The Shift Towards Digital Badges as Key Learning Credentials

Learning in our society today happens anywhere and everywhere – it happens in a variety of different environments and different social contexts. In this generation, we can no longer think of learning in one way.

So, how do we recognize and value the ways we learn today? In our current world, we are seeing a shift towards new meaningful assessments of our learning. For example, a more unique way of learning and working is by attaining a digital badge- to capture and communicate what an individual knows and what skills they can demonstrate.

A digital badge, also known as an open badge or micro-credential, is an online/visual representation of a skill or achievement that an individual has earned. Badges have primarily been used throughout education & online spaces to motivate behaviour, recognize achievement and establish credibility.

Badges can be issued and created by anyone: schools, online spaces, cultural institutions, as well as community and professional organizations to represent a limitless set of skills, achievements, and knowledge.

What If We Used Badges For Corporate Learning?

Within corporate or company learning, Badges can be earned by anyone completing programs, projects or demonstrating specific knowledge, skills & abilities relevant to the business. Once received, badges are transferable digital documents of learning achievement that can be shared online- either on websites, social media profiles, online portfolios and resumes and can potentially lead to real opportunities such as- connecting with collaborators; getting a school credit, getting a promotion or getting a job.

Glass of Learning’s digital badge infrastructure provides opportunities for collaboration, reflection on learning, and completion of practical application. Together these components create the technical standard for acceptable completion of a badge. This ensures that every user can earn badges across various contexts- ultimately ensuring that everyone gets recognition for the learning that they successfully completed. This creates visible recognition within the organization and provides transferable learning if an employee changes roles or locations. In the past two years, Glass of Learning has distributed over 6,800 digital badges.


What Do Badges Mean For Learning?

1. Badges allow us to see that learning goes beyond classrooms – skills like collaboration, leadership and communication, become as important as subjects like math and science and awards the learner with their accomplished credentials.

2. Badges show that our learning is more than a collection of attendance, and test scores but as learning pathways that are rich with detail, practical application and relatable information – this allows learners to guide their own learning; facilitators to better engage participants and employers to find the unique talents and skillsets they need.

3. Badges cultivate social and connected learning where learning happens through sharing – they let their skills be recognized and transferred across different spaces and learning environments.

4. Badges make learning more adaptable to change and open to innovation, with modular and flexible components

By recognizing that learning happens anywhere and sharing that knowledge in places that it matters- it’s clear that badges cultivate values of openness, sharing, and innovation in today’s learning space.