What is digital credential technology in higher education?

Digital credentials are the future of higher education certification. They provide protection against degree fraud supported by blockchain technology and high-level security for student data. They are cost-effective to issue with new ways of issuance including digital certificate and digital badge formats, stackable credentials, and linear or nonlinear learning pathways. They support marketing strategies through ease of shareability and reduce time commitments for administrators with one-click verification. Higher education digital credentials are hosted on a dedicated credential page, allowing more detail around learning outcomes and the inclusion of transcripts, evidence of skills or knowledge, and exam and dissertation scores.

The insights provided by digital credentials are used by educational providers to track the success of learning pathways for informed decision making. Data analytics also enable issuers to track the increased visibility and enrollment referrals gained through credential social shares. Digital credentials make the credentialing process more efficient through integration with existing edtech such as learning management systems or learning experience platforms. Whether learning is delivered through online courses, in-person, or through hybrid environments, digital credentials provide a modern initiative for recognizing and rewarding achievement.

The benefits of digital credentials for students

Students that are awarded digital credentials gain a portable, shareable, verifiable record of their professional development. The credentials provide assurance of long-term sustainability as they are protected against loss of achievements as a result of provider closure or merger. Recipients can share their achievements to their preferred social media networks in celebration and to provide evidence of their competencies for employment. Their digital credentials can be added to their LinkedIn profile, embedded in email signatures or on personal webpages, and uploaded to smartphone digital wallet cards.

What are portable credentials?

The portability of digital credentials comes from the ability to upload digital certificates and digital badges to smartphone devices. Learners can upload the verifiable records of their student success to digital wallet cards that are supported on both Apple and Android devices. Using digital wallet cards they can provide evidence of their higher ed certifications and career-advancing credentials on-the-go. This is useful when presenting proof of knowledge or skills to third-parties such as recruiters and hiring managers during job interviews or employment reviews. They can also use their portable digital credentials to provide proof of eligibility to work on-site such as in a medical facility or on a construction site. Graduates can upload multiple digital credentials to their digital wallet cards to ensure they always have access to their crucial certifications wherever they go.

What are the benefits of portable credentials?

Portable credentials are useful as an education technology as they link directly to the dedicated credential page. From this page, the third-party reviewer can learn more about the student’s learning experiences including their level of competency and evidence of practical knowledge application. They can also see what other credentials are held by the recipient, who the issuing institution is, details of the program or course, and when the achievement was issued. Digital credentials used in this way can replace physical printed certificates and plastic membership cards and help institutions that want to become more environmentally friendly. 

In Summary

A positive student experience is important to promote enrollment for learning programs. Using digital credential software, higher education institutions benefit from increased visibility of their certifications, increased security and protection against fraud, and an efficient, engaging credentialing experience. Their students gain verifiable, shareable, and portable records of achievement that enable them to take their valuable credentials on-the-go for presentation to third-parties. 

Learn more about the application and implementation of feature-rich digital credentials by booking a platform demo with Accredible. Our team will help you research the potential of digital credentials and provide insight into additional features including branding and white labeling, student credential directories, and services to promote program growth. 

Further Reading

The demand for professional certification is increasing but with demand comes increased competition. Professional certifiers need to ensure their courses and certification programs are engaging and meet the needs of today’s learners and students. Download our free guide Creating a Certification Program with Digital Credentials to learn how to create, market, and scale certification programs supported by digital credentials.

Use this guide to:

  • Identify learner and employer preferences for training and development
  • Research the steps in building an effective certification program
  • Create course content that appeals to the target audience
  • Learn how digital credentials are used to motivate, reward, market, and scale
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