Badges? We Might Want to Think About Stinking Badges…

Some initial, mostly unfiltered thoughts on digital badges from a professional development perspective:

  1. Most badging programs are too simple. They focus on rote skill and don't have a clear pathway for building competency on a holistic level.
  2. Buy in, like any other initiative, is extremely important. Badging isn't enticing on it's own. And being enticing for the sake of being enticing, is a really bad reason to tackle a large project.
  3. In designing a meaningful program, outlining desired outcomes needs to happen before competencies are even discussed. Aligning tasks and work for the participants will only happen if you know what you want them to get out of the program.
  4. Credentialing has to have weight behind it. This comes either from the organization or the privileges and benefits that come from earning the credential. This can be at the department level certainly, but becomes more meaningful if the institution shifts to recognize micro-credentials.
  5. Displaying the credential needs to be simple.

I'm not entirely sure where this is going to go, but there it is.

Some helpful reading:

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