Strategies for Designing Impactful Digital Credentials for Mobile Learning

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The era of online and competency-based education, including maximizing hiring and staffing talent, is upon us. This panel session will bring experts from graduate and undergraduate institutions to provide attendees insight into how to develop digital credentials which can enhance programs by documenting the competencies most relevant to employers.



Kimberly Moore, JD, is the Director for Workforce, Professional and Community Education (WPCE) at Wichita State University (WSU). She has 30 years' experience in developing and coordinating workforce and professional development programming. A former state government administrator and corporate lobbyist, Kim served as Association Director of the WSU Division of Continuing Education from 1996-2014. In October 2014, she was appointed Interim Director and served in that capacity until March, 2015 when she was appointed Director of WPCE. Kimberly received her Bachelor's and Juris Doctor degrees from Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas.
Michael P. Macklin is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Partnerships/Development at the Colorado Community College System. His primary focuses are workforce development, noncredit programming, and business partnership development. Through Mr. Macklin’s work with digital badges, he is leveraging the power of digital credential opportunities in advanced manufacturing, healthcare and information technology. He understands that digital badges are key in sustaining and expanding workforce skillsets with community and business partners as this allows for unprecedented access to affordable res-killing and up-skilling opportunities.

Additional Authors

Extended Abstract

Employer frustration with the opacity of a transcript or degree is causing education institutions to focus on enhancing their traditional certificates and degrees with smaller, more precise indications of skills and ability. Digital credentials can be embedded in programs and curriculum in a myriad of ways to increase multiple entry and exit points along an affordable, in-demand career pathway; accelerate completion of programs and placement into employment by contextualizing and standardizing skill recognition; and creating clear connections between classroom learning and employment opportunities.

Innovation is becoming a key competitive battleground in the post-secondary educational environment. Students, employers and faculty expect the next thing to be the next big thing—and when it isn’t, they don’t hide their disappointment.  Various technologies have disrupted the traditional methods of education innovation — developing new curriculum ideas in-house, conducting employer outreach and workforce research to determine feasibility and market potential — but don’t always reflect students’ actual needs and desires when entering the workforce.  Learn how to address this shortfall and put your students at the heart of your curriculum to workforce innovation efforts during the digital credentials and digital badges idea generation and design stages, rather than during the program completion and placement phase.

Our panel experts bring years of working collaboratively with faculty, employers and industry leaders to share key strategies on processes of designing high value credentials. Attendees will hear from a medical residency program that is implementing digital credentials to capture skillsets medical students need to document on their residency applications. A state university system will share how to build non-credit digital badged professional development training which can transfer into a credit bearing program. And a community college system will share their experience in co-branding digital credentials which are built on partnerships with employers and 4-year institutions encouraging the cooperation between 2-year and 4-year institutions.

Interactivity will be the focal point of the session. Session attendees could be provided index cards and encouraged to list roadblocks to their digital credential efforts. The session moderator will pick out common threads of roadblocks surfaced by attendees, and panelists will discuss possible solutions. Together, the group will share expert advice on starting, expanding and building a sustainable thriving credential ecosystem in collaboration with regional industry leaders.