Beyond Certificates: Four Reasons to Add Digital Badges to Your eLearning Strategy

February 6, 2020 | Activate Learning | 4 min read

Employees who invest in their knowledge and complete training programs often display framed certificates of achievement on their desks, or the walls of their cubes and offices. These are a source of pride and a sign of accomplishment to peers and managers. While there remains a place for physical certificates, the modern world provides something even better.

The Rise of a Visual, Verifiable, Portable Record of Professional Development

In a professional world that’s always changing, it’s critically important for learners to not only ensure their skill set is up to date, but also to showcase their accomplishments in a manner that reaches their audience and tells a convincing story quickly. Professionals work hard to cultivate a personal brand in the office—and also on the road, with their clients, and on social media where they network with peers and present themselves as thought leaders in their industry.

Enter Digital Badges. Digital Badges support learners in sharing their accomplishments across all of these physical and digital environments in a way that is visual, verifiable, and portable. Digital badges combine these three things to motivate and encourage learners to keep growing.

Let’s explore the critical benefits to your learners, and your organization, of adding badges to your corporate eLearning strategy.

  1. Visual, verifiable, portable accomplishments engage and motivate learners A study by the Digital Learning Consortium—involving 5,000 learners, spanning five generations, 114 countries, and 15 professional fields—revealed that nine out of ten respondents would value a Learning Record that travels with them throughout their career. Among those individuals, the vast majority (73%) indicated their experience would be distinctly improved if they had a history of their learning. Digital badges inspire learners to establish and build a virtual portfolio of their achievements, one that is always accessible and theirs for life. Skillsoft’s digital badges, which adhere to the Open Badge standard, ensure the true portability of the badge—allowing the learner to establish credibility and present their accomplishment as one that is authentic and verifiable.Digital Badge - Percipio
  2. Learners can socialize and share their accomplishments in the digital world Just as a scout proudly displays merit badges on a sash, learners who invest time and effort into their professional development and begin to earn badges are free to instantly share the news with their managers and colleagues, along with friends, family, and social networks. Skillsoft research with learners across industries and geographies indicate that they are most eager to share accomplishments with their managers via email. Digital badges adhering to the industry-wide Open Badge standard can be shared across email platforms, corporate social platforms, and consumer social media platforms making it easy to showcase their accomplishments.
  3. Accomplishments can be independently verified Unlike the physical variety, digital badges are not limited by space constraints. They include embedded metadata—verified through a secure blockchain—about who earned the badge, who issued it, and the completion requirements. This will indicate details such as learning objectives and the rigor required to earn the badge. For example, it may indicate whether an assessment or coding lab was required. The badge can be verified outside of the platform where it was earned, making them portable and always accessible to the employee.
  4. Encourage continuous learning to close organizational skills gaps and promote a learning culture Rewards and recognition go a long way towards inspiring newly engaged and invested learners to return and continue their journey. Likewise, as one learner shares news of a hard-earned badge, the social nature of the experience encourages others to get involved. Organizations who accept badges play a critical role in supporting an ecosystem of collaboration and lifelong learning.

Percipio launches Digital Badges

Coming in February 2020, Percipio will issue Digital Badges to learners who complete courses featuring Skillsoft content. As learners earn digital badges, they can showcase the achievement to managers, colleagues, friends, family, and their extended network via email, through more than 100 social platforms, or embedded within their email signature or website. Digital badges represent legitimate, authenticated achievements, described within the badge and linked to the awarding organization. They are always accessible to the learner and theirs to keep. Administrators can turn this feature off for their organization if needed. In the future, Skillsoft will enable clients to design and issue badges for their custom content hosted in Percipio. Additional enhancements will move beyond Course Completion to Skills Badges and Major Accomplishments, such as the completion of Aspire Journeys.

Percipio Badges Lifecycle

To connect with an expert and learn more, request a demo today.

Heidi Hale is a Senior Manager, Product Management at Skillsoft