Strategies for Using Badging and Micro-credentialing in Online Courses

Concurrent Session 3 & 4 (combined)
Streamed Session Blended

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Brief Abstract

This best practices session will provide strategies and ideas for how you can structure micro-credential projects, find tools for designing badges, and how you can have your students display them in their e-portfolios. You will be provided with resources and guided on how to design your own badges.


Dr. Gina Solano is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology. She teaches a variety of courses in educational technology, research, and teaching methods. She teaches both face-to-face and online courses on such topics as technology trends, STEAM, multimedia, online learning, instructional course design, and more. Dr. Solano is avidly involved in service learning and improving teacher technology adoption practices. When not at work, she loves to travel, craft, and cook. She considers herself a teacher, techie, and traveler!

Extended Abstract

Badging and micro-credentialing are becoming more prevalent in the world of computer science and coding. They can also be used as a curriculum design model for online learning. With badges, students can identify the skills they have and provide evidence of them to their employers and instructors. Badging and micro-credentialing is an innovative curriculum model that spans across technology coaches, educators, and students. Coaches can design their own micro-credential and badging projects for professional development purposes. They can also share this design model with teachers who are looking for innovative uses of technology with project-based learning. As an educator, micro-credentialing is a creative way to remove the stress of grades from the classroom and help students in secondary and higher education, to focus on mastering skills versus earning a grade. The badge is actual evidence for each skill they have developed that can be placed on an e-portfolio for college, employers, and networking. 


During the session, the attendees will participate by completing a simple badge and earning a microcredential. They will also be placed into small groups to collaborate on creating and designing a badge and the microcredential requirements for it. This way, the attendees will be personally engaged in achieving a badge to help them experience the satisfaction and self-efficacy of accomplishing a new skill. The presentation will be scaffolded by beginning with an explanation of badging and microcredentialing and how they work together. Several examples will be shared for how to include badging and microcredentialing in an online or blended learning course. Next, the attendees will actively participate to complete a microcredential and earn a badge by using their web-enabled device. Finally, the attendees will be placed into groups of three to design, create, and share a microcredential and its badge. Each person in the group will have a specific task to complete. Once the group decides on what microcredential they want to create and what the requirements are, one person will complete a template with the credentials. Another person will use Accredible to design the badge, and the third person will create a slide to link the template and post their group’s badge. At the end of the workshop, each group will have the opportunity to share their badge and the microcredential requirements. 


The learning objectives for this workshop are:


  • Understand what micro-credentialing is and how it works together with badging. 

  • Design a skills-based project that would be represented by a badge. 

  • Create a digital badge using online tools. 

  • Model the badge on an e-portfolio.

  • Discuss the benefits of a skills-based approach to learning. 


The tools I will be using are all free. They are:

  • Accredible

  • Google Sites

  • Google Docs


I will also be providing resources for other sites that have badge templates or provide more information about badging:

  • Adobe Spark

  • Canva

  • Open Badges

  • UEN What is a microcredential?



  1. 3 mins. Introduction

  2. 17 mins. Overview of what micro-credentialing and badging are. 

  3. 5 mins. Audience activity: Interactive poll to check for understanding. 

  4. 15  mins. Model the e-portfolio and four micro-credential projects used in a recent graduate course.

  5. 25 mins. Group Activity: The attendees will be placed into groups of three. The presenter will visit each group to provide guidance. Each group will have three tasks to collaborate about and complete:

    1. Choose a technology skill for their badge and discuss how it will be earned. 

    2. Person 1: Complete the provided template (Google Doc) for the badge’s requirements, list and explain three simple technology skills that need to be completed to earn the badge. 

    3. Person 2: Use Accredible to design the badge that represents the mastered skill.

    4. Person 3: Access the Google Slide presentation, add a new slide, upload your badge and link your badge’s requirements. Include any additional links and a brief description of the badge.

  6. 15 mins. Group Presentation: Each group will present their microcredential and badge. They will be able to receive feedback and suggestions from the group about their work. 

  7. 10 mins. Reflection and end discussion. 


The Attendee Takeaways:

  • Be able to understand what micro-credentials are and the purpose of badging. 

  • Learn how to design a skills-based project for a badge. 

  • Learn about free resources to support badging and e-portfolios. 

  • Earn a badge by completing a brief micro-credential activity. 

  • Understand the value and pride that come with earning and displaying badges. 

  • Develop strategies and skills for using micro-credentials and badging in an online course.