This summer Instructional Technology kicks off a webinar series designed to support those who want to learn, create, and issue digital badges that validate learner accomplishments, skills, and interests across a variety of learning experiences.
What are badges, you might ask? Badges represent microcredentials much in the way that a diploma represents a degree.
Badging and microcredentialing have become increasingly popular in higher education and professional workspaces dating back to 2011. Digital badges are validated indicators of an "accomplishment, skill, quality, or interest that can be earned in many learning environments." Microcredentials can reflect a range of learning experiences, starting with single competencies and progressing to meta-badges or micromasters.
Badging and microcredentials represent a shift from static educational records and transcripts to online, digital, and portable credentials that summarize a learner's achievement, skills, or competencies (Selingo, 2017). Badges may be issued across programs and categories that include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Skills Preparation
- Professional Development
Driven by employers and industry certification programs, there are increasingly more partnerships with higher education to create shorter-form micro-credentials that can ultimately stack into a learner's lifelong learning experience (Braxton et al., 2021).
Skill acquisition for the 21st century workforce may mean that learners are interested in particular knowledge, skills, or abilities in specialized or niche topics. Badging these accomplishments is a step toward ways in which higher education can explore or offer flexible, digital "credentialized packages" of learning and mastery. As a result, there has been increasing focus on skills-based learning, experiences that produce rich and higher-order skills, and a learner's ability to demonstrate acquisition of new competencies (Baker & Jankowski, 2020).
Badging 100 is the first in a series of workshops designed to ensure individuals who wish to issue badges are comfortable with the process and understand what a badge entails. The Badging 100 workshop learning outcomes include:
- Define what a badge/microcredential is and explain its utility.
- Describe how badging efforts promote equity in higher education.
- Recall real-world use cases of badging at UMBC and abroad.
- Explain the three main components of badging at UMBC: learn, create, issue.
- Identify metadata required for badges.
Badging 100 will be offered this summer. Who else in your office, department, discipline or program needs to come on this journey with you? More information about registration will be shared on the Instructional Technology myUMBC group.
Baker, G. R., & Jankowski, N. A. (2020, June). Documenting learning: The comprehensive learner record.(Occasional Paper No. 46). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.
Braxton, S., Sullivan, C., Wyatt, L., & Monroe, J. (2021). Capturing Student Achievements and Learning at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County: Digital Badging & the Comprehensive Learner Record. IGI Global.
Selingo, Jeffrey J. (2017), The future of the degree. The Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.pearson.com/content/dam/one-dot-com/one-dot-com/us/en/files/The-Future-Of-the-Degree-2017.pdf