Digital badges have been in use for some time, although not widely. That may be about to change, with their value being demonstrated by governments acting to quickly help citizens who have become unemployed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Digital badging is playing a key role in the Victorian Government’s initiative help displaced workers by quickly retraining them for jobs in industries where demand is growing because of the virus.
As the unemployment queues lengthened, the Government launched its Working for Victoria program to retrain workers and give them an introduction to employers desperate for more staff.
Within days, VETASSESS’ online eLearning arm, eWorks, had tapped into learning content provided by the Department of Education and Training to develop (non-accredited) short courses to upskill displaced workers. The training is free and entirely online. Once learners complete the training and online assessment, they receive their digital badge, which they can then share on their social media profiles such as LinkedIn and and use it to help them find a new job.
More than 2500 people registered in the first two Victorian online training courses that became available this month.
Digital badges explained
A digital badge is a web-enabled version of a credential evaluation, which means that it can be verified online – instantly. It can be easily displayed and shared for maximum visibility and recognition.
Its features are:
- Contains metadata on the course and credentials
- Shareable across the web and multiple platforms
- Links badge holders with job opportunities
- Allows employers to search for workforce with specific skillsets
Each badge has its own description page on the Acclaim platform, where all Digital Badges are hosted. This has multiple functions: It explains what the learner has achieved and can link to job boards where particular skills are required. The badges that eWorks has created for the Victorian Government link to more than 20,000 job boards.
The page also lists the criteria that were required to earn the badge and maps the skill to the standards of the Australian Qualifications Framework.
It explains the level of skills learned and how long it took to achieve them. The badge also links to the issuing authority.
Who uses digital badges?
Job candidates use Digital Badges to show their credentials.
Employers can search for particular skills, easily verify a candidate’s qualification and so guard against candidate fraud and reduce the risk of unqualified hires.
Organisations that use digital badges include IBM, Oracle and UNSW Business School.
How is a digital badge authenticated?
Several organisations provide platforms for digital badging. When a course is completed, the user’s data is loaded on the platform, the digital badge is issued, and the learner gets an email telling them they have received a digital badge.
They create a profile to accept it, which gives instructions on how to post the badge to job and professional sites. With the Victorian Government’s badges, they can print out a certificate.
How secure are digital badges?
As Digital Badges are a representation of a learner’s accomplishments and credentials, they are backed by data sets, metadata and information subsets. Data and information security are built into badging platforms.
A practical solution
Incorporating digital badging into reskilling is a practical solution when thousands of people have lost their jobs due to a health and economic catastrophe and a rapid response is needed.
A physical certificate will still be valued, the beautiful script and heavy parchment paper signify accomplishment, but granting a digital badge increases the value of the qualification and gives learners the best of both the traditional and the online world.
Find out more at https://info.vetassess.com.au/workingforvic-home
Prashil Singh is the Manager Partnership and Stakeholder Relations at VETASSESS, responsible for providing leadership on stakeholder relations, marketing, customer acquisition, commercial development, and international operations.