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Aug 2017

A digital credential: the badge everyone actually wants

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Shaping the future of learning

Badges are all the rage. Here’s a badge, there’s a badge - from L&D to Urban Outfitters, everybody can get a badge. But what if someone doesn’t want a badge for the sake of having a badge? How can L&D provide value and engage through badging with those people?

Some people just love to show off their skills. You know, the ones who had to get a second Scouts vest because they’d run out of real-estate. But others? The ones whose vests were decidedly brown? Those folks, yeah, not so much. They found badges a bit patronising, or just don’t really care about showing off their skills with a Craft Activity Badge.

Thankfully badging has come a long way since our youth. Badges are more sophisticated and meaningful to not just those with the colourful vests, but also those that once sported a very brown vest. Where you don't get a badge for showing up, but you get a digital credential for real achievements that will support you in your career. 

Digital credentialing goes beyond open badges

Digital credentialing has gained significant ground over the last few years. When Kineo's sister company, Digitalme, became Credly's exclusive partner in Europe, this movement got another boost. As Credly is the global market leader in digital credentialing, this partnership means that Kineo and the City & Guilds Group can offer clients and learners a sophisticated solution that complies with EU data privacy requirements.

But let's note that digital credentialing isn't some fancy word for open badges – it goes beyond gamification and into the world of certifications. A digital credential recognises achievement and allows individuals to display and share their competencies. It's not to gamify learning but to add real value by supporting both individuals and businesses - making it easy to identify, recognise and reward skills and accomplishments.

Digital credentials provide the digital skills currency we need for the 21st century. If you're on the fence about them and are still lumping them in the same category as the badges you got in your youth, there's nothing like a round of 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' to settle this debate and highlight the benefits of digital credentials:

Rock - setting a strong foundation 

Digital credentialing gives learners a strong foundation for their career. It provides the tools learners need to easily display everything they've achieved, benefiting not only the learner but also employers looking to fill skill gaps or identify career progression pathways.

Digital credentials build a clear profile of lifelong learning and promotes it, as these digital certifications and recognitions of achievements go wherever the learner displays them.

Paper – no longer limiting learning potential

Paper gets lost, it gets damaged and forgotten. While lots of people used to have a cubical or an office with a view to proudly display their degree, you just don’t really see that anymore. Certificates are now getting damp in the loft or stored in overflowing filing cabinets or worse, getting binned - because who is really going to ask to see that credential from 10 years ago at the bottom of your CV?

Digital credentials on the other hand are issued and verified online. They give a complete view of learning. A digital credential will not only outlast any paper certificate, but they also have a far greater reach and provide valuable information. URLS are unique to the learner and these secure digital credentials contain information about learning undertaken and the company issuing them.

Scissors - cutting through the noise and helping businesses and learners stand out

The pen is mightier than the sword, but digital credentialing cuts through the noise on online CVs, email footers, social media, and internal employee and LinkedIn profiles by getting straight to the point. Achievements stand, and they also help people stand out. Research on Linkedin profiles has shown that those with certifications and badges received six times more views.

Digital credentials aren't just a pretty picture. These visual symbols have a wealth of information contained within the badge, such as who issued the badge, competencies recognised, and dates. They make things transparent, cutting cases of fraud and misrepresentation. With links and tracking, digital credentials also increase traffic to a company’s programme as well as provides rich data on how these digital badges are shared and the impact they’re having.

Badges are shaping the way businesses view their learners and it's a movement that has already been integrated into businesses around the world. Their use is widespread and the benefits of digital credentials highlights why they are here to stay. To find out more about digital credentialing, visit Digitalme.



Shaping the future of learning

Kineo helps the world’s leading businesses improve performance through learning and technology. We’re proud of our reputation for being flexible and innovative, and of our award-winning work with clients across the world.