Skills Badges & Transcripts
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.
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.
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.
“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>.