Badges are digital tokens that appear as icons or logos on a web page or other online venue. Awarded by institutions, organizations, groups, or individuals, badges signify accomplishments such as completion of a project, mastery of a skill, or marks of experience. Learners fulfill the issuer-specific criteria to earn the badge by attending classes, passing an exam or review, or completing other activities, and a grantor verifies that the specifications have been met and awards the badge. Numerous groups, organizations, community projects, and web entities currently issue badges, and they are gaining currency in higher education as well. Although many details remain for badges to be broadly accepted, they represent a different approach to credentials, one that places the focus on individual students and their learning accomplishments.
The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About…" briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.