Digital Badging in Online Learning

The digital-first world we live in today requires everything from plane tickets to health records to be available online. Educational credentials are no exception. With so many courses and training modules available online, it makes sense to invest in digital badges that are awarded instantaneously upon course completion and are easily shareable. 

Digital badging is a specific type of online credential that has gained enormous popularity over the last few years. In fact, the digital badges market is expected to reach USD 80 Billion by 2030. The appeal of digital badges lies in their ability to validate learners’ competencies, which is a great motivator in online learning. 

Let’s take a closer look at digital badging in online learning and it’s origin!

How Do Digital Badges Work?

Organizations issue digital badges as a way to recognize an achievement such as completing a training exercise, reaching a new competency level, or demonstrating certain skills. Several software applications allow organizations to build these badges in accordance with the standards.

These badges contain important information embedded within them called metadata. The metadata comprises details like the recipient’s name, the issuing organization, and the date of issue. These details can help other organizations verify the authenticity of the badge. This helps make digital badges a credible form of recognition. 

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The Open Badge Standard

In 2011, the Mozilla Foundation developed a technical standard called Open Badges. This standard served as a universal framework for issuing, collecting, and displaying digital badges, for a wide array of organizations. 

The Open Badge standard was quickly adopted and by 2013, over 1450 organizations were using the standard to issue digital badges to learners. For a badge to be compliant with the open badge standard, it had to contain certain metadata including badge name, criteria, and URL, in addition to the recipient’s name, the issuing organization, and the date of issue.

Benefits of Badging for Learners

Shareable Credentials

Digital badges can be created and shared with the recipients quickly and easily. In most cases, these credentials are instantly available after completing a certain course or module. Having access to a verifiable credential that can easily be shared online, makes it easy for students to showcase their achievements. Learners can also share these credentials with potential employers or institutions, helping them stand out from other candidates.

Learning Motivation

Knowing that completing a course or a training exercise will result in real, tangible proof of their abilities motivates learners to perform better in their courses. Rewards can be a great motivator, whether it is in the workplace or in an educational institution. Digital badges in online education provide a sense of accomplishment among learners and encourage them to excel in their learning. 

Build Career Pathways

With the help of digital badges, employees can add skills and competencies to their repertoire outside of their earned degrees. Oftentimes, higher education does not address the particular skillset required on the job. Digital badges can help provide accreditation for practical skills needed to advance employees’ desired career paths.

Digital badging benefits for learners

How Does Badging Help Organizations?

Brand Recognition

Providing employees with skill development opportunities via digital badging can be a great way for organizations to build their brand. Employee development opportunities don’t only address the skills gap within the existing workforce but they also help attract top talent. Employees sharing their earned badges on social platforms automatically bolsters the issuing organization’s reputation and sets them apart from their competitors. 

Easily Verifiable

Digital badges provide a quick and easy way to verify the credentials of current or prospective employees. The most important details are already mentioned on the badge and a quick look can help verify the knowledge and skills the employee possesses. This saves organizations considerable time and effort manually verifying paper-based credentials like diplomas. These badges also allow workplaces to keep track of their employees’ compliance training progress.

Employee Satisfaction

Employee retention tends to be high in organizations that encourage skill development and continuous learning opportunities. Providing digital badges to the workforce goes a long way toward employee satisfaction. Additionally, rewarding workplace training programs with badges also motivates employees to stay on top of the necessary training and compliance requirements of their jobs. 

Digital badging benefits for organizations

Get Started with Digital Badging

Digital badges have evolved to become integral to the online learning landscape. Whether it is a higher education institution, a workplace, or a nonprofit organization, learners have come to expect valid credentials reflecting their skills and achievements. In turn, organizations, too, expect individuals with online certifications to be backed by verifiable credentials.

Given this need for digital badging in online learning, organizations need learning platforms that help create digital badges that are compliant with industry standards. Get in touch with Edly today to find out how we can help your organization. Or try out our platform for free.

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