Digital Badges

ABOUT DIGITAL BADGES

Micro-credentials are growing in popularity in higher education and businesses throughout the world. They are being used by universities to document student and professional learning. A digital badge, or simply "badge", recognizes a professional’s completion of a coherent and meaningful professional experience. A badge allows professionals to promote achievements online more effectively and in different venues than would be possible with a resume. For example, you could link your digital badge to your LinkedIn profile. The university uses credly.com to issue badges. 

WHY ARE DIGITAL BADGES BEING OFFERED FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/CONTINUING EDUCATION? WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

Professionals are doing amazing things. So many of you are actively engaged in significant learning experiences. We want to help (digitally) recognize, validate, and share these efforts. Digital badges simplify the process of keeping track of professional development activities. Instead of maintaining files of paper certificates or letters confirming participation, you can supply a link to your digital badges for your current or potential employers. However, these do not replace certificates issues for participation in a Michigan social work approved continuing education program.

When professionals earn, display, and share badges, they help draw attention to their engagement in professional development experiences. The Social Work Continuing Education (SWCE) program does not simply acknowledge participation in workshops and trainings, but emphasizes accountability and application of new skills. All digital badges require submission of a tangible product - e.g. a completed learning module, conference presentation, and/or written reflection.

We encourage your exploration of new and ongoing learning opportunities that will be more visible and clarified by inclusion in the badge program. Lastly, the communication among professionals regarding digital badges has the potential to facilitate digital networking and create communities of learning and engagement. In whatever form your lifelong learning takes, we hope that you will consider participating!

HOW DO I EARN A BADGE?

All SWCE participants are eligible to participate in our programming and apply to earn a badge. The requirements for every badge are different, but in general there are two fundamental steps:

  • Participate in badge-eligible events or programs offered by Grand Valley's Social Work Continuing Education.

  • Submit evidence of how you have used what you have learned. For example, provide a reflective paper on how you have grown professionally and applied what you learned in our programs to your professional practice. 

Unless otherwise specified, the deadline for submission of a badge application is 30 days after the last badge-worthy activity.

WHERE IS MY BADGE STORED?

Acclaim is the badging platform that is used to store, display, share, and manage digital badges. Acclaim alerts individuals who meet the established criteria via email with instructions on how to accept the badge. The instructions include information about creating an account with Acclaim. Once accepted, your badge will be publicly available on your Acclaim profile. If preferred, you can change the visibility of a badge from public to private. Acclaim displays not only the badge icon but provides additional metadata that describes the accomplishment and the criteria that the earner was required to meet. Acclaim is free to use and it makes it easy to share badges with individuals and post to personal websites or social media platforms such as LinkedIn. The SWCE office provides coordination for Credly. For technology support, please visit the Acclaim's Help Center. For helpful guidance on displaying your badge in LinkedIn, visit this Acclaim page