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May 23, 2017

5 Steps for Creating a Digital Badging Program (Infographic)

Digital badges are fast becoming a foundational piece of the new wave of highlighting the unique education students receive. By providing educators a way to incentivize students to learn certain skills or master specific concepts, and a method to quickly showcase those efforts through verifiable micro credentials, digital badging is a welcome shift toward transparency in learning. Giving students a way to earn various badges for work done both in and out of the classroom also provides employers with a searchable way to source highly qualified candidates based on evidence they can do the work asked of them. If you’re considering starting a digital badging program but are a little overwhelmed with where or how to start, here are five easy steps to get you on the digital badge train.

 

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#1 Define the Criteria

Digital badges are not simply a gold star for completing an assignment; they are meant to showcase a proven skill set or mastery of a concept. To keep the underlying meaning of a digital badge on this higher level of competency, specific criteria must be set for each digital badge created. Standards for earning a badge may include completing a comprehensive exam on a specific topic or having a deep understanding of how to use specific program or piece of equipment. Well-defined criteria make it simple for students to understand what it takes to earn each unique badge.

#2 Select the Badge Issuer

Badges can be issued by organizations, groups, individuals, and of course, educators. In designing a digital badging program, it is necessary to determine who will issue the badge – and ultimately verify the criteria was met to earn it. Similar to how PayPal acts as a go-between for payer and payee, companies like Credly act as a go-between for badge issuers and badge recipients.

#3 Make the Badge Unique

A digital badge should stand out in terms of its name, design or image, and description. Students looking to earn a new badge can easily see what the badge entails and how it complements other achievements. Likewise, other educators and potential employers should be able to identify what the badge means, at least on the surface, from a quick glance. Make sure each digital badge you create truly represents the work or comprehension needed to earn it.

#4 Attach Evidence and Date

Each digital badge should have some degree of evidence attached to it, like the completion or an exam or project, or proof that mastery or a certain skill has been obtained. The issuer attaches this evidence to earned digital badges and then provides a date for when the badge was earned. Without these aspects, a digital badge is not a powerful credentialing tool.

#5 Make it Searchable

The last step in creating a digital badge program is storing it in a way that allows it to be showcased on a student’s portfolio as well as searchable from an employer’s perspective. Importing digital badges into Portfolium’s ePortfolio network makes this possible in an easy-to-use way. Students stand to be connected quicker with potential employers when hiring managers can source candidates through digital badging criteria.

 

 

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