Software Training badges are a type of micro-credential students can earn through the Software Training Lab here at the BYU Library. They use the open badge framework. Because they come from Software Training, they are focused on skills about software!
Open badges are digital micro-credentials focusing on a discrete (specific) skill. For example, there are badges about photo editing, video editing, and graphic design. Each badge is a digital image embedded with metadata. They are primarily a method for recognizing learning.
Metadata is information attached to a badge about the badge. For example, each badge contains a link to the criteria used to earn the badge, information about the issuer, and evidence. This evidence is generally the project used to earn the badge.
Open badges can look like anything. They usually look like badges you would see offline, such as a merit badge. Since they are digital, though, they are normally PNG files.
Our badges can be used to direct learning. This means that students are focused on learning how to use certain tools or do certain tasks within a program, rather than learning the entire program. Badges can also be used to show and verify skill. The project is always attached to a Software Training Badge, which can then be used to assess mastery.
The difference is in the criteria. The criteria for Gateway badges is attendance based, whereas Project badge criteria is skill based. Specifically, Gateway badges verify that the earner has attended a set of classes about a type of program from the Software Training Lab. Project badges verify that a skill was learned, no attendance required!
Software Training badges are not endorsed by any company like Microsoft or Adobe. Also our badges are not attached to university credit.
However, our badges are more official and useful than simply listing a skill on a resume. This is because there is oversight and evidence. A software trainer will look at the project to make sure it meets the requirements before the badge is approved. In addition, evidence is attached to the badge. Software Training requires the completed project, a reflection, and a screenshot of the workplace. This evidence strengthens the validity of the badge as it can be viewed by those looking at the badge.
Open badges include information that helps employers make better hiring decisions, such as listing the criteria and showcasing the real skills an applicant has. They also guide learning, so people can direct their efforts in meaningful directions.
These are badges that we developed based on our experience teaching software. They are not from Microsoft, Adobe, or another software company, but they do focus on critical skills in creative and productivity software. The framework for badges was developed by an instructional designer. We are in our second iteration and are continually improving these badges.
We require three things for earning a badge. First, we require a screenshot of the workspace to ensure that appropriate software was used. Second, we require the finished project file. Third, we require a short written reflection about how the badge earner created the project. These are all part of the evidence attached to a badge.
It depends on the badge! You can always look at the badge requirements by clicking on the badge if it’s on a resume or website. You can also find them on our website by clicking on a specific badge. Each badge will have a unique set of requirements based on the associated project.
It’s an image or a link on a resume. If you’re not sure, you can try clicking the image to see if it links to anything when viewing the resume digitally. If it does, it’s likely a badge! In addition, you can view all of the Software Training badges on our website, so you know what you’re looking for.