With the advent of online learning, it was only a matter of time before the way credentials are awarded would change. Badges are the new way to award learning and accomplishments and they are so revolutionary that the Harvard Business Review identified badges as one of the four most innovative trends to watch last year.
What is an Open Badge?
A “digital badge” is essentially an online record that identifies your achievements. With the ability to track a recipient's communities of online interaction, a badge will explain the work completed and outcomes learned to achieve said badge. Social platforms such as Foursquare have utilized 'badges' to motivate learning and behavior, signaling achievement within its particular community. An "open badge" takes the concept of digital badges one step further allowing the learner to gain badges from multiple credible organizations. Open badges also allow the learner to display their badge of achievement wherever they want and with whomever they want online.
Why are Open Badges Worth Embracing?
The Totara Learning Management System (LMS) allows organizations to issue open badges and provides a display functionality. Why is this a big deal?
Badges are a simple but very effective way of accrediting learning. The badge, in essence a digital certification, permanently links back to the issuing organization. It is issued to a learner and reveals core information such as the issuing authority, contact details, date undertaken, learning activity, evidence of achievement, and date of expiry if appropriate. Therefore, the badge can always be validated and verified.
Just ask your HR department how badges would benefit workplace learning. They will be ecstatic. Any employer who has gone through the pain of education verification checks will be elated. From a learner's perspective, this is so much better than lengthy paper-work trails to find long-lost certifications.
Totara is one of the first LMSs to support this innovative technology. If you are running a corporate training program there are a number of benefits to using Badges.
Added value for Your Learners
Badges allow your employees to demonstrate their learning in a valid and verifiable way; and to collect and share the badges as they desire. Further, they can be shared publicly or privately (think social media) with ease.
Oddly enough, a badge, because of growing digital currency, might just be a stronger incentive than a piece of paper.
Spread Your Brand
As your proud learners add badges to their LinkedIn profiles and to their resumes, your badges will be shared well beyond the borders of your own organization, carrying your brand and its associated values along with them.
Build Your Learning Reputation in the Community
Each of your badges links back to you, regardless of where they are shared or used. Before you know it, your company will be known as a an employer who invests in its people.
Adding badges to your organizational training program will benefit both employers and employees. Let us know if we can help.