Digital Credentials (DC) are digital versions of traditional qualifications (or credentials): a university degree, passport, driving licence, insurance certificate, etc issued by an awarding body or government to verify that whatever they represent is true. Organisations can issue their own DC if they have access to a digital micro-credentialing tool. Open Badges are all about making sure that those credentials can be verified and do stand for something worthwhile. A proliferation of attendance certificates with no learning outcomes or verified assessment process are meaningless in this new digital world. The Continued Professional Development (CPD) of the workforce demands more.
Our own digital micro-credentialing tool, eNetBadges™, has issued over 1 million badges since 2015 and as of 2018, 24.1 million Open Badges had been issued according to IMS Global. Baked into each badge is the evidence that ensures it is legitimate and worth the digital space it takes up on a LinkedIn profile or an online application form.
Delving a little deeper into the DC space you will soon discover micro-credentials (MC). An MC is a qualification evidencing learning outcomes acquired through a short, transparently assessed course or module. This MC can be recognised by a DC although they have been mistaken as one and the same thing.
The Open University and Future Learn have a partnership to deliver MC through online study. Each MC includes a formal assessment and meets the quality standards of the Common MC Framework (CMF). The European MOOC Consortium (EMC) launched the CMF in 2019 to create portable credentials for lifelong learners. To meet the requirements of the CMF MC must meet several specifications. These include a set length of study time, at a set level, with a summative assessment that uses a reliable method of ID verification to clearly assess an individual's learning against set learning outcomes.
This is amazing for learners and rapidly changing industries as it enables the transfer of specialist knowledge and upskilling to support personal and corporate growth. MC can represent a certain number of academic credits which can be put towards the completion of longer and more traditional qualifications like HND's or Degrees.
Our expertise in eLearning and eAssessment has given us an enviable understanding of how to align content, assessed performance, and academic or vocational recognition and we have helped many organisations set up MC and DC using OB.
We helped Georgia Southern University to set up competency-based training using digital credentialing. Using a blended, competency-based learning approach incorporating the awarding of digital badges to students (the teachers) who successfully completed their courses.
The University strengthened its post-baccalaureate teacher education programme to better equip schoolteachers with the practices needed for the modern classroom. Teacher training was more closely aligned to specific competencies and with learners “rewarded” for their progress with digital badges. This has proven a very successful approach and indeed left the University in an enviable position when all learning had to go online due to COVID19.
Working with Georgia Southern University, The British Council, and others has illustrated how important it is to recognise your learners’ achievements and embed that recognition with something valued and visible.
And who can argue with the importance of more qualified, competent employees and better business results.
Knowledge, achievements, and skills earned outside traditional formal education often go unrecognised. With eNetBadges™ you can recognise activities, skills, and complex credential and degree programs.
eNetBadges™ is an affordable and effective way to add value to training products and services. Your organisation can issue badges that align with the needs of your clients, while also better serving those who earn them.
If you are not using MC, DC, or OB yet please contact us or register online for a free 30-day trial of eNetBadges™.