While microcredentials and open digital badges have become increasingly popular in education, more research is needed to better understand their implementation and benefits to both issuers and users. In this paper, we use a case study approach to report and discuss the outcomes from the implementation of an open badges program at National Instruments, highlighting the effects this program has had on both National Instruments and its users. As the program evolves to better meet the needs of its stakeholders, we find that both participants (badge earners) and the issuer (National Instruments) see potential value in the National Instruments Badging Program. The value for both seems to stem from the way in which the program enables the sharing of badges, which helps the earner establish their skills/reputation while also increasing awareness of the program for National Instruments. This study adds to our understanding of why an organization may find value in offering open microcredentials as an alternative to traditional professional development and certificates for their customers and employees.
- open badges,
- professional development,
- Aberdour, M. (2016). Transforming workplace learning culture with digital badges. In D. Ifenthaler, N. Bellin-Mularski, & D.-K. Mah (Eds.), Foundation of digital badges and micro-credentials (pp. 203-219). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
- Abramovich, S., Schunn, C., & Higashi, R. M. (2013). Are badges useful in education? It depends upon the type of badge and expertise of learner. Educational Technology Research and Development, 61(2), 217-232. doi: 10.1007/s11423-013-9289-2
- Acclaim. (2019). National instruments. Retrieved from https://www.youracclaim.com/org/national-instruments
- Bastedo, M. N., Bowman, N. A., Glasener, K. M., & Kelly, J. L. (2018). What are we talking about when we talk about holistic review? Selective college admissions and its effects on low-SES students. The Journal of Higher Education, 89(5), 782-805. doi: 10.1080/00221546.2018.1442633
- Bowen, K. (n.d.). Class hack. Retrieved from http://www.classhack.com
- Casilli, C., & Hickey, D. (2016). Transcending conventional credentialing and assessment paradigms with information-rich digital badges. The Information Society, 32(2), 117-129. doi: 10.1080/01972243.2016.1130500
- Cheng, Z., Watson, S. L., & Newby, T. J. (2018). Goal setting and open digital badges in higher education. TechTrends, 62(2), 190-196. doi: 10.1007/s11528-018-0249-x
- Clements, K., West, R. E., & Hunsaker, E. (in press). Getting started with open badges. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning.
- Devedžić, V., & Jovanović, J. (2015). Developing open badges: A comprehensive approach. Educational Technology Research and Development, 63(4), 603-620. doi: 10.1007/s11423-015-9388-3
- Dyjur, P., & Lindstrom, G. (2017). Perceptions and uses of digital badges for professional learning development in higher education. TechTrends, 61(4), 386-392. doi: 10.1007/s11528-017-0168-2
- Erickson, C. C. (2015). Digital credentialing: A qualitative exploratory investigation of hiring directors’ perceptions (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.
- Finkelstein, J., Knight, E., & Manning, S. (2013). The potential and value of using digital badges for adult learners: Final report. American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/about-shrm/news-about-shrm/Documents/AIR_Digital_Badge_Report_508.pdf
- Gamrat, C., Zimmerman, H. T., Dudek, J., & Peck, K. (2014). Personalized workplace learning: An exploratory study on digital badging within a teacher professional development program. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(6), 1136-1148. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12200
- IBM. (n.d.). IBM open badge program. Retrieved from https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/groups/service/html/communitystart?communityUuid=ee240a4b-d911-46d3-b815-fc8a70d67b27
- IMS Global Learning Consortium. (n.d.). Digital credentials and badges. Retrieved from http://www.imsglobal.org/activity/digital-credentials-and-badges
- Jaschik, S. (2015, January 20). Well-prepared in their own eyes. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/20/study-finds-big-gaps-between-student-and-employer-perceptions
- Leaser, D. (2015, May 20). Open badges: A better way to track skills and accomplishments [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.ibm.com/blogs/ibm-training/open-badges-a-better-way-to-track-skills-and-accomplishments/
- Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Scalzavara, S., & Williams, S. A. (2017). Open badges: A systematic review of peer-reviewed published literature (2011-2015). European Journal of Open, Distance, and E-learning, 20(2), 1-16. doi: 10.1515/eurodl-2017-0013
- Lockley, A., Derryberry, A., & West, D. (2016). Drivers, affordances, and challenges of digital badges. In D. Ifenthaler, N. Bellin-Mularski, & D.-K. Mah (Eds.), Foundation of digital badges and micro-credentials (pp. 55-70). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
- Microsoft. (n.d.). Microsoft exam and certification badges. Retrieved from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/badges.aspx
- National Instruments. (2019a). Browse badges. Retrieved from https://learn.ni.com/badges/resources
- National Instruments. (2019b). National instruments badge program. Retrieved from https://learn.ni.com/badges
- Norris, F. (2014, April 25). Fewer US graduates opt for college after high school. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/business/fewer-us-high-school-graduates-opt-for-college.html
- Osam, E. K., Bergman, M., & Cumberland, D. M. (2017). An integrative literature review on the barriers impacting adult learners’ return to college. Adult Learning, 28(2), 54-60. doi: 10.1177/1045159516658013
- Raish, V., & Rimland, E. (2016). Employer perceptions of critical information literacy skills and digital badges. College & Research Libraries, 77(1), 87-113. doi: 10.5860/crl.77.1.87
- Randall, D. L., Harrison, J. B., & West, R. E. (2013). Giving credit where credit is due: Designing open badges for a technology integration course. TechTrends, 57(6), 88-95. doi: 10.1007/s11528-013-0706-5
- Randall, D., & West, R. E. (in press). Who cares about open badges? An examination of principals’ perceptions of the usefulness of teacher open badges in the United States. Open Learning.
- Randall, D., West, R. E., & Farmer, T. (in press). Effectiveness of undergraduate instructional design assistants in scaling a teacher education open badge system. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education.
- Rodgers, A. R., & Puterbaugh, M. (2017). Digital badges and library instructional programs: Academic library case study. Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, 29(4), 236-244. doi: 10.1080/1941126X.2017.1378542
- The Mozilla Foundation, Peer 2 Peer University, & The MacArthur Foundation. (2012). Open badges for lifelong learning. Retrieved from https://wiki.mozilla.org/images/5/59/OpenBadges-Working-Paper_012312.pdf