What Are Digital Badges?

What Are Digital Badges?

Badges have been used by organizations for years to showcase accomplishments. Now that we are submersed in an online world, digital badges are the latest way to reward users for accomplishing certain tasks.Competency Digital Badge

Digital badges credentialing mechanism, based on assessments, which are displayed online. Badges are designed to validate learning and acheivements.

How Digital Badges Got Started

In the past, the only way for people to demonstrate mastery of a subject was to produce the original degree or award presented to them. This was sometimes problematic for non-traditional students who completed their degree requirements online. Even though online learners typically receive formal recognition of their accomplishment by mail, many students felt it wasn’t enough. Because much of their networking and pursuing of job leads takes place online, these non-traditional students wanted a way to prove their expertise in their chosen field. Digital badges allow them to do just that.

What Digital Badges Represent

In December 2014, U.S. News & World Report Education stated that digital badges recognize the achievements of online students in the same manner that typical college students are rewarded with academic credentials. Supporters of digital badges feel that this new type of recognition represents a shift in the way society views online learning.

Gone are the days when employers would not accept a degree earned online as being valid. Today, employers and educators alike acknowledge there are multiple ways to acquire new information, including by Internet and through project-based learning. Digital badges serve to further increase the legitimacy and acceptance of degrees and program certificates earned entirely online. Additionally, they offer adult learners the opportunity to choose what to study and decide who gets to see the badges.

How Badges Are Displayed

With digital badges continuing to grow in popularity, several companies now provide people with options for storing and displaying their badges. One such system is the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI). In order to use this program, an adult student must prove that he or she has met all of the criteria required from the grantor of the badge. This typically includes completing required coursework and passing some type of competency test. After verifying these credentials, an OBI employee inputs the following information:

  • Student’s name
  • Email address
  • Criteria met to earn the badge
  • Link to a description of the program criteria
  • Badge issue date
  • Badge expiration date, if applicable

The person who earned the badge then stores it in an electronic backpack. He or she has complete control over where it is displayed and who has access to the information.

Online Learning Opportunities at Brighton College

Brighton College, a distance education provider located in Arizona, offers degree programs in business, healthcare and several other in-demand occupations. We encourage all prospective students to contact us for specific program information and to inquire about digital badge options.