Badges FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Today, learning happens in many different environments – formal and informal, online and offline. Over time, you gather skills and knowledge from a wide variety of sources.

But how do you convey a clear picture of your skills and experiences, and make your abilities stand out from others? The answer is open digital badges – and they are changing how we introduce ourselves to the world.

What are digital badges?

Open digital badges, or “micro-credentials”, are a way to display your unique skills, knowledge, and experience. They are issued by a variety of organizations in recognition of achievements and learning.
The badges are “digital”, meaning that they are received through email, and can be stored and displayed online.

What makes them “open”?

Digital badges are issued through Open Badges, a group of open specification and technical standards developed by Mozilla. This open structure allows different issuers, learners, and consumers to freely use available resources and contribute to the system. It means that the badges a learner collects from different sources can be stored together.

What makes digital badges different from paper certificates?

Both digital badges and paper certificates recognize knowledge, skills, and experiences, but digital badges are much more flexible and shareable. Plus, they are full of information about who issued the badge and how it was earned. You can show your digital badges to potential employers and others on resumes, in emails, and even on websites and in social media. This makes your accomplishments more visible.

What information does a digital badge convey?

Every digital badge contains data about what organization issued it, when it was issued, and the requirements the badge holder met to earn it.

Who issues digital badges?

Digital badges are issued by a growing network of international organizations, including colleges and universities, community groups, professional organizations, and companies. All badge issuers use the
Open Badges infrastructure, so everyone issues and earns badges using the same technology. This means you can collect badges from one organization or many, combining them to showcase your unique
knowledge and abilities.

Decoda Digital Badges can be issued by the coordinators and instructors of adult literacy programs programs who use the Decoda Adult Literacy database.

Who can collect digital badges?

Anyone can collect digital badges. All you need is an email address to get started.

Decoda Digital Badges are available to learners and practitioners in British Columbia’s adult literacy programs.

How does it work?

When you’ve taken a course, attended a workshop, or participated in a work experience with a badge issuing organization, you’ll receive an email notification that you’ve earned a badge. You accept the badge and store it in your personal digital library, which is called a digital backpack. As you acquire more learning experiences, you accumulate more badges in your backpack. These badges can be shared through online portfolios, resumes, and through social media.

Setting up a backpack is easy. All that’s required is an email address. The backpack can be accessed from any device.

How do you display badges to potential employers, education institutions, and others?

You can display your badges on a resume, in your portfolio, in an email, and on social media. In that way, your make your qualifications more visible. You can also make collections of badges and tailor what you share for a specific audience or potential employer. You decide which badges to collect and who can see them.

Digital badges are “open”. This means that the badges you collect from different sources can be stored and displayed all together in one place.

What digital badges does Decoda offer?

Decoda offers 38 open digital badges for learners and literacy practitioners.

Learner badges are offered in:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Information Technology
  • Oral Communication
  • Participation and Learning Strategies
  • Health & Safety
  • Financial Literacy
  • Family Literacy
  • Job Search
  • And more

You can learn about Decoda’s experience developing digital badges for literacy programs in SRDC’s report on our digital badge pilot project, Micro-credentials for Adult Literacy Learners: Final Evaluation Report.