Friday, November 16, 2012

‘Badges’ Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas by Jeffrey R. Young

The article by Young (2012) explains that educational upstarts across the Web are adopting systems of “badges” to certify skills and abilities, as an alternative to traditional diplomas. Young (2012) argues that many of these new digital badges are easy to attain to keep students motivated, while others signal mastery of specific, fine-tuned skills that are not formally recognized in a traditional classroom. Young (2012) goes on to explain that traditional colleges and universities are considering badges and other alternative credentials as well for students.

I understand that the needs of our society (especially our system of education) are constantly changing and evolving; however, I still find this idea of “badges” to be alarming. I think there are better ways for job searchers to reflect the range of their qualifications. I think that these badges would have little merit because you do not know who is sitting on the other end of the computer screen awarding this badge. It raises too many questions about the integrity of the certification and the credentials to receive it. For example, how would we know if these were falsely claimed skills and certificates, and even if they were real certifications, what would convince the employer of its merit? Even if this idea did become widespread, I think that educators  and employers would remain increasingly skeptical of their value.

Article can be accessed at:

-Lauren Behr, Assistant Director 

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