Badges and Certificates
Digital Badges are a mechanism that many organizations are exploring to recognize and support professional development. Digital Badges are being used in creative and innovative ways to recognize competency, reward effort, and incentivize behaviors. Digital badge credentials provide metadata that link back to evidence of contribution, achievement, skill development, performance, or behavior. Providing a more complete picture of an earner’s knowledge and skills, digital badges can make accomplishments more visible, can be shared, and like certificates and other credentials, are becoming a professionally valued currency. They can be shared on online profiles, professional portfolios, with prospective employers, professional groups, schools, collaborators, and other learners in online social community spaces.
At the Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence, we are developing a digital badging ecosystem that recognizes online community of practice membership, contributions, and the competency development of our online practitioners. This digital system of badges has enabled an effective, engaging, and visible way to recognize the development of online teaching and course design competencies, and support/incentivize key behaviors in our community of practice. Four overarching paths are tied to the roles online practitioners play in our community, and form constellations of types of badges that add levels and a journey metaphor to the environment that help to clarify and integrate the goals of the badges within a true community of practice where members can move from novice to masters, share/learn from each other, and demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvements in their online teaching and course design.
Digital badging offers creative ways to define professional development paths, recognize accomplishments, experience, and competency, and encourage behaviors. Badge systems can be combined with additional incentives such as promotion/tenure, institutional recognition, mentor opportunities, and further professional development.
We have already begun awarding badges.
- We are using the Credly platform to organize and deliver the digital credentials.
- To date:
- We have created 31 badges: in the professional development and community engagement categories.
- We have issued 1,680 badges –10% have shared their badges in FB, and 90% have shared their badges in Linkedin.
- A group of campus-based volunteers have assisted in the design of the badging system: Chris Price – Brockport/CPD, Kelsey O’Brien – UA, Anne Reed – UP, Jeremiah Grobowski – UB, Jim Lynch – MVCC. Some input from Tera Doty-Blance – Broome and Linda Ryder – HVCC. Also includes various COTE and CPD staff.
If you are interested in badging, please join the Open SUNY COTE badging group in the OS COTE online community.