Digital Badges: What’s the point? By Karen Pontin, ColegauCymru / CollegesWales Consultant

It is not possible, proportionate or sensible to have all learning accredited by an Awarding Organisation. Gaining accreditation is a challenge and on contracts and projects such as the ColegauCymru/CollegesWales CPD programme, funding and timescales often don’t allow for it. Also where learning is fairly short– say a 40 minute online programme covering something only pertinent to the staff of an organisation – then gaining accreditation for the programme can prove to be a hefty piece of work and expensive. Sledgehammer and nut come to mind.

However there is now a way that accreditation can be achieved relatively quickly and with less pain – using a digital recognition service. It’s an initiative that is gaining traction in the UK. It’s where organisations use digital badges to recognise bite sized chunks of learning and achievement and give those who complete it, proof of what they’ve done. Think Scouting/Guiding badges but without the sewing….. Have a look at JISC Article – Badges and see what we mean.

The badging service is (inevitably) not free but it is both easier to set up, quicker and more cost effective than traditional accreditation – particularly if the learning is short or time bound as described above.  If you are developing a project or programme that would benefit from some external recognition – give digital badges some thought and maybe include them in your plans.


About Claire Roberts

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