What is the Purpose of a Digital Badge?

Digital badges are becoming increasingly popular for measuring experiential learning and community engagement. Many colleges and universities use digital badges to document hands-on learning and provide students with a record of their achievements.

So, what is the purpose of a digital badge in co-curricular service or an experiential learning module? What benefits do badges offer? Today, the GivePulse team is diving into digital badging for experiential learning.

What Is a Digital Badge?

A digital badge is an online representation of a skill or accomplishment. Badges are usually earned by completing specific tasks or achieving objectives.

The purpose of a digital badge is to certify that the holder has accomplished something. Badges "gamify" learning while also providing students with a digital transcript.

For example, a service learning badge track may require a student to engage at their placement site for a certain number of hours. As students amass hours, they can see their progress towards a badge — and even stack badges to measure advanced levels of engagement.

Students can display digital badges in an ePortfolio and on social media profiles, resumes and websites. The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recognizes ePortfolios as a High Impact Practice (HIP). A digital portfolio allows students to electronically collect their work over time, reflect on their growth and share their progress with others, including professors, advisors and potential employers. 

Why Use Digital Badges in Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is a powerful way for students to gain skills and knowledge. By engaging in activities such as internships, service-learning and research projects, students can apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world settings. This, in turn, equips them with the tools they need to thrive in the professional world.

By providing specific tracks through which students can record and measure their progress, colleges and universities can standardize experiential learning outcomes and give students a tangible way to demonstrate their accomplishments.

The use of digital badges in experiential learning has several benefits:

  • Assess student learning. Faculty and staff can use badges to assess student learning in experiential learning activities. By awarding badges for specific tasks or objectives, educators and community partners can better understand how students are progressing and what experiences may benefit them next. 
  • Promote student engagement. When students see the badges they can earn, it can motivate them to participate in experiential learning activities. Badges can be used as a form of gamification, increasing student engagement.
  • Recognize student achievement. There's nothing like being recognized for a job well done! By awarding badges, educators can show students that their hard work is appreciated. This can encourage students to continue participating in experiential learning activities and doing their best work. It also helps students build their resumes, giving them an edge when they graduate.

Using GivePulse for Digital Badging

Colleges and universities use GivePulse to coordinate, schedule and track student engagement in hands-on learning and professional development. 

With GivePulse, educators can design pathways that students follow to reach particular milestones. Program managers can track student engagement in experiential and service learning to verify they are meeting their goals. 

Once a student receives a badge, it will populate on their profile, allowing them to build an ePortfolio automatically. Alternatively, program managers can use the information on a student's profile to generate a service learning transcript that provides a complete record of student engagement.

Are you looking for a comprehensive system to manage and measure experiential learning? Schedule a demo with GivePulse today to learn about our digital badging solutions.

About GivePulse

GivePulse's mission is to enable everyone in the world to participate and engage in lifting their community to new heights. We do so by providing a platform to list, find, organize and measure the impact of service-learning, community engagement, philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and volunteerism.

Founded in 2012 in Austin, Texas, GivePulse works with 650,000+ groups, including colleges and universities, nonprofits, businesses, K-12/school districts and cities and municipalities. Together, we connect millions of people in an effort to create positive social change.

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