What are Digital Badges or Micro Credentials? @SkillnetIreland is hosting #BadgeOfSuccess in UCC this week

13 November 2019
By Mary Bermingham

  • As the world of work is changing, the way in which skills, expertise and achievements are being recognised and rewarded is evolving.
  • Ireland’s first ever Digital Badge Symposium takes place in Cork this Thursday
  • Leading businesses such as LinkedIn, Musgrave Retail Group and Velo Coffee will share their views on the value of digital badges and their relevance to industry
  • UCC will showcase the range of digital badges they have awarded, in partnership with industry through the Taste4Success Skillnet
  • Digital badges, also known as ‘micro-credentials’ are visual representations that recognise all kinds of learning experiences; from online courses, bite-sized workshops to real world learning experiences

Over 150 businesses, recruitment leaders, and workforce development experts will gather in Cork this Thursday, November 14th, 2019, for Ireland’s first ever Digital Badge Symposium. The event will take place in Devere Hall, University College Cork from 9am to 2pm.

Skillnet Ireland, the business support agency responsible for enterprise-led workforce development is organising the event in collaboration with Taste 4 Success Skillnet and the University College Cork’s Food Industry Training Unit.

Digital badges, also known as ‘micro-credentials’ are having a big impact on the way learning is recognised. These digital visual representations recognise a wide range of learning experiences; from those that occur in traditional classrooms, to online courses, bite-sized workshops and tutorials, to real world learning experiences.

Once collected, the digital badge earner can display their badges as part of their CV or portfolio. They can also embed their badges on a professional profile, on an ePortfolio, such as LinkedIn, or personal website where employers can then access detailed information on how the digital badge was earned and the skills which were attained.

“As the world of work changes, we need to embrace technology and explore new approaches to workforce development. Digital badges developed in partnership with industry can provide an innovative way to both recognise and reward individual learners’ achievements and make lifelong
learning more accessible and engaging for our future workforce,”
 said Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive Paul Healy.

The symposium will hear from industry experts such as the Head of DACH LinkedIn Learning Solutions, Per-Fredrik Hagermark and John Counihan, Head of Organisation and Talent Development at Musgrave Retail Group on how digital badges can be used at an organisational level, and how we can present a pathway for employers and employees to use them. Attendees will also hear from Rob Horgan, owner of Velo Coffee and a digital badge holder, talk about his experience and the importance of upskilling for entrepreneurs.

Speaking ahead of the event, Tracey Donnery Executive Director at Skillnet Ireland believes the Digital Badge Symposium provides an important opportunity for business and educational experts to explore new approaches to learning.

‘’Many educational institutions, businesses, training providers and employees in Ireland have already recognise the value in developing programmes that offer digital badge credentials for our learners. We encourage all stakeholders to explore how digital badges can help transform and increase workforce upskilling and development in Ireland..

The Digital Badge Symposium will showcase via expert speakers how digital badges are being recognised as a leading-edge learning technology for all industry sectors, including a case study of the digital badge programme developed by Taste4Success with UCC. Research published earlier this year by Taste 4 Success Skillnet, and the Food Industry Training Unit at University College Cork found that digital badges are an effective tool to recognise achievement in learning in the workforce.

‘’Our research focused specifically on the impact of digital badges in the agri-food sector, where we identified a strong willingness on the part of both employers and employees to engage with the idea of digital badges as a means of recognising earned skills and competencies. Digital badges can easily be adopted and rolled out into other sectors and utilised by learning and professional bodies as a way of recognising continual professional development.” said Bridie Corrigan Matthews, Network Manager for Taste 4 Success Skillnet.

“Digital Badges are still a relatively new international learning technology,” said Dr. Amy Jane Troy, Programme Director at the UCC Food Industry Training Unit (FITU).

 “We believe digital badges present a quantum leap in capturing and awarding value for learning and knowledge gathered in the workplace. Our research recommends that further digital badges are developed in training programmes for the food and agri-food sectors. Digital badges offer a real opportunity to encourage and enhance workforce development, upskilling and career progression across all sectors,” she added.

 The Digital Badge Symposium is relevant to all those involved in recruitment, training and upskilling of staff, those interested in CPD and micro-credentials, and any person wishing to increase their awareness about how digital badges can be used to enhance workforce learning.

The event is free to attend, but places are limited. To book your seat at the ‘Digital Badge Symposium’ visit skillnetireland.ie/digital-badge-symposium/

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