This article has been by My Development Zone
It is almost three years since the My Development Zone e-Learning platform implemented a digital badge reward and learning verification system, using the Open Badges medium.
Open Badges allow learners to receive a digital badge upon successful completion of an e-Learning course, which can be shared with employers, colleagues, social networks and customers.
To determine ‘success’ and evidence learning, when a learner completes any course from My Development Zone’s cloud-based library and achieves a minimum score of 80%, the system will automatically issue them with the digital badge, providing evidence of their achievement.
Growth and adoption have been rapid; by April 2016 we had issued 50,000 digital badges, and today’s figure is now over 130,000. This means that 130,000 online courses have been attempted and passed with a minimum assessment score of 80%, a good indication of the system raising knowledge levels and increasing standards across a wide range of professional skills.
This accelerated growth highlights the shift in workplace learning towards digital solutions and how digital badge rewards are transforming learning & development.
Why should digital badges replace certificates?
Historically, a certificate of completion would have been issued to show you had completed an action or attended a course. Unless the certificate was accredited (expensive), it would typically have very little value and could be seen as nothing more than a box ticking exercise. Ask yourself: how many certificates have you been given in the past and where are they now? At the back of a drawer or in the bin, perhaps?
A digital badge, however, has metadata attached that allows someone else to click on and better understand what you did to achieve that badge and when you did it. On My Development Zone, every course has objectives and will only be issued when the learner achieves a minimum 80% score on the assessment linked to that course. Simply sitting through a course and saying that you did so will no longer cut the mustard. Not only must the learner achieve 80% understanding, they must also re-assess their knowledge every twelve months. After a year, every badge expires meaning that there are no excuses not to maintain and keep your knowledge and skills up to date.
The benefits of e-Learning and Open Badges for employers
Unlike traditional learning methods, e-Learning allows employers to centrally allocate courses to meet training needs or role requirements. It also allows learners to manage their own development autonomously, progressing at their own pace and often from their workstation, minimising disruption and time out of the office.
Furthermore, the My Development Zone e-Learning platform provides a clear indication of course attempts, with badges showing successful completions. This not only helps employers evidence workforce competence, but the insight into failed attempts also highlights what employees don’t know or are struggling with. This casts a light on weak spots in an organisation and can be used as a basis for future learning and development plans.
There are few employers who would argue against the need to invest in employee development as a way to retain talent and develop as an organisation. The option that employers face is whether they would prefer to invest in paper based certificates, which often only demonstrate attendance, or a cloud-based e-Learning platform capable of awarding dynamic digital badge rewards and providing quantitative insights into what employees know and don’t know!
Still in the paper certificate camp? Don’t worry, digital innovation and change takes time. My Development Zone also issues certificates at the touch of a button, giving you the best of both options.
With over 250 professional and business skills courses available, there are a lot of digital badges to be earned. How many will you get?
For a free trial of My Development Zone, visit: www.mydevelopmentzone.com