Credentialing

Oregon Tech Online Launches Digital Badges

Online students at the Oregon Institute of Technology can now earn digital badges to identify their skill sets and demonstrate their competencies to current or future employers.

Oregon Tech Online is currently offering more than 20 badges in several areas, including Healthcare and Information Technology, but any course, series or courses, or assessment-based offering at the institution is "badge-able." For instance, "It is possible to develop a badge for an exam, an award, successful completion of a coding 'boot camp,' or to reflect a specific skill set students may achieve at a certain point in their college career," according to a statement from the school. Badges are awarded for "excelling enough to be deemed proficient at the skill," and can be stacked to show specializations.

Awarded electronically, the badges can be displayed on LinkedIn, social media, e-portfolios, electronic resumes, websites or other formats. Each badge is linked to a specific skill set and verified by Oregon Tech, allowing potential employers to view a student's capabilities without having to obtain transcripts. Badges are tagged so that they can be searched by skill area. Employers can even work with the university to design badging "groups" that identify step raises or advancement opportunities for employees.

"At Oregon Tech we pride ourselves on our high graduate success rate of having graduates employed within six months of graduating," said Erika Veth, dean of Oregon Tech Online Education, in a press release. "A key component of this is to make their resumes as easy to read as possible. We want to help students and graduates catch the eye of potential employers and showcase their skills that are not always easy to sort through in a long resume. Digital badges allow us to do this and help us incorporate the changing environment of education and web use."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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