The idea of badges is not new: Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have offered them for years. Digital badges, however, are posted online by a third party for viewing by potential employers, college admissions officers and others.
Oregon Tech Online is currently offering more than 20 badges in several areas, including Healthcare and Information Technology, but any course, series or courses, or assessment-based offering at the institution is "badge-able." For instance, "It is possible to develop a badge for an exam, an award, successful completion of a coding 'boot camp,' or to reflect a specific skill set students may achieve at a certain point in their college career," according to a statement from the school. Badges are awarded for "excelling enough to be deemed proficient at the skill," and can be stacked to show specializations.
Awarded electronically, the badges can be displayed on LinkedIn, social media, e-portfolios, electronic resumes, websites or other formats. Each badge is linked to a specific skill set and verified by Oregon Tech, allowing potential employers to view a student's capabilities without having to obtain transcripts. Badges are tagged so that they can be searched by skill area. Employers can even work with the university to design badging "groups" that identify step raises or advancement opportunities for employees.
Nationally recognized hiring expert, Wonderlic, Inc., and leading digital credential service provider, Credly, are joining forces to deliver digital credentials to qualified individuals seeking healthcare jobs.
Like students, educators deserve a clear map of what they need to know and be able to do, multiple ways to learn, and options for demonstrating mastery. In most cases we think progress will be marked with a stackable series of micro-credentials.
Despite the growing prominence of alternative credentials such as certificates, digital badges and endorsements, many institutions lack the strategic framework to define their value, according to higher education research and advisory firm...
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