Dean of Continuing Education Kathleen Radionoff is scheduled to present about Madison College's use of badges to the Mozilla Badge Provider Community and the Mozilla Badge Academic Reasercher Community on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013.
Students who complete certain noncredit classes at Madison College this fall will earn digital badges to recognize the skills they’ve learned. The school is the first two-year college in the nation to join the small but growing number of higher education institutions worldwide that offer badges to affirm learning, according to software developer Mozilla.
Digital badges recognize skills and knowledge acquired through classes, workshops, trainings and other outlets that are not necessarily tied to a formal degree or certification. Learners can use badges to display their achievements online.
“Employers are interested in verifiable skill sets, even more than a degree in some cases, and we teach skill sets,” says Radionoff. “Badges allow people to display the very specific skills they have learned at the class level.”
Badges, she says, are especially useful for those who have recently upgraded their skills or who want to show they’ve acquired a new skill. Displaying new or refreshed skills can add value to a resume and show that skills have been updated, giving job-seekers a competitive edge.
For example, while breaking into the architecture field has become more competitive since the recession, employers are still interested in hiring architectural technicians who have specific training in Revit software. A digital badge would highlight this skill in a graduate’s online resume.
Someone with a degree in liberal arts would be able to highlight special skills or interests that could attract employers who want specific skill sets not apparent in simply listing a degree earned.
A current list of participating organizations can be viewed here.
For more information about badges, watch the following video from Mozilla OpenBadges.
Published July 17, 2013. Updated September 16, 2013.