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The potential of digital credentials to engage students with capabilities of importance to scholars and citizens
journal contributionposted on 2020-03-01, 00:00 authored by Kelly MillerKelly Miller, Trina Jorre De St JorreTrina Jorre De St Jorre, Jan WestJan West, Liz JohnsonLiz Johnson
Digital credentials (or badges) allow evidence of achievement to be more detailed than is possible through grades, and can be shared more broadly than is possible through the academic transcript. Here, we illustrate the potential use of digital credentials in higher education through sharing an approach that utilised digital credentials to recognise the achievement of students who demonstrate outstanding achievement of specific graduate attributes. More specifically, we explore the potential use of digital credentials to contribute to the development of citizen scholars through engaging students at the course (degree) level, promoting experiential learning and facilitating public sharing. The credentialing strategy described was designed to enhance employability, and the standards and criteria associated with the award were developed in collaboration with industry partners to give students the opportunity to differentiate themselves in the graduate job market. However, student applications, perceptions of the application process and feedback from industry partners who assessed the submissions suggest that an unintended, but positive, outcome of the credentialing strategy was promotion of students’ personal identity and broader social engagement. We suggest that digital credentials at course level could be a useful tool to engage students with graduate attributes, foster graduate identity and develop graduates who are active and engaged citizens.