We’re always striving to make Accredible the best it can be. Because of this we have made some pretty big improvements to our Certificate Designer, to make creating your beautiful certificates even easier.
To make sure that you’ve got everything you need to navigate the sleek new designer, Gemma has jumped in to show you exactly where everything is so you don’t waste time working it out.
The question of where to use badges and where to use certificates can be challenging. Should an organization use just one, in which case which one, or should they use both? In our recent webinar with The International Association of Privacy Professionals, this very question came up, and they have developed a great model that we think is worthy of consideration by all membership organizations.
First of all, let’s recap on the two credential types.
A digital badge is really a digital representation of a physical badge. It enjoys all the benefits of being digital, such as being sharable, verifiable, trackable, and having embedded metadata. Badges issued with Accredible are also compliant with the OpenBadge 2.0 standard, so they can be ported easily between platforms.
Designs typically resemble physical badges, as in the following example (although they do not have to):
Digital certificates are similar to paper certificates and usually look visually the same. They are available online and can be downloaded and printed, as well as enjoying the digital benefits described above for badges. Unique information (such as the recipient name, course details, etc) is usually visible on the certificate, unlike a badge. Additional information such as a transcript, work samples or references can also be attached.
How to use Both
To answer this question, let’s look at The IAPP again. In common with many membership organizations, the IAPP offers a range of formal training and certifications to its membership. An example is their “Certified Information Privacy Professional” certification. Before switching to Accredible, paper certificates were issued. It makes sense to use certificates (rather than badges) to recognize member achievement because:
Achieving the certification requires considerable effort over a period of time, and for the majority of users, a certificate with their name on it is perceived as more appropriate recognition than a badge
Traditionally this kind of achievement would have been recognized with a paper certificate and so there is better continuity when switching to this format
Many members wish to download and print their certificate for display, or to show to clients as evidence of their qualifications
Additional evidence such as work samples, transcripts, references etc can be attached
Details of the recipient, the course, the dates, etc can be displayed on the certificate
So how about badges? Most membership organizations engage with a variety of other people, be they members or not. They could be volunteers, employees, presidents, people who develop exam material, or volunteer board members. In other words they are people engaged in more specific service roles. For these people, badges makes more sense because:
They are a great way to recognize the contribution of these individuals
There is unlikely to have been anything in place beforehand, so there are no expectations to be maintained
They are less formal than a certificate
In using both, the distinction between the formal training and certification programs, and the less formal (but still important) recognition of contributions is maintained.
Accredible allows both certificates and badges to be designed, issued and managed from a single platform, so the above model can easily be adopted.
Now, the badge is issued by Accredible, and I cannot tamper with it in its web location. However, as with a digital badge from any issuer, I can also download a local image file. To all intents and purposes the downloaded image behaves like a normal .png file. However, it is a valid Open Badge, and I can show this by using a verification service. For example, Accredible’s verification service lets me upload and validate:
Since the badge is Open Badge compliant, I can verify it using another tool, such as the IACET OpenBadge Verification Tool. If I upload my badge and verify it, the page reports that the badge is valid, and displays more information such as the issuer, issue date, name etc.
So how do I share my badge? What happens if rather than using the original image, or the embed links that it comes with, I simply grab a screenshot and save it? Because let’s face it, we’re busy and that is easy to do! 🙂
My badge still looks okay:
But let’s go and verify it by uploading to a verification service:
All is not well. The embedded information has been lost.
If I convert the badge file to a JPEG the same thing happens
– the embedded information has been lost.
What about if I edit the downloaded badge image and then save it as a PNG, such as this one, to make it look as if I have a better award than I really have:
Interestingly it still verifies, but even better the verification retrieves the original badge image that I cannot tamper with and my deviousness is exposed:
To wrap up then, here are some do’s and don’ts for caring for your Open Badges:
Use the original image for the badge that you can download from the issuing site
Where provided, use the built in mechanisms for emailing, embedding, and social media sharing, rather than attempting a DIY solution
Verify any badges that you are relying on to prove a person’s achievements
Take and use screenshots of your badges
Save the badge in a different file format
Edit or change the badge using image editing software
When issuing credentials, many organizations wish to protect their brand identity, and ensure a seamless and high consistency experience for their users.
We’re delighted to announce that our new white labelling service that allows you to do just that, in an easy and cost effective manner.
The white labelling service makes core functionality available to all users, and adds more through a self-selectable premium feature. The core functionality allows you to:
Use your own logo within the issuer dashboard.
Provide your own banner image and description for your issuer page on the recipient website.
Control the header and colors used in emails sent to recipients (we already allow you to control the text).
The premium feature (available as a self-selectable add-on for all issuers) enables you to:
Provide your own vanity URL for the recipient website, for example awards.myorganization.com.
Show your own logo in the header of the recipient website
Control the footer content of the emails sent to credential recipients.
Let users see a branded version of the credential wallet, showing only credentials issued by you.
White labelling brings benefits beyond the immediately apparent ones of enforcing a consistent brand identity and professional presentation. People accessing the credentials that you have issued will feel that they are still on your site. As a result they will therefore feel more engaged with your organization, and more aware of the value that you provide. The legitimacy and value of your credentials will be enhanced since it is your organization, directly, that can be seen to be the issuer.
The premium feature enables the “Recipient Website Branding” page:
When viewing a credential, the page is branded with your logo, and uses your chosen URL:
Should even more customization be required, we also offer a bespoke-level service, which allows control of navigation bar, footer, CSS, and changes to other page elements.
We were delighted to be awarded first place in the category Best Innovation in Blockchain Technology at the Reimagine Education Conference in San Francisco on 30 November 2018.
Reimagine Education is an international competition rewarding innovative initiatives aimed at enhancing student learning outcomes and employability. It’s aim is to reward those most successful in creating transformational educational initiatives, enhancing student learning outcomes and/or employability.
Awareness of blockchain technologies and the exciting possibilities created by them, has grown in recent years. As a consequence, experts in an increasing number of sectors are seeking to examine how blockchain might spark innovation in their own industry.
Reimagine Education introduced the Best Innovation in Blockchain Technology Award this year. The award is given to the startup, company, individual, school, or university that can prove that they’ve incorporated blockchain into an educational setting in an effective, and sustainable, way.
Danny King, CEO of Accredible, commented “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award. It is testament to the innovative use of technologies such as Blockchain within our digital credentialing platform, and our use of those technologies to deliver improved educational initiatives, learning outcomes, and employability.”
To try Accredible for free, sign up today and see how easy it is to issue digital badges and certificates online.
We’ve added a lot of new features and functionality to Accredible in our latest release. Here are our top five!
1. New Credential Page Layout
The new credential page is cleaner and easier to read:
We’ve introduced screen areas for new information to be added, such as other courses. You can also provide your own custom call to action and link, as shown middle right below:
2. Credential Privacy Indicator
Sometimes its the little things that make the biggest difference, and this much asked for feature will allow issuers to see the privacy status of their issued credentials, in the credentials list.
3. Contract Details View
Now you can see detailed information on your subscriptions and your entitlements, including your monthly cost, any adjustments, next month’s charges, and your balance.
4.Kryterion Webassessor Integration
Kryterion Webassessor is a leading testing platform used by some of the biggest names in education and technology.
We’ve built an integration to deliver world-leading certificates, badges and blockchain credentials from their platform. Automatically issue credentials for successful test takers and enable automated lifecycle management to handle recertification.
We’ve added support for: Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Romanian, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese (TW) and Turkish. We already had support for English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese.
Next on our localization list is the addition of Arabic, Hebrew and Malay.