Online Course | Launching Digital Credentials: Designing, Developing, and Deploying Strategies

Part 1: April 1, 2019 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 2: April 10, 2019 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 3: April 17, 2019 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET


Digital credentials can be used in a number of ways inside and outside your institution or organization. Digital forms of credentials allow the sharing of evidence of skills and knowledge acquired through a wide range of life activity, at a granular level, and at a pace that keeps up with individuals who are always learning—even outside the classroom. As such, those not traditionally in the degree-granting realm—such as associations, online communities, and even employers—are now issuing "credit" for achievement they can uniquely recognize. To an employer, a digital credential can validate what an applicant can actually do and extends the ability of industry employers to expand their workforce or improve their workforce's skills. The exchange of transparent, portable, and data-rich credentials—digital credentials—is the currency of choice in the marketplace for knowledge and skills.

Viable digital credential ecosystems rely on an exchange of perceived value or "currency" between three different parties: credential issuer, credential earner, and credential consumer. This course will help you clarify your ideas on why you are entering into the workforce- or employer-driven digital credential space.

After you have clarified why you are entering into the digital credential space, developing a digital credential program starts with building knowledge awareness of what digital credentials are and how they can be used. In other words, you are building the ecosystem your badges will be "living in."

Learning Objectives

During this course, participants will:

  • Understand the underlying technical aspects of digital credentials and the broader ecosystem digital credentials reside in for each learner and issuing organization
  • Utilize a 3-phase process to identify and isolate specific programs, courses, or other campus or online activities that would be meaningfully supported and acknowledged with digital credentials
  • Develop a credential governance plan and sketch out a credential hierarchy, constellation, or taxonomy for your own project
  • Discuss assessment, mastery, and evidence suitable for evaluating credential earning
  • Explore design considerations around the visual aspects of credentials and branding
  • Issue credentials

NOTE: Participants will be asked to complete assignments in between the course segments that support the learning objectives and will receive feedback and constructive critique from course facilitators on how to improve and shape their work.


Jonathan Finkelstein Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO, Credly

Jonathan Finkelstein is founder and CEO of Credly, creator of the Open Credit framework, and founder of the open-source BadgeOS project. Together these platforms have enabled thousands of organizations to recognize, reward, and market skills and achievement. Previously, he was founder of LearningTimes and co-founder of HorizonLive (acquired by Blackboard), helping mission-driven organizations serve millions of learners through online programs and platforms. Finkelstein is author of Learning in Real Time (Wiley), contributing author to The Digital Museum, co-author of a report for the US Department of Education on the potential for digital badges, and a frequent speaker on digital credentials, open badges, and the future of learning and workforce development. Recent speaking engagements have included programs at the White House, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Smithsonian, EDUCAUSE, IMS Global, the Lumina Foundation, ASAE, and the Federal Reserve. Finkelstein is involved in several open standards initiatives, such as the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Badge Alliance, American Council on Education (ACE) Stackable Credentials Framework Advisory Group, and the Credential Registry. He graduated with honors from Harvard.

Susan Manning Susan Manning, EdD, Chief Success Strategist, Credly

Susan Manning is the chief success strategist at Credly. In that role, she guides organizations through the process of designing, developing, and maintaining credential systems that are valuable to many stakeholders. In addition to helping Credly clients design credential systems in formal and informal settings, Manning comes from the teaching world. She formerly taught for the University of Wisconsin at Stout, including courses in instructional design, Universal Design for Learning, and the use of games for learning. Manning was recognized by the Sloan Consortium with the prestigious 2013 Excellence in Online Teaching Award. She has worked with a range of academic institutions to develop competency-based programs that integrate digital badges. Several of her publications specifically speak to digital badge systems; other work is centered on technology tools and online education.

Brenda M. Perea Brenda M. Perea, Director of Educational and Workforce Solutions, Credly

Brenda M. Perea, director of educational and workforce solutions, brings 25 years of experience spanning secondary, postsecondary, and workforce educational fields to help learners identify and target workforce skills not apparent in traditional credentials. She successfully led CCCS to implement a system-wide badge initiative. Perea believes identifying competencies is critical to establishing career and educational pathways in conjunction with business and industry to ensure to postsecondary education and career training are relevant for today's workforce. She speaks nationally on digital badges and works with the international Open Recognition Alliance and IMS Global to shape the national conversation on badging, industry, and business engagement and workforce credentialing.