Digital Badging at East Carolina University

What is a digital badge?

A digital badge is similar to a paper certificate that you might receive for completing a lesson or course, verifying knowledge you have gained, or from passing a skills assessment. Once earned, digital badges can be shared on social media sites like LinkedIn, displayed on a portfolio or website, or even shared on a resume. Interested parties can view the details of your accomplishments and even verify their authenticity.

A badge is more than just a fancy image. Within each badge is essential information known as metadata. This metadata is embedded into the badge’s image through a process called ‘baking’. Once an image is ‘baked’, the badge forever contains the verifiable information.

How are badges used at ECU?

All badges issued at East Carolina University are co-curricular only. ECU will not issue badges for curricular courses, competencies in a course, or other or badges that are not co-curricular in nature. Gamification and engagement badges are available within Canvas for faculty use.

Who can issue a badge?

Employees considering badges are required to consult with the committee in advance of development.  Badges awarded in the context of an ECU employee’s duties are covered by this ECU’s Badging Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to ensure ECU can provide institutional standards and oversight.

This SOP applies to all employees at ECU who wish to develop and/or issue badges for co-curricular activities. All issued badges must be substantive and used to certify a significant experience, completion, and/or achievement.  Since badges represent the institution, they must be approved by the ECU Badging Governance Committee.   The Badging Governance Committee has been created to oversee the development and issuing of badges at the institution.  The committee provides oversight of the design, implementation, issuing, and monitoring of badges to ensure best practice.

What software does ECU use?

East Carolina University (ECU) is using BADGR for badge recipients whereby badge recipients can choose whether they keep their badges private or public.  The account will belong to the badge recipient even when they leave ECU.  The recipient can upload any badge earned from other open badges platforms to the ECU software tool.  In the event, badges are being issued without requirements being met – the badge can be revoked by the badge issuer and the institution.  The integrity of the badges is the responsibility of the departments and individuals issuing the badge.

 What info gets stored in a badge?

Digital badges embed verifiable information. Some of the metadata that gets baked into a badge includes

  • The badge name
  • The description
  • The earning criteria
  • The issuer
  • Any evidence provided by the issuer
  • The issue date
  • Any expiry date
  • Any tags

Personal information such as your name, email, or phone number is never baked into a badge.

How is my information secured?

The issuer who baked the badge keeps a record of your name and email address but does not include that personal information within the badge. To verify that a badge is valid, the interested party is required to present both the badge and the email address. From within Badgr, you have complete control over which badges are public or private and which badges you choose to share outside of your Badgr backpack.

If you are interested in issuing a badge, you can request a review of your co-curricular badge by filling out the  Co-Curricular Badging Review Submission Form.  All badges must include an approved description, criteria, and requires unit head approval.