Skills Badges & Transcripts

Card Type: Technology
Difficulty: Beginner
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Description and Purpose:

Badging is a way to give credit or recognition for achievements or skills not usually represented by a course grade or college transcript. Badges are issued as digital tokens or logos saved to a learner’s “backpack,” social media profile, transcript, LinkedIn profile, or ePortfolio. In higher education, a badging system can serve as a parallel transcript, providing information not otherwise represented on the academic transcript. A number of badging services offer a complete toolkit for creating, issuing, verifying, and managing digital badges.

Procedure:

Determine the set of skills or achievements to be certified with badges. Depending on the scope of the project, decide if you will create badges independently or use a badging service. Mozilla has established the standards-based, open-source Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) for creating and issuing badges. OBI offers a structured toolkit for creating a badging system, and allows learners to collect badges in a “badge backpack.” For simpler application, a service like Credly or BadgeOS can provide an easier path to creating badges.

Considerations:

Do you intend the badges to provide a high stakes supplementary academic credential, informal evidence of job-related skills, or validation of professional development training? Badging is a developing technology, and they have not yet gained widespread acceptance as a recognized credential. The use of established standards as well as the reputation of the issuer impacts the validity of the badge. Badges may work best as a supplement to more traditional credentials.

Establishing, creating and issuing badges varies in complexity depending on your application. Creating a dozen discrete skills badges using a service like Credly is a simple task. Creating a highly nuanced skills taxonomy with multileveled and scaffolded achievements is a much more complex undertaking which requires significant preparation and development time.

Level:

Beginner/Intermediate.

Resources:

"7 Things You Should Read About Badges." Educause Learning Initiative (2013): n. pag. Educause Library. Educause, May 2013. Web. <https://library.educause.edu/resources/2013/5/7-things-you-should-read-about-badges>.

Badging Services:

Erica Andree

Director of the Center for Languages and International Collaboration at Pacific University

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