has shifted the digital landscape, making it more learner-centric. The mode of learning also became online rather than the age-old offline method. As organizations & institutions started to operate businesses and classes/courses online, rewarding the employees/students using paper certificates became inconvenient as well. At the same time, the number of credential forgery reports also increased. To tackle the situation with ease and precision while also maintaining safety, digital badges & certificates became commercial. 


Digital badges provide flexibility in learning numerous professional paths, completing multiple activities and projects, completing short courses, and filling the portfolio gap by acquiring hard and soft skills while also receiving validated hands-on experience.


The badges are easy-to-display on social media channels, websites, and emails. Awardees can include the badge in their email signature, and upload them on social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook, and for creating a digital CV or resume.


Why are Digital Badges often associated with Open badges?


The most extensively used Digital Badge in the world is the Open Badge, a type of digital badge that is portable, shareable, and easy to verify. Open Badges provide verifiable meta-data that tracks and verifies the contents of the digital badge.


The essential white paper “Open Badges for Lifelong Learning,” written by Erin Knight from Peer2Peer University and the MacArthur Foundation, detailed the goals and potential of the Open Badges movement. “Learning, Freedom, and the Web” was the founding concept for OpenBadges at the Mozilla Drumbeat festival in 2010.


According to the research. “Badges may have a major influence, and can be used to motivate learning, denote community, and signal progress.”


Anatomy of a Digital Badge


The name of the recipient, the name of the issuer, the badge URL, the issuing date, the expiration date, the earning criteria, and the digital signature or business logo are all included in the meta-data of the digital badges issued. Apart from that, the digital badge is tagged and can be revoked easily if the issuing organization detects information discrepancies.


The meta-data supports the integrated features for content verification. 


How do we use Digital Badge?


With CertifyMe, Digital badges are shareable on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) along with LinkedIn and 40+ other social channels. Using the badge as an email signature authenticates one’s knowledge & skills. 


The badge also includes a QR/BARcode. Scanning the code offers a unique link or quantum ledger ID. awardees can include the ID/link in their portfolios, resumes, CVs, or documents.


Micro badges complement the learning process of students/employees. The badges inspire participants to learn voraciously and showcase the newly gained concepts & ideas. The badges might appear as mere tools to record learning progress but in reality, they inspire candidates to learn faster.


Digital certificates might keep track of the traditional learning programs but open badges influence learning outside the classroom. The learning programs need not be conventional ones only. Apart from internships, digital badges also promote participation in co-curricular activities, various courses, and volunteer projects. 


Badges motivate students to participate in a multitude of real-time activities/programs to gain real-world experience. The credentials demonstrate the expertise of the awardee in one/several sections/modules of a course. Awarding badges at every step of a program records the step-by-step progress of a student. 


Employees also receive badges for participating in training programs. Organizations arrange training courses for L & D programs. Participants obtain proficiency in a varied field by enrolling in these sessions. But just learning is not enough. A solid proof of authenticity to prove the growth & development is critical. Linkedin badges are ideal for this purpose. 


The badges record the gradual development of students/employees. They are verified proof to demonstrate how far one has come and how he/she can solve problems for the hiring organization. 


The knowledge & skills mentioned in the digital badges signify the awardee’s field of expertise. 


As the verifiable badges are easy-to-deploy and easy-to-authenticate, organizations/institutions can expect minimal manual labor involved in issuing badges. Onboarding a digital credentialing platform is one of the most effective yet simplest moves an institute can take for student engagement and growth.


As physical labor reduces, an organization’s staff can focus their efforts on other essentials. There are a myriad of duties ready to take care of, credentialing might not top the list. So why burden the employees with menial tasks when there is more to supervise?


Evidence-based Credentialing

It’s a feature that plays a crucial role in growing admiration for online badges but often doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves.


Digital badges offer unambiguous evidence of authenticity by recognizing and inspiring lifelong learning. The codes or link the badges come with are unequivocal proof of a student’s performance in programs and show off the skills. Whether an awardee participates in boot camps, internships, e-learning courses, or training programs, the badges acknowledge all your efforts, dedication, and hard work.


Higher education institutions also highly admire badges to inspire students to learn more and acquire more knowledge. These institutes use open badges to appreciate competency in particular modules. These badges are also known as micro-credentials. These credentials integrate mapped metadata to verify the accomplishment of the award holder. The awards also hold details of the skills the certificate holder has achieved to qualify for the badge.


However, the influence of digital badges does not end with recognizing the achievements, their impact extends to enhanced classroom learning. Not sure how?


Let’s find out how the trust badges also persuade students to learn more:


Clear Identification of Objectives


Simply expecting students/employees to learn during a course that doesn’t align with their goal won’t offer the outcome organizations/institutions desire. Clear recognition of the goals behind a course and the results of attending the program motivate learners to participate. 


Maintaining transparency during the course and updating students on how the program helps and proving it via the badges influence them to enroll in more sessions. It also enables participants to move in the right direction.


Constant demonstration of the outcome of course participation allows students to witness the development and experience the positive outcome. 


The incorporation of badges is not only limited to large-scale programs, short-term project participants equally benefit from online badges. Mastery in one module/segment enables learners to identify the areas that need improvement. Focusing on each area eventually masters one in the complete course.


Quick Recognition of Efforts


Issuing traditional credentials takes time. The traditional certification process can take up to three to four months. Digital badges effectively address the situation by streamlining the credentialing system. As digital badging is an automated process, issuing & delivering certificates take a fraction of the traditional standard.


Fast awarding inspires learners to perform better and showcase the badges online. Collaborating with a credentialing platform enables students/applicants to share the open badges on 40+ social media channels. The most talked-about social media platform where 96% of learners share the badges is Linkedin. Renowned credentialing platforms also come with an ‘add to Linkedin’ button for instant sharing.


By awarding digital badges, institutions can also influence the average performers to excel in their courses. Recognizing even minor improvements in their achievements by offering a digital badge can inspire them to perform better. Such practices might become tedious following a traditional credentialing program but automating the certification process eliminates this problem. It establishes a positive working culture/environment where everyone thrives.


Encourage Student Learning


Recognizing student efforts plays a pivotal role in student motivation & success. Students feel inspired to put more hard work into a program/course when they are rightly awarded. 


Awarding open badges can make students take a module more seriously and intensify the level of attention they put into it.


As the badges are socially shareable, sharing with the social network leverages students more opportunities for professional development. The high level of engagement with the badges inspires students to attend more courses and advance their skills & knowledge.


Streamline the Certification System


From the discussion till now, it may seem it’s only students who receive the benefits of badges but institutions equally enjoy its advantages.


Issuers benefit from digital badges by displaying the badge on social media, attracting attention, and promoting brand awareness. Digital badges enable organizations to edit the navbar, header, and footer. By offering socially shareable badges with the institute name and logo in them, organizations enable brand promotion without investing a penny in marketing. The zero-cost promotion technique proves excellent considering the costs of standard promotional tactics.  


A Perfect Way to Assess Expertise


Badges have become the standard of student assessment programs. The digital badging system ensures students remain consistent in their efforts and they receive their awards without delay. 


The only concern of the open badges is offering badges even for the most minute enhancement. It impacts its integrity and can make the badges lose their value. 


Thus, being a bit mindful while providing badges can address all your concerns.


Multiple studies have shown that micro-credentials can push forward professional development. Most programs focus on theoretical knowledge enhancement, however, soft skills training (decision-making, leadership, communication skills, problem-solving, and time management) entirely concentrates on practical skills. Offering Linkedin badges for participating in programs that sharpen soft skills can be an excellent way to make one job-ready.


Final Thoughts 


Digital badges are the most straightforward and safe method of recognizing a person’s abilities, growth, and potential. It is simple to trace and verify the contents and identity of the badge issued because they are backed by meta-data. Both the recipient and the issuer benefit from digital badges in terms of increasing brand value and awareness.


Open badges are effective beyond the classroom and can deliver fruitful results in each scenario. As the badges suit both formal and informal settings, there are endless possibilities to incorporate them into a course. Collaborate with a leading credentialing tool, CertifyMe for hypothetical representation of the awardee’s knowledge & skills.


Get in touch with the team of CertifyMe to discover how digital badges can improve your course popularity!


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