Digital Credentials - Exploring an Emerging Field

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This session gives an overview of the current digital credentialing landscape. It then leads a thoughtful discussion with participants on identifying the driving forces of change behind this switch and how to leverage this new technology to help define the future of continueing education in the 21st century and beyond.


Jaclyn Goudie is the Assistant Director of Online Programs in Executive Education at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she works with internal and external partners to deliver and implement in-person and online programs for senior leaders. Before joining Kellogg, Jaclyn was a professional stage manager for various theaters in and around the Chicago area. She was also the General Manager for American Blues Theater, where she helped grow the company budget from $250k to over $1.5 million budget in just under five years. Jaclyn has experience in various arts administration positions as well as operations for a mid-sized insurance company. Jaclyn earned her BA from Otterbein University and holds a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from North Park University. Contact:

Extended Abstract

As technology has evolved, so have the hiring practices of HR departments. This, along with a call for a way for students to own their verified credentials, has created an entirely new landscape of digital certificates, badges, micro-credentials, and nano-degrees. Navigating this new terrain is murky and confusing, but it's even more confusing for programming that has traditionally given paper "Certificates of Participation" (ie non-degree, non-credit programs). What do these new certificates mean? How do they apply to our business model? This session will answer these questions and provide space for discussion on how digital certificates will impact these business lines. The first 5-10 minutes of this session is a researched presentation helping to define and clarify the new world of digital certificates. The remaining time is a facilitated discussion focused on helping to discover, define, and describe what mindset shifts have to occur in non-degree education settings to accommodate the demands inherent in this new world.

Target Audience

Administrators of short, non-degree, non-credited learning. Those most interested in the changing landscape of employer hiring expectations and how we communicate the value of our programs.

Learning Outcomes

Identify the difference between badges, micro-credentials, and digital certificates.
Analyze the changing nature of non-degree, non-credit education.
Report on which of these would be best suited for their organization's purposes