What is a Digital Badge?

Digital badges capture and communicate an accomplishment of some kind. Sometimes referred to as micro-credentials, badges document knowledge, skills, and competencies gained through various learning and professional development opportunities. Pursuing badges during the course of completing a degree program can enhance your education.

Digital badges are portable; they can be displayed on social media, websites, and in emails. Thus, they are an opportunity for students to highlight particularly marketable and desirable skills to potential employers.

A digital badge has four basic elements:

  • An icon designed to convey basic information about the badge achievement, such as the title of the badge, when it was earned, and who issued it—in our case, Grand Valley!
  • Metadata embedded in the badge that contains detailed information about who issued the badge, what the criteria were for earning it, when it was earned, keyword tags, evidence, and any other relevant information to convey the value of the certification.
  • A trusted issuer, Grand Valley has a robust process for the approval and issuance of a badge. A faculty committee reviews the quality and academic integrity of all credit-bearing badges; the university has a process to ensure that badges are issued only to students who complete the criteria for earning the badge.
  • A display platform that allows badges to be viewed, verified and managed. Academic badges are issued via Acclaim and can be shared via personal websites, social networking platforms, or digital portfolios.