Digital Badges - what are they?
Online learning is part and parcel of education but in the commercial world, a training course is often a task that falls outside an employee’s daily duties. So how do you motivate your audience to progress through and complete online modules?
If the endgame is a promotion or pay rise, then that may be enough. But what about employees who are just fulfilling a mandatory health and safety requirement or bulking up their CPD quota? With the best will in the world, even the most creative instructional designers struggle to make a module on Trip Hazards engaging. From an employee's point of view, working through compliance modules can be a slog and it's rare that anybody would jump into a Working at Heights course with alacrity, let alone reach the end on a high.
Never fear, we have a simple trick to gamify even the dullest of online training courses - digital badges.
We're all hardwired to respond to rewards. We like to collect things. When you were little, you were rewarded for tying your shoelaces and you collected football stickers, Pokemon and Beanie Babies. As an adult, you collect points for spending in supermarkets or putting petrol in your car. Seeing those points rack up on your receipt is exciting, it takes you a step closer to some sort of prize, whether that's a trip to the cinema or a voucher towards your Christmas shopping.
And that's what Digital Badges are. They're recognition that you're building towards a goal. Collecting a badge shows that you've learnt something and that you're on your way to learning even more. It gives you a little buzz of achievement and makes you excited to continue collecting.
Not only that but digital badges work as micro-credentials. Much more than just a pretty graphic, a badge can contain meta-data detailing the key points of your achievements, which can be shared securely across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This means that digital badges can instantly convert mandatory internal training into a valuable bonus for learners who want to signal their career progression to the world.
Digital badges even work as a marketing tool. Building a suite of custom-designed badges that align with your brand means that when your learners share them on social platforms, they're advertising your organisation's commitment to staff training.
So there you have it - digital badges motivate your staff to learn, as well as promoting your company's culture of people development.
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