Edubadges are digital insignia (images) that learners can use to show they have acquired certain skills or knowledge. Edubadges are issued digitally within a secure and trusted platform of SURF. Utrecht University currently carries out a pilot project to test the issuing of edubadges for education at the university. The pilot is coordinated by Educate-it, according to a bottom-up approach.
Edubadges are digital insignia (images) that show you have acquired certain skills or knowledge. Students or professionals can earn an edubadge after completing education at the university, as proof that they’ve acquired specific skills or knowledge. Behind the image of an edubadge there is further (non-reproducible and un-editable) information about the education concerned and the criteria for receiving a badge. This allows an employer to verify the edubadge, which makes it more reliable. The recipient can also share the edubadge digitally, for example on LinkedIn.
Edubadges are issued digitally within a secure and trusted platform of SURF. In this platform teachers or workshop leaders can create and award edubadges, and students or professionals can receive and share edubadges in this platform.
In order to make use of the edubadges platform of SURF, you first have to create an eduID. With an eduID recipients of an edubadge can use their identity across Dutch higher education institutions. When you are graduated or when you are going to work at another university, you can keep using your eduID to request edubadges. This allows you to continue your professional development.
You can issue edubadges for various reasons. Below you can find some of the possible benefits of edubadges within higher education.
- Connection tot he labour market
With edubadges, students can make their knowledge and skills visible and 'portable'. This can facilitate the transition from study to work. Students who have completed their studies can use edubadges to easily show their knowledge and skills to future employers, allowing them to be matched effectively.
- Flexibilisation in higher education
Edubadges can make it easier to switch between courses (if they are used to grant exemptions) and can contribute to the modularisation of education: offering education in flexible units.
- A lifelong learning
Graduates continue to develop themselves. Edubadges facilitate this. The edubadges are linked to a new cross-institutional identity, eduID, which remains available even after graduation and is lifelong.
Educate-it currently carries out a small-scale pilot project for testing with issuing edubadges for education at the university. Within this pilot we work according to a bottom-up principle: teachers or workshop leaders who work at the university can request a pilot at Educate-it themselves, to test with edubadges within their own education. During the pilot Educate-it tests with edubadges in three areas:
- Education for students (focus on extracurricular courses/ modules)
- Academic development for teachers
- Continuing education
The main goal of the pilot project is to gain more knowledge of and experience with the issuing of edubadges within the university. During the pilot we will look at how we can offer the right support in the edubadges process, what is needed to optimise the application process of edubadges for users and what the exact benefits of edubadges are for students and teachers at Utrecht University. The experiences gained during the edubadges pilot project will enable us to work towards a more specific strategy for the implementation of edubadges within the UU.
Would you like to test with edubadges in your own education? Please contact the edubadges project leader, Aleid de Jong (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will then schedule an intake meeting to discuss the conditions and next steps for starting a pilot with edubadges.