Badges go digital at Sussex Downs

A digital badge recognises skills or achievements which can be shared online. Sussex Downs College digital badges are verified by our lecturers and then added to digital CVs, LinkedIn profiles and shared across social media.

We are using them to identify and reward both technical course related skills and wider transferable skills that are most in demand by employers. At SDC, the Innovation team has been working with courses and local employers to create digital badges that will help students to enter and succeed in the workplace. To achieve a badge, a learner must complete a series of tasks and upload evidence to their profile. Evidence can take the form of videos, photographs, or written work, and enables anyone viewing their completed badge to see proof of their competency.

This term the Innovation team launched the Expert Learner Framework. This recognises skills that make a student an effective learner and is comprised of a parent badge with 9 ‘child’ badges that our learners are working towards. These skills include developing independent learning skills, taking risks and developing high aspirations. The Expert Learner badge helps equip students with effective skills for learning at college and beyond.

3 of the Expert Learner badges — 1. The ‘Meta’ Expert Learner badge 2. Ambition 3. Risk Taker

In November 2016 we will be launching our Employability Passport comprised of twenty employability skills covering communication, collaboration, critical thinking and work readiness. When we consulted with employers, they told us that these were skills that were hard for them to recognise during an interview, but that they really valued in candidates. Learners equipped with digital badges, however, are able to show employers tangible evidence of their skills, including those that have been traditionally difficult to demonstrate.