Digital, verified and less open

Posted on September 2nd, 2016

This article, from Inside Higher Ed, looks at how a growing number of colleges are using digital badges as a means to show achievement of skills that may not be evident from transcripts. They point to Illinois State University, which was an early adopter of badges. Students in the university’s honors program have earned around 7,400 digital badges in the past year from Credly, a badging platform provider. Students can control which badges are public, and the aim is to help students position themselves with potential employers or graduate programs. Badges include both curricular and cocurricular experiences and achievements, such as seminar courses, lab work, internships, or volunteer work. To earn a badge, students submit evidence of their learning or skills. Illinois State administrators believe the badge augments the traditional degree. Amy Oberts, the honors program’s associate director states, “The artifacts created by students become the evidence of learning that is evaluated by instructors and, at the discretion of the student, shared with future employers.”