About Digital Badges & Micro-Credentials
The Educational Resources & Innovation division of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) recognizes that learning today happens everywhere, not just in the classroom. But it's often difficult to get recognition for skills and achievements that happen outside of a formal professional development or educational setting. Digital badges are useful for many purposes, including helping learners make their informal and formal learning visible - no matter where it occurs.
A digital badge is a visual symbol of accomplishment, but it's also encoded with metadata that contains specifics about what the learner had to do to earn the badge. Badges can be awarded for any definable achievement and earned in many environments for multiple purposes.
Badged learning opportunities and events allow participants to collect digital artifacts (badges) that represent and verify their participation, while also providing access to a more detailed and valuable description of the skills and knowledge gained through participation.
The earner is also able to organize and share their badges by curating "collections" that can be arranged around certain topics. Badges can be embedded into a webpage, shared via email, and/or through social media.
Badges can be awarded for achievements of all kinds, such as:
- Proficiency, competency, or skill.
- Interest and engagement.
- Participation and attendance.
- Demonstrated knowledge.
- Program or study completion.
- Formal certification (degrees, certificates).
SBCTC uses Canvas Credentials to host and award badges. While Canvas Badges is available for free in Canvas, SBCTC purchased a license to the paid version of Canvas Credentials for all Washington Community and Technical Colleges (CTCs). As of June 2023, all CTCs have access to Canvas Credentials.
We offer a number of accessibility micro-courses to increase awareness and application of effective accessibility practices. After taking the prerequisite courses "Understanding Accessibility" and "Accessible Design Concepts" (which set a context for accessibility) participants are invited to earn other badges which focus on building concrete skills to improve accessibility. Participants can also earn a completion badge by successfully completing a combination of 3 or more skills badges on the "Accessibility Proponent" pathway.
You can learn more about each badge by clicking their title below.
Earn 3 of 6 Skills Badges:
- Accessibility Skills: Universal Design
- Accessibility Skills: Word 1
- Accessibility Skills: PPT 1
- Accessibility Skills: Canvas
- Accessibility Skills: Email
- Accessibility Skills: PDF
Pathway Completion Badge:
Open Educational Resources (OER) 101
Our online OER 101 course is designed for faculty and staff who have never experienced Open Educational Resources (OER) or who are just getting started implementing OER.
Our online Canvas 101 course is designed for faculty and staff who have never used the Canvas learning management system or who are just getting started using Canvas.
We offer two micro-courses on digital badging that cover how to earn and share badges, and awarding badges. You can learn more by clicking on the title of the badges below. These course are currently closed for revision.
System faculty and staff can register for any of these courses on our Training Registration page.
- Join us for Badge Lab most first Wednesdays of each month from 10:00 AM - 11:0 AM in Zoom to learn, collaborate, and share about badging work across our state.
- Find Canvas Credentials and other badging resources on our Badge Lab Resources site.
- Check out the SBCTC eLearning calendar or eLearning Council Professional Development calendar for upcoming Badge Lab and training dates.
- Want to learn more? Try the Canvas Badges/Credentials Guides or sign-up for a self-paced Canvas Credentials Academy course by clicking on "Help" in the Global Navigation menu of your college's Canvas instance and selecting the "Training Services Portal" option.
- Visit the Canvas Credentials Create Account page to create an account.
- Visit the Canvas Credentials Sign In page to login if you already have an account.
- Braxton, Sherri & Borher, Jeff. (2019) 7 Things You Should Know About Digital Badges. Educause Learning Initiative.
- Carey, Kimberly L. (2017) An Analysis of Factors that Impact Diffusion and Adoption of Digital BadgesAdoption of Digital Badges. Dissertation. Old Dominion University.
- Fontichiaro, Kirsten. (2015) Chart Student's Growth With Digital Badges . ISTE blog. International Society for Technology in Education.
- Grant, Sheryl. (2014) What Counts as Learning: Open Digital Badges for New Opportunities. Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. Irvine, CA.
- Grier, Terry. (2015) So You Want to Drive Instruction With Digital Badges? Start With The Teachers. EdSurge Inc.
- Kurtz, Katlyn & Thorsett, Peter. (2018) "Basics of Badging." SoACE Technology Bootcamp. University of San Francisco.
- Schwartz, Sandra Jean. (2016) Digital badge adoption: earner's perceived educational value. Dissertation. Iowa State University.
- Smith, Sondra R. (2015) 10 Lessons Learned from an Award-Winning Badging Program. Educause Review.
- "What are open badges?" Credly FAQ.
Last Modified: 10/4/23, 3:54 PM