The value of digital badges in PSE

April 17, 2012

Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kevin Carey of the Washington-based think-tank Education Sector contemplates the effect the open-credentials movement will have on PSE. The digital badge system, through which students can certify their abilities and skills, is a way to structure the education process itself, Carey writes. "Students will be able to customize learning goals within the larger curricular framework, integrate continuing peer and faculty feedback about their progress toward achieving those goals, and tailor the way badges and the metadata within them are displayed to the outside world." The time when employers embrace the use of badges and gain confidence in those who bear them "will create hardship for traditional institutions that now use the revenue generated from their undergraduate-credential franchise to subsidize the cost of graduate education, administration, scholarship, and other activities," Carey states. Society as a whole will benefit from digital badges, he says. "The store of human capital will be more broadly and accurately represented by credentials that are useful in a mobile, interconnected world." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)