Digital badges – How they work, why they are important, and are they worth it

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Studyum is a project of vast proportions. It will be a multidisciplinary takeover of learning space until every student can learn in their own time and preferred way, highly effectively, and with improved learning outcomes. 

The focus of Studyum isn’t only on supporting students throughout the learning but also before and after it. Learning does not exist in a vacuum: Before the course, it is vital to know its aims and objectives and how they align with your own learning aims and objectives. At the same time, it is important to know that all your efforts are not in vain – that the proof of knowledge you receive after the course will be useful to you later in life.

That is where the digital badges come in. 

What are digital badges

Digital badges are a type of digital credentials. They are proof of a student’s mastery of a subject, proof of competency. The badges tell the story of the student’s learning journey, providing pertinent information about their course experience.

The value of digital badges lies in their interoperability – they can be implemented across contexts, whether in educational institutions or in corporate settings. And since they are digital, they can be freely transferred across platforms, serving as a QR code or an online testimonial of one’s competency. 

To have a digital badge is to have verified proof of your earned knowledge, mastery, or skill.

How digital badges work

As an instantly accessible online proof of mastery, digital badges function as an in-depth record of your learning experience. Here are some of the information that can be weaved into a single digital badge:

  • Student Name
  • Badge Issuer Name 
  • Issuer’s Digital Signature
  • Date of Issue
  • Date of Expiration
  • Course Description
  • Badge Description
  • Acquired Competencies
  • Level of Mastery
  • Etc.

Digital badges so far were considered a type of digital credentials, meaning they were solely seen as a digitized account of physical credentials. However, with the advancement in technology and immense strides we have taken to make education accessible, it is now possible to store all credentials securely and transparently on the blockchain with no physical record-keeping necessary.

Are digital badges worth it

The answer to this question is a definite and unequivocal YES! Digital badges make lives easier for everyone. 

They can be easily updated and tracked, especially if they are incorporated with the use of blockchain, much like Studyum’s digital badges are. On the blockchain, they become an immutable proof of mastery as they cannot be altered or tampered with. Digital badges contain relevant information describing a student’s experience, accelerating the process of applying to job positions, educational institutions, grants, scholarships, and internships. They facilitate the bureaucratic aspects within organizations regardless of their structure. 

All in all, digital badges are a truly useful technology to have implemented into our professional and academic lives! 

Why are digital badges important

Digital badges are important because they are multi-purpose in nature. They allow us to accelerate different aspects of our lives and, within a society that has just begun another large-scale industrialization movement, speed is of the essence. 

As people participating in society, flexibility and adaptability are expected of us. To think that even as we become increasingly adaptable our credentials won’t is a major demotivating factor. 

Digital badges will allow us to advance on our personal journeys, within our personal Studyverses, without being hindered by bureaucracy and the responsibility of documenting our successes in the hope to prove we have achieved them. They will ensure we enjoy our successes as they become weaved into our lifelong learning path. 

Studyum’s digital badges

Studyum was designed to empower multidimensional lifelong learning. Meaning, it is focused on making learning enjoyable, worthwhile, and multifaceted. We are playful, inquisitive creatures by nature, but we are also discouraged by boring, routine work. By creating a dynamic, adaptable learning environment, Studyum empowers improved learning outcomes for every student. 

In order to accomplish all this and more, Studyum’s ecosystem is incredibly complex. One aspect of it is the multi-tier digital badges system that can function as: 

Proof of mastery of a subject. As a student completes a course, in addition to a certificate, they will earn a digital badge verifying the completion. Besides the grade received, the badge will also provide information on a student’s performance throughout the course, activity, involvement, in addition to the added weight to a student’s competencies. If a course requires group work for the successful completion of a task, the students enrolled in it can gain competencies related to teamwork and communication as part of their permanent profile. The more courses and activities a student completes, the greater the weight of the relevant competency they’ve earned. 

Proof of competency. Besides proof of mastery, students can improve their competency levels by performing tasks and participating in the community. As such, employers can look through a learner’s list of competencies and their assigned weights to judge whether they are the perfect candidate for a job. 

A student profile. Every student will have a digital badge unique to them that is hierarchically superior in structure to other badges. This badge will contain information on the entirety of the badges earned by a student and be equivalent to an academic CV, but will also have a list of competencies of a student in a preferred order of importance. 

A verified teacher status. In order to holistically promote decentralization in learning, students will be able to contribute to the Studyum Initiative in a completely unique manner. Upon completing a course and earning the required competencies, the student can become the teacher! Learners are then free to create their own course on the topic they have acquired specialized knowledge in or create microlessons to add to the growing database of the Studyum knowledge matrix.

Studyum’s digital badge system will provide an accurate account of a learner experience, ensuring seamless operation within professional and academic contexts globally. By simplifying our lives with the use of a complex system, it is an essential part of the way we’ll learn in the future.

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