Digital Badging For Veterans

It can be difficult for veterans to explain the skills and training they received in the military to potential employers. A new website attempts to bridge that gap by giving veterans digital “badges” that recognize their skills.

When it goes live next month, BadgesforVets.org will be a résumé translation and job search service. The extensive project, which includes badges representing training in more than 1,000 military jobs, is also a particularly promising foray into digital badging — a much-hyped, although still nascent, form of alternative credentialing that could conceivably undermine higher education's role as a primary way of signaling skills to employers.

The badge concept is inspired by patches Boy and Girl Scouts earn for mastering skills and conquering challenges. The digital version for adults, which is has gotten its biggest boost from the Mozilla Foundation, an open-source tech pioneer, is a way to display talents ranging from the practical (proficiency in a computer program) to the academic (demonstrated competency in a subject area).

A Purdue University professor has used badges in addition to conventional grading, while the university has created a badging platform. And Peer to Peer University (P2PU) is working with Mozilla to award badges for its free peer-to-peer coursework.

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