Digital Credentials

Australian University Eyes Use of Badging for Credit

An Australian university with an international online student body expects to begin accepting digital badging in 2016 that could reduce the amount of time required for people to obtain their master's degrees in IT. The announcement, which involves Deakin University, actually came from its wholly-owned subsidiary, DeakinDigital. The latter offers an alternative to higher education by assessing professionals and granting them credentials based on what they know.

DeakinDigital has just struck an agreement whereby its users can manage and share the digital badges they earn through Credly, a platform for managing "lifelong" credentials. Through Credly, badges can be added to LinkedIn, employer resource management systems, e-portfolios and social networks.

According to DeakinDigital, the university will launch a "professional practice" capstone unit in its information technology program next year that could cut the amount of time and cost for earning a master's degree in half. Through a pathway program, a person could obtain the degree by completing a "suite of credentials" through DeakinDigital along with a single unit of study at the university. Credly will provide the platform to manage those credentials.

The assessment process has two stages. First, the person provides "reflective testimony and evidence" regarding qualifications. Second, an interviewer performs a 1-to-1 video interview to ask the candidate questions about the submission.

"We believe credentials are the new currency for careers, and are delighted to be partnering with Credly to promote the recognition and adoption of badges and credentialing as an alternative to traditional education models," said DeakinDigital CEO, Allyn Radford, in a prepared statement.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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