Post originally seen on the Association for Talent Development website, by Omnikron President, Robin Borough.
The concept of open or digital badges began in 2010 through a collaboration between Mozilla, the MacArthur foundation, and Peer 2 Peer University. These early proponents of the Open Badge system hoped to create a way for lifelong learners to display their credentials in a way that was visible, portable, and relatable, no matter the type of skill development or coursework completed. They strove to enable students at every level, from high school age to corporate professionals, to digitally display their skills, competencies and earned credentials from a variety of educational institutions, not just colleges and universities.
What Are Digital Badges, Anyway?
A digital badge is issued by a learning or credentialing institution after an individual completes a designated course of study. The badge is an image containing metadata that provides access to a variety of information: test scores, instructor affiliations, coursework required, dates of completion, and so forth. The badge is a digital emblem of accomplishment that allows anyone to click on the badge and discover exactly what it took the badge holder to earn it.
Chances are, as a professional reading this blog post, you’ve earned digital badges yourself, or checked out those earned by colleagues, co-workers, job applicants, and social connections. Today, digital badges are issued by thousands of educational institutions and professional training organizations worldwide. They provide a way for professionals to display their achievements, skills, earned certifications, and professional contributions. Digital badges can be shared across social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and also can be displayed on your personal website, your resume, or even embedded into your email signature.
Examples of Badge Opportunities
When Omnikron was developing its Leadership Elevation Framework, we knew we wanted to offer leaders a way to track their accomplishments, validate their coursework, and display their credentials. Enter open badges.
As participants move up through the levels, they have the opportunity to earn badges signifying their proficiency, knowledge, and new skills in each area and at every step along the way. Once earned, these badges are a real, verifiable representation of the intense hours of training and rigorous coursework that went into meeting the credentialing requirements.
To give you a better idea on how to add open badges to your programs, let’s take the framework’s badges and the coursework required to earn them:
- Professional Problem Solver (PPS) Badge. Participants who complete at least two assessments and one KEPNERandFOURIE course (out of six course offerings) are eligible to earn the PPS Badge
- Change Agent (CA) Badge. In addition to PPS badge requirements, participants must complete one negotiation course and two collaboration courses (out of seven course offerings, including change management, agile, DevOps, project management).
- Innovation Architect (IA) Badge. In addition to the CA badge requirements, participants must complete four courses from the innovate section of the framework (out of 10 course offerings, including data analytics, advanced security practitioner, certified ethical hacker, cloud technology and ITIL service management).
- Leadership Luminary (LL) Badge. In addition to the IA badge requirements, participants must complete courses in CGEIT, COBIT, and participate in an individualized Capstone project consisting of either an optimization project or production of an reusable learning object, as approved and overseen by the Omnikron training team.
While every earned badge is a major accomplishment along the Leadership Elevation Framework, leaders who earn their LL Badge are an exclusive group of professionals who have accomplished an enormous amount of personal and professional growth, in addition to gaining a wealth of new tools, techniques, and skills. Leaders at this level function as elite members of the organizational hierarchy, and they are recognized and respected as trusted, high-level professionals who achieve greatness while guiding others to do the same. What’s more, these badges offer a visual shortcut for leaders and teams who are looking for talent to work on specific organizational efforts.
At Omnikron, we are exceptionally proud of our leadership pathway and the badge system we’ve designed. We are excited to partner with professionals from a variety of backgrounds and industries as they learn, achieve and develop as leaders.