How Digital Badges Are Used in Higher Education and Professional Workplaces Today
In today’s fast-paced world, continuous learning has become more important than ever before. Not only are technological advancements happening at an accelerated pace, but they’re also anticipated to reshape millions of jobs over the next decade, according to the European Commission. Because of this, individuals need to keep themselves updated with the latest skills and knowledge to stay competitive in the job market.
But, how can educational institutions and university registrars motivate students to pursue continuous learning when learners don’t see the immediate value in doing so? Read on to find out how organisations across the educational realm are using digital credentials to support and motivate students along their lifelong learning journeys.
In today’s ever-evolving educational and professional landscapes, traditional methods of assessing and recognising educational achievement are not the only option to empower learners. Credentialing technology in the form of digital badges is emerging to enhance and augment the conventional learning experience — whether in a classroom or the workplace.
Boasting versatility, portability and shareability, these competency-based credentials are quickly gaining traction as a powerful means of certifying and showcasing accomplishments. To uncover this innovative approach to flexible and continuous education, we’re taking a closer look at digital badging and how organisations are taking steps to harness the potential of these solutions.
Taking a look at the growing digital badges landscape
Digital badges, sometimes referred to as digital credentials, provide organisations with a meaningful way to recognise and verify a learner’s specific skills or accomplishments — all in a portable format that can be easily shared online. An individual badge encompasses more than a mere visual image or logo; in reality, it’s a dynamic and portable icon embedded with learners’ verified data. This qualifying information includes:
- The badge issuer.
- The location and method of earning a digital badge.
- A detailed description of the specific skill, achievement or competency met.
- Links to multimedia artefacts (e.g., websites, images or documents).
- Expiration dates and continuing education information (if applicable).
Key drivers of digital badge expansion
Systems for digital badging in both the educational and professional realms are on the rise, putting a spotlight on the true value of lifelong learning and continuous professional development. In fact, market research from Valuates Reports revealed that the global digital badges market is set for massive growth, with experts estimating it to reach a value of $365.1 million by 2028. This accelerated progress can be attributed to:
- Increasing demand for more personalised, accessible and flexible learning opportunities.
- Intensifying calls for digital learning via various online platforms.
- Fast-paced advancements in technology and, in turn, greater potential for digital badges.
- Growing recognition and acceptance by institutions and employers.
While there’s no shortage of the types of competencies that a digital badge might represent, examples include anything from data analysis and programming languages to leadership and teamwork, cybersecurity and project management. By arming badge earners with a tangible and verifiable certification of a specific learning achievement, organisations can more effectively empower learners on their unique, lifelong educational journeys.
Common use cases of digital badges today
Let’s consider how digital badges are used in the education sector today: While credentialing technology provides concrete evidence for student achievement, digital badging systems can be leveraged strategically to ensure personalised educational opportunities. This boosts the overall learning experience and drives organisational recruitment and retention.
The University of Central Oklahoma, for instance, introduced digital badges as a tool to combat the growing lack of soft skills in the workforce — focusing on topics like professional communication, business etiquette and reputation management. According to a University Professional and Continuing Education (UPCEA) and Pearson survey of 190 institutions, one in five educational institutions offers digital badges today. What’s more, 94% of the organisations profiled provide alternative credentials, which will likely drive the continued growth of digital badging moving forward.
In the professional world, an employer can utilise badges to verify the skills and competencies of job candidates and existing employees, not to mention facilitating ongoing professional development long-term. Professional learners can then easily share achievements through the integration of badges into online job platforms, social media and professional networking sites or company-specific systems. Leading global brands, including IBM and Salesforce, have already adopted digital badges to certify employee expertise, as more and more companies embrace skills-based hiring and learning programs. This is not only reinforcing a culture of lifelong learning but helping convert relevant industry knowledge into verifiable educational credit.
The value of digital badges for institutions, learners and employers
As employers and educational institutions increasingly introduce systems for digital badging, there are several key benefits that stakeholders can anticipate as a result:
- Learners receive enhanced visibility of their achievements and competencies, allowing them to display a more holistic profile of their expertise on demand.
- Students can take advantage of digital badge portability, making it simple to share and showcase credentials across platforms and social media.
- Educational institutions have the opportunity to meet growing demands for more flexible and accessible learning environments with credentialing solutions.
- Employers can implement more efficient talent evaluation; improving the chances of a proper job fit in the hiring process and revealing workforce skill gaps for existing employee development.
- Organisations can enjoy the assurance of expertise with authenticity and verification built into digital badges.
The culmination of these distinct digital badging benefits helps teams across professional and educational environments to promote a better overall learning experience and foster a culture of continuous education.
Introduce Open Badges with help from Digitary
As digital badging continues to grow, educational institutions and professional workplaces hold a remarkable opportunity to bridge the gap between conventional learning and the escalating need to showcase validated certification and skills, quickly and easily. Incorporating credentialing technology that supports micro-credentialing strategies can help your organisation fortify its future by empowering learners and augmenting its attractiveness as a result.
Digitary by Parchment provides trusted credentialing solutions enabling the world’s leading institutions, learners, employers and government agencies to certify, issue, accept and verify academic credentials worldwide. You can drive your micro-credentialing strategies and help learners tell their complete story with Digitary Badges, powered by an open-source digital badge platform.
If your organisation is ready to meet the evolving needs of learners today while empowering individuals along their unique lifelong educational journeys, submit an enquiry today to get started.