A Look Into Digital Credentials and Its Benefits

Education Technology Insights | Friday, September 27, 2019

Digital credentials let learners demonstrate that they have acquired specific skills or competencies helpful in the workplace.

FREMONT, CA: Just like how a learner gets a badge in case of gamification upon completing a certain level or mastering a skill with the instructional setting, digital credentials offerings are also similar. In the workplace setting, digital badges certify that a person has taken a professional development course and established mastery of a set of related skills. In higher education, colleges and universities are using digital credentials to give pupils a head start in obtaining skills for their future careers. With less time on hands and a pressing need to learn niche skills, today’s students require instructional programs and initiatives. The platforms can offer them with abilities and knowledge swiftly and effectively.

The objectives of digital credentials are multi-faceted. They want to tackle bias in education and the workplace as digital credential programs seek to give all learners flexible, convenient, and affordable access to education. One more way that digital certificates want to help learners is by giving them more power over how they plan, follow, and share their educational accomplishments.  

Additionally, digital credentials take into account hiring trends as companies are transitioning to skill-based hiring instead of employing graduates from prestigious degree programs. Digital programs want to standardize education around the world. So, no longer will pupils have to worry about transferring their credits from one college to another. Micro-credentials will make that process automatic and seamless. 

Because of the way the credentials connect the workplace with education, they are poised to have a profound impact on the way learners plan their futures. The approach is applied both in and outside the classroom. 

Skill-Based Learning 

Digital credentials let learners demonstrate that they have acquired specific skills or competencies helpful in the workplace. A micro-credential or digital credential should be linked with industry or professional aptitude to ensure that it is useful and valuable to apprentices. The capabilities offered by digital credential programs can range from soft skills, like nonprofit leadership to technical skills, such as search engine optimization.  

Personalized Learning 

As micro-credentials break subject material down into specific skills, schools and students can tailor their education plans to their requirements. For example, one digital credential consortium that provides professional development badges for educators offer over 300 micro-credentials from over 20 different issuing organizations. The diversity assures that teachers can find choices that fit their desires. Another feature of digital credentials that connects to the personalized learning is the fact that the badges can be completed anytime and from anywhere.  

Open Standards 

Additionally, digital badges are designed to be valid and portable; they give students the capacity to break away from the conventional relationship with an educational organization. One platform allows for an extension on transcripts to include skills and achievements that a learner has obtained outside the classroom and can follow the learner into the workplace. The credentials link a student’s academic career with particular skills that employers are looking for.  

Organizations need to deliver maximum significance through digital credentials and offer learners an experience that is customized to their specific requirements and goals. Below are a few elements that an institution should consider for success:

1. It is essential to develop a strategy that recognizes the particular learning functions, lifespan of every certificate or badge, and performance level standards. Furthermore, organizations should also develop training content that links to industry appropriate competencies. The relevance helps increase the integrity of the award and its professed value to employers along with employees.

2. If required, organizations can seek external backing from professional institutes. The professional associations may include Continuing Professional Development (CPD) providers or training partners to augment the usability, integrity, and value of the micro-credential offerings.

3. Make sure the organization’s micro-credential and badging system is fair across the board by training in-house team members to manage, validate, and deliver the course evidence. Testing every course and mapping out learner’s journey to ensure the best possible user experience is also vital to ongoing success.

Make sure that the core of the institution’s approach addresses the way micro-credentials will be revised in response to industry trends, changes, and evolution. The organization may have to update course content and standards regularly, so making the credentials pliable is crucial. 

At present, companies and higher education organizations are offering digital credentials generally. Nevertheless, it is only a matter of time before K-12 institutions get them on board.

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