How to Earn a Digital Badge

Instructor: Matt Doyle
Earning a digital badge is like collecting digital proof of your accomplishments. But how do you earn one, who offers them, and how do you begin? Read on to learn more about how to earn a digital badge.

What is a Digital Badge?

A digital badge is an award you can earn online for your achievements. Typically, when you've completed a certain number of tasks, a badge-issuing organization or person may award you a form of digital proof that you've done the work. For example, if you received passing scores on 20 written exams, you might be awarded a digital badge for 'Outstanding Written Assessments.' Or, you might receive the 'Code Crusher' digital badge for successfully executing your first 5,000 lines of code.

So what is a digital badge? It may be an official image file with embedded validation code or another type of digital file. In some cases you can download or otherwise save the badge to your computer, and in other cases your badge stays on the website of the organization that issued it. Either way, the digital badge you earn is a representation of the effort you've put into the achievement.

Earning a Digital Badge

Now that you know what a digital badge is, how do you earn one? There are many organizations online that offer official digital badges or certificates for achievements, and their badges and requirements will vary. Some organizations have attempted to set standards for what all digital badge should be, such as Mozilla's Open Badges, but not all badge-issuing organizations follow these standards.

So how do you choose the right digital badge and place to earn your official recognition? You can start by asking yourself these questions:

  • How much effort is involved in earning the recognition?
  • What will you get in return for your work?
  • What type of file will you receive? Or, in other words, what is the digital badge?
  • How will others know the digital badge is official?
  • Can you download the digital badge file or does it remain locked on the organization's website?

Where to Begin

A quick search online will show some sites use different terms to mean essentially the same thing: digital proof of achieving a goal. Some websites will offer badges, others awards, and still others achievements. For example, you can earn official certificates on for completing online lessons and assessments. For some ideas of the types of achievements you could earn from, check out the examples below:

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