What is a Digital Badge And How It Is Used

Paper PDF files are no more practical. See how to use the digital badge to show your skills.

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Uliana Kysheniuk

Updated: April 16, 2024

10 min read

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Nowadays, almost everything can be shared online in a matter of seconds, and the whole world can view it and share it with others.

People want to communicate their verified and advanced skills and expertise. Paper PDF files are no more practical for them.

That's why the interest in digital badges is so high. Today we will expand on the topic related to these awards.

So, if you want to know about these recognitions and you don't know where to start, take a look at this article.

What is a Digital Badge?

A digital badge is graphical evidence of accomplishment in a specific field or area of expertise that can be created, managed, verified, and sent online. It allows one to demonstrate specific skills acquired through learning experiences quickly.

You can think of it as a visual representation or a digital proof of your abilities and knowledge. 

Online badges represent success but also include many essential data about, for example – who issued it, what the recipient did to earn it, the standards the recipient met, and evidence of the achievement.

And they work really straightforwardly. Clicking the badge icon reveals the information, allowing the viewer to authenticate and verify the recognition in seconds.

There are a variety of environments in which these credentials can be earned, including more and more online ones, like courses, webinars, online schools, workshops, etc. What’s more, digital badge awarding organizations often use third-party platforms to provide and manage the enabling technology.

Such awards are distinguished by their characteristic features, as they are: 

  • web-based

  • interactive 

  • clickable

  • easy to track 

  • and contain unique metadata

Such metadata can contain information about the issuing institution, the date of when the certificate was issued, the requirements for earning the certificate, and proof that the learner met the requirements. Additionally, they may indicate whether the credential needs to be renewed through additional training.

A digital badge holder can display their award in many ways, for example, as part of their social media plan, in emails, in a CV, or in a cover letter. Additionally, earners can create individualized digital badge portfolios to store and manage all their earned achievements in one place.

Why are Digital Badges so popular?

You already have a good understanding of these digital versions of paper awards - what they do, what they are characterized by, and what data they contain. But why exactly why are they so popular?

That's easy! They simply have a lot of benefits, and just using them is easy and intuitive. No philosophy is needed here. 

So now let's take a look at some of the advantages of using them!

#1 Easy way to verify skills

That’s for sure – digital badge credentials let verify skills in a very simple way. These credentials provide an easy way for employers and recruiters to verify one's knowledge and expertise. They also convey all the most important information about the badge earned, such as when it was issued and by which company.

This is especially useful for recruiters who are hiring for a company and looking for qualified candidates. Instead of reading recommendations, a cover letter, or making phone calls from your home phone service, they can see at a glance what awards a badge recipient has and whether the skills they possess match the company's requirements.

This is a much faster way to acquire valuable employees through human capital management compared to the traditional review of resumes. It can also be a great help when making promotion decisions.

#2 They are convenient

This type of credential is also convenient to use. Badge image offers a quick and easy way to digitally keep track of and store your certifications and experiences online, in one place. They don't consume a lot of space, are small files, and are easy to store.

They don't require their holders to have technical abilities. This means you don't need any training before using them. Also, you don't need to print them – just download them to your disk or create a separate portfolio with all of your badge designs.

#3 Look attractive

Of course, a digital badge image is also an attractive file that can take different forms, shapes, colors, etc. They are definitely prettier than a typical PDF file or paper-based certificate that contains text alone. They can be more traditional or surprise recipients with their appearance. They can also be tailored to the industry – an advertising agency may issue very creative projects, while banks will issue more standard ones.

Tip! There are many digital badge programs and tools that provide powerful features for designing, from a simple certificate, can create an amazing document.

#4 Easy to distribute

Any digital documents, including badges, are easy to share because you can send them with just a few clicks! It's not even a matter of minutes, but seconds to enjoy them with friends. 

Sending a badge image to its owner is usually done via email. A personalized message is sent to the relevant email address with an informative subject line and containing the appropriate file. The company may also provide a link from which to download the prize. So no more sending documents by traditional mail and waiting a long time to receive your award.

When you earn the certification badge, and you already downloaded it, you can also share it with the world with a few clicks as well. Sharing on LinkedIn or with other social networks doesn't take long and brings a lot of satisfaction!

#5 Easy to track

Once the prize is made available by the one who received it, the badge issuer can track the sharing and opening of awards, gathering important data. Through badge sharing, clicks, and views, some platforms are able to collect the most insightful data that allow organizations to analyze their impact.

By tracking these credentials, companies can create reports and then optimize their operations for improvement. Businesses can also note in which groups these recognitions are more popular and then adjust their marketing plan accordingly. 

But that's not all, as employees can also use them to track their development, identify new abilities, and highlight achievements.

#6 Build brand recognition

When badge earners or certifying organizations share their digital qualifications with others, namely employers, colleagues, or licensing boards, they are essentially acting as ambassadors of the brand, extending the reach of the issuing organization to a wider network. As we've said before, there are a lot of other data-driven insights on such verifiable badge in addition to information about the person's achievements.

Metadata includes, for example, the name of the issuing institution, date of issuance, requirements met, etc.

So, for example, when employees share badges, they are also promoting the company that issued them such a credential. This can have a positive effect on increasing interest in the brand, brand identity, or increasing sales by buying access to courses that result in obtaining these awards.

Learn more about recognition badges here ➡️ 35+ Top Ideas for Recognition Badges for Your Students or Employees

#7 Can be built quickly 

Any online badge image can be built quickly. This is due to the fact that today there are many advanced tools that can create such documents online very quickly. Not from scratch, but, for example, with the help of ready-made templates. And you have complete control over the whole process.

These tools have many basic functions for easy design, management, and sending of such rewards, but they also offer more advanced options for those who like to design and come up with new creations. Either way, a badge designer can build a recognition once and can send it to everyone who deserves it.

#8 They are very motivating

What can highly motivate employees and students while not draining the company's budget? Yes, it sounds like another advantage of customizable badge designs. These inconspicuous credentials can significantly affect the quality of your subjects' work and arouse a desire for healthy competition among them.

Imagine the situation in that you want to introduce a new system for motivating employees in your company, but you don't know how to do it in a simple way. Meanwhile, you can implement badges that will do the job for you. They will constantly remind the recipients that they are appreciated for their efforts and that their progress is noticeable.

As a result, this will motivate them to continue their development and good performance. In addition, this will improve their position in the labor market, as they will become employees with desirable qualifications so that the competition will fight for them.

How do Digital Badges are used?

Digital badging is used for many reasons. When issuing organizations create them, their aim is to reward some achievements. It involves designing the digital image and its content. The credential can then be issued to earners via a SaaS platform after the designing process.

People receive a message on their email address or similar communication informing them of receiving their award and how to get access to it. Once this information has been collected, it can be distributed via email or shared content on social networks, depending on the provider's system.

And that’s all. Businesses build, design, and issue prizes to their community badges, so people can easily share them. This type of recognition can show various achievements, including areas like:

  • team management

  • copywriting

  • user experience

  • design

  • analytics & data

  • optimization & testing

  • research & development

When you earn a badge, you can use it however you like. You can place it on social media sites such as LinkedIn, add them as links to your digital resume and embed them in your e-portfolio as well.

Put credentials into action. Here's a video with a tutorial on how to make digital badges:

What are the other types of digital awarding?

Of course, digital badges are not the only ones that can award employees and students for their achievements. 

Credentialing ecosystems include more than it. A number of ways exist to recognize an achievement, and many forms of proof are available to meet a variety of needs.

So, the good news is that you can use digital credentials and certificates as well to motivate, recognize and honor your audience.

Digital Credentials

A digital credential is also a way for a person to demonstrate that they are capable of performing a particular task or job and have professional development. This means such web-enabled versions of documents demonstrate to one’s community and employers that the individual is properly trained and equipped to carry out specific duties. 

The main difference in getting a credential is that you have to take a final exam to earn it, which requires more study and commitment than getting a badge. In order to take it, you must meet certain requirements provided in long learning programs - a specific level of education and experience.

Digital Certificates

There are also certificates. 

These documents verify that a professional has gained a basic or advanced level of competence in a complex subject area and assure employers that the person is capable of handling the challenges posed by the job duties. They must be renewed periodically to complete continuing education units. 

The difference between credentials, badges, and certificates is that certification programs educate individuals in a very specific aspect, so they provide a more specialized knowledge than credentials but broader than badges. 

And what’s good for you, you can issue credentials as well as certificates using Certifier.

Take advantage of Certifier for free

Certifier is a professional certificate maker that has everything you need to generate these beautiful digital documents. It lets you create, issue, manage, verify and deliver awards quickly to your customers.

Digital badges are pretty cool, but if you want to try something new, bet on Certifier. 

You will be surprised by the many powerful features, beautiful templates, dynamic attributes, marketing insights, LinkedIn sharing statistics, and many, many more. You can even manage your recipient from this platform - create groups, upload a spreadsheet with recipients’ data, map their data to dynamic attributes, and so on. 

What’s more, with Certifier, there’s no need to design certificates from scratch. This platform has many free certificate templates created by its amazing designers, so if you don’t have much time, take advantage of them. Check out their certificate template library featuring 300+ ready-made designs for any industry, theme, or color scheme.

Still not convinced? Try their free account and experience all these amazing features by yourself.

To sum up

Essentially, digital badges represent a person's competencies, along with a verifiable description of their knowledge and the activities through which they earned them. They are incredibly helpful for both novice and already experienced employees. They come with many advantages and are easy to create and distribute.

If you want to reward your employees or students and don't know how to do it, bet on them or other digital documents that will certify newly acquired skills. Use Certifier and create great projects in minutes!

Uliana Kysheniuk avatar

Uliana Kysheniuk

Product Manager at Certifier. At Certifier, Uliana plays a pivotal role in steering the development and enhancement of digital credential software solutions.

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