ELI Course | Digging into Badges: Designing and Developing Digital Credentials

Part 1: September 13, 2017 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 2: September 19, 2017 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 3: September 28, 2017 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

Digital badges are receiving a growing amount of attention and are beginning to disrupt the norms of what it means to earn credit or be credentialed. Badges 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. At the same time, higher education institutions are rethinking the type and size of activities worthy of official recognition. From massive open online courses (MOOCs), service learning, faculty development, and campus events to new ways of structuring academic programs and courses or acknowledging granular or discrete skills and competencies these programs explore, there's much for colleges and universities to consider in the wide open frontier called badging.

Learning Objectives

During this ELI course, participants will:

  • Explore core concepts that define digital badges, as well as the benefits and use in learning-related contexts
  • Understand the underlying technical aspects of digital badges and how they relate to each other and the broader landscape for each learner and issuing organization
  • Critically review and analyze examples of the adoption of digital credentials both inside and outside higher education
  • Identify and isolate specific programs, courses, or other campus or online activities that would be meaningfully supported and acknowledged with digital badges or credentials
  • Consider the benefit of each minted badge or system to the earner, issuer, and observer
  • Develop a badge constellation or taxonomy for their own project
  • Consider forms of assessment suitable for evaluating badge earning
  • Learn about design considerations around the visual aspects of badges
  • Create a badge-issuing plan
  • Issue badges

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


Course Facilitators

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 U.S. 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, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Smithsonian, EDUCAUSE, IMS Global, 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, University of Wisconsin-Stout

In addition to helping Credly clients design credential systems in formal and informal settings, Susan Manning comes from the teaching world. Presently she teaches 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.

Registration Open

Register by September 22, 2017.

All live content is recorded and may be viewed asynchronously at your convenience. See course agenda for live session dates.

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ELI: EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative

This event is provided by the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) community—advancing learning in higher education through the innovative application of technology.

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