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Digging Into Badges:
Designing and Developing Digital Credentials

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 much wider range of life activity, at a more 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 museums, associations, online communities, and even individual experts—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 MOOCs, service learning, faculty development, and campus events to new ways of structuring academic programs and courses or acknowledging granular or discrete skills these programs explore, there's much for colleges and universities to consider in the wide-open frontier called badging.

Learning Objectives

During this course, participants:

  • Explored core concepts that define digital badges, as well as the benefits and use in learning-related contexts
  • Understood the underlying technical aspects of digital badges and how they relate to each and the broader landscape for each learner and issuing organization
  • Critically reviewed and analyzed examples of the adoption of digital credentials both inside and outside higher education
  • Identified and isolated specific programs, courses, or other campus or online activities that would be meaningfully supported and acknowledged with digital badges or credentials
  • Considered the benefit of each minted badge or system to the earner, issuer, and observer
  • Developed a badge constellation or taxonomy for your own project
  • Considered forms of assessment suitable for evaluating badge earning
  • Learned about design considerations around the visual aspects of badges
  • Created a badge issuing plan
  • Issued 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 Facilitator

Jonathan Finkelstein

Jonathan Finkelstein

Jonathan Finkelstein is founder and CEO of Credly, which empowers anyone to issue, store, display, and promote digital credentials recognizing any of life's achievements. Jonathan is the director of the BadgeOS Project, an open-source platform that enables anyone to create or transform websites and mobile apps into systems for recognizing and rewarding achievement. With over 15,000 organizations issuing badges using BadgeOS and other open credit–enabled apps and sites, Credly is the most popular platform for issuing and managing digital credentials and Open Badges. As founder of LearningTimes, Jonathan has worked with hundreds of mission-driven organizations to produce and launch online programs, applications, and events that connect learners to expertise, while cultivating new generations of experts. He is author of Learning in Real Time (Wiley), contributing author to The Digital Museum, and producer or host of thousands of online events and programs for education, training, museum, and library audiences. Jonathan recently co-authored a report for the U.S. Department of Education on the potential for digital badges and the impact of alternative forms of credentialing. He is a frequent keynote speaker and sought-after advocate and spokesperson for recognizing and rewarding achievement—especially skills, talents, and interests that too often go unnoticed or unappreciated. The son of two New York City public school teachers, Jonathan graduated with honors from Harvard University.

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Contact Us

For general information about this event, including registration, please contact EDUCAUSE Member Services:


Registration Closed

Event Dates/Times

Part 1: April 16  |  1:00–2:30 p.m. ET  

Part 2: April 23  |  1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

Part 3: May 8  |  1:00–2:30 p.m. ET  

Join The Conversation

Guest Presenters

  • Susan Manning, EdD, University of Wisconsin–Stout
  • Ben Thompson, Creative Director and Brand Strategist, Studiofluid
  • Veronica Diaz, Director, Online Programs, EDUCAUSE, and Associate Director, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative