Digital badges allow an individual to showcase certain achievements they have gained through academic coursework, experiential learning, professional development, or workforce training. Earners of digital badges can share or display their badges on various online platforms such as LinkedIn, social media sites, and e-portfolios. Digital badges are embedded with meta-data; information prospective employers can access to verify the learning outcomes, competencies, and skills an earner acquired through their respective learning experiences.
Digital badges can be offered for credit or non-credit; and are applicable to undergraduates, graduates, non-traditional students, and working professionals. They can be useful in attracting new students to certificate or degree programs, improving technical skills, promoting workforce development, and facilitating career advancement. Digital badges are an exciting and innovative trend in higher education and professional development that offer practical applications to a diverse population of learners.
Digital badges were approved to be offered in pilot mode for a period of up to three academic years by Faculty Senate. Ongoing assessment of digital badges is conducted as part of a periodic review of the academic program/unit with which they are associated. At the end of each year, a program review form should be submitted to UMOnline to monitor progress during the pilot phase.
Post-Pilot Phase Review and Established Program Process
On or before fall semester of 3rd year of pilot, participants must notify UMOnline if the unit/program would like to proceed with a full proposal or remove for consideration. At this time, a full proposal is submitted for approval by an interdisciplinary, sub-committee. The recommended established program proposals move into the full faculty senate committees prior to faculty senate and provost review.
Steps to Launch a Digital Badge
Please schedule a consultation appointment with Eric Vorkoeper, Online Education Manager, to discuss market analysis, financial models, marketing, credit options, learning outcomes, meta-data and digital badging.
Complete the “Digital Badge Proposal Form”. Please ensure that your proposal form has been signed by your supervisor, section head, and other applicable parties. If the digital badge is interdisciplinary or developed with a third party, an MOU should be established and submitted with your proposal.
Submit your “Digital Badge Proposal Form” to UMOnline. Proposal forms are submitted through the digital platform Submittable. You will need your NET ID and login information in order to access the Submittable site. After you upload your “Digital Badge Proposal Form” you will then be prompted to enter your meta-data information that will be embedded in your digital badge.
Once your proposal has been received you will be contacted by a UMOnline administrator regarding next steps.
Faculty and Staff Administrative Duties
Faculty and staff are required to track and verify the academic requirements, standards and progress of students involved in digital badge offerings.
Once the requirements of a digital badge have been satisfied, it is the responsibility of the faculty or staff member to request the issuance of a digital badge to the student.
If the digital badge is related to any for-credit coursework, the digital badge will be issued by the Registrar’s Office. To request this service please complete the “Credit Bearing Digital Badge Tracking List” and upload it Submittable.
If the digital badge is related to non-credit coursework, the digital badge will be issued by UM Online. To request this service please complete the “Non-credit Digital Badge Tracking List” and upload it to Submittable.