Why Use Digital Badges for Training Credentials?

Digital badges are commonly used to represent ‘partial knowledge’ or completion of individual modules that make up a larger topic. For example, McGraw-Hill uses digital badges to represent increasing levels of skill for Microsoft Office tools. Their digital badges are measured in Levels 1 to 4 and use colored ‘belts’ (like those used in martial arts) to represent increasing skill in Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. 

There are many benefits to using digital badges in this way:

  • An element of gamification that motivates candidates to complete a full course
  • A better understanding of what individual digital badges represent with plenty of dedicated space for contextual data
  • A collection of digital badges in a digital wallet card shows the competency of an individual
  • A browsable library of skilled individuals used to identify skill gaps in teams/departments
  • A browsable library of skilled individuals suitable for job/role swaps and/or professional development opportunities
  • An avenue of user-generated marketing, badges can be added LinkedIn profiles or resumes, embedded online or in emails, and shared to social media for increased course/issuer visibility


Gamification of Skill Development

Professionals want opportunities to seek skill or knowledge development, but not everyone has easy access to higher education. Many individuals would struggle to spend several years (and thousands of dollars) studying in university or college. Education and skill development is made more accessible through courses broken down into ‘bitesize knowledge chunks’, also referred to as micro-credentials.

Micro-credentials provide an easy route to education and training, are more affordable, and use digital badges to provide motivation through gamification of the achievement process. In a survey on the impact of gamification by TalentLMS, they found that 89% of respondents felt they would be more productive if gamification was better utilized. To organizations, micro-credentials are attractive as they: 

  • Prevent long-term absences of staff
  • Provide fast opportunities for personal development
  • Are a cost-effective way of investing in hard-working employees
  • Can be used to fill skill gaps in teams or departments


Contextual Data and Market Standardization

An increasing number of organizations outside of higher education institutions are offering training and skill development credentials. For hiring staff, this can cause confusion in what specific skills have been achieved between differing issuer’s awards. Contextual data and market standardization makes this much easier. 

Contextual data is any meta data that is included on the digital badge including references, transcripts, and skill tags. This data informs hiring parties or admittance tutors of what the candidate is capable of. For example, a digital badge awarded for competency in Microsoft Word would include skill tags such as ‘selecting text’, ‘adding hyperlinks’, and ‘using copy and paste’. 

Market standardization encourages all credential issuers to include contextual data on their digital credential award. This ensures the value of their credential is clearly conveyed. Hiring processes for checking and understanding credentials are better supported through market standardization. Employers can easily understand the difference between a ‘data security and privacy training’ badge from Company A vs Company B and what each course covers.

Using Digital Badges to Identify Skill Gaps

The growing demand for digital credentials directly correlates to increasing numbers of individuals pursuing training and education. This is improving both the hiring process and making it easier for management to identify skill gaps on teams, in departments, and for individuals.

Digital Credential Directories

Digital credentials can be used to populate directories of certified professionals. Accredible’s Spotlight Directory provides this capability and is included as part of a Premium Plan. The Spotlight Directory enables training providers to build directories of professionals holding their certifications, or companies can build directories of their skilled employees. 

Directories are useful for identifying the strengths of a team. For example, if a manager is leaving and the company prefers to promote within, they can use a directory to overview all the skills and experiences of the team. This can be helpful in identifying someone with leadership qualities that could benefit from additional skills or knowledge such as administration and advanced management training badges. 

Digital Wallet Cards

Individuals collect their own digital credentials in a personal digital wallet card that is available on android and apple devices. Using the digital wallet card, individuals always have an opportunity to provide verifiable evidence of skill, knowledge, or experience on-the-go. Digital badges and certificates added to digital wallet cards are beneficial for contractors that are required to provide proof of their credentials when arriving onsite. 

During the hiring process, candidates can present a digital wallet card of their personal achievements and skill. Not only does this provide verifiable proof of their abilities, it better informs the hiring process and can help managers plan training in weaker areas.

Supporting Seamless Job/Role Swaps

Job or role swapping is a process seen commonly in larger businesses. There are many reasons organizations may offer the opportunity for employees to swap roles in the company such as:

  • Transfer of skills or knowledge
  • Access to networking opportunities
  • Grow an individual’s experience
  • Break-up the current routine
  • Provide fresh motivation
  • Broaden employee perspective

The use of digital badges for employees informs managers of what knowledge they are gaining and where additional training will benefit.

In Summary

Digital badges are more than simply a representation of a personal achievement. They are used to:

  • Motivate course completion through the gamification of achievement
  • Provide greater detail on what knowledge has been gained for modules and courses
  • Populate recipient digital wallet cards for on the go skill and experience verification
  • Build browsable directories of skilled individuals to inform job/role swaps and professional development opportunities 
  • Provide avenues of user-generated marketing through social shares, embeds, and additions to resumes

Learn how to implement digital badges for training and book a call with the Accredible sales team. The team can provide further information and demos for using the Spotlight Directory, Digital Wallet Cards, and Digital Credentials to inform internal processes and invest in existing staff. 

Further Reading

Making education and training accessible is just one part of encouraging course completion. Learn how to identify pain points regarding enrollment and course completion and ease the process for candidates with our guide: How to Increase Course Completion with Digital Credentials. 

The guide provides an overview of motivation through gamification, conveying the value of training or education, and how to make education accessible to all learner types. Download a copy today.

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