How to Get Started With Digital Badges

What does an A really mean? The answer is often elusive. Grades as they are typically used offer little insight into what students know and are able to do. Conversely, digital badges are changing assessment as we know it, as they make learning visible and clearly delineate what a student knows and can do. Here is a quick guide to get started with digital badges:


To start with digital badges, the badging activities and/or criteria must first be defined. This is typically done by the educator. For example, perhaps students are learning how to safely use and operate a microscope in your class. In this case, the badging criteria would be whether or not a student can safely use and operate a microscope.


When you have defined what you want students to show that they can do, the next step is to name the badge and define how students will show mastery. For example, this badge could be called the ‘Microscope Pro badge’. To earn the Microscope Pro badge, students might have to

1. Turn the microscope on
2. Place a slide on the deck
3. Focus the microscope
4. Look through the microscope to see an object


Once the activities and criteria have been defined, students complete the specified tasks and submit the evidence to prove that they can do it. For example, a student might record themselves doing steps 1 through 4 above, then submit to the teacher via email.


The teacher then evaluates the student evidence. If the evidence proves mastery, the badge is awarded. If mastery is not proven, the teacher will provide feedback for the student to revise and resubmit their evidence.


Try it! Digital Badges

Ready to give digital badges a try? Luckily there are several digital badge creation tools available to make the process simple and easy. I recommend Credly. It offers a simple interface, and connects with LinkedIn – show future employers what you know and can do!

Speaking of building your resume, check out the Student Showcase! Use this free tool to build your online portfolio and show future employers what you can do!