MOOC Convenes Educators, Employers, and Workforce Developers to Explore Role and Impact of Badges for Academic and Workplace Credentials

Share Article

Badges: New Currency for Professional Credentials begins on Sept. 9th. This MOOC is a collaborative project of WCET, Mozilla, Blackboard Inc., and Sage Road Solutions LLC.

"User-friendly digital badges allow students and workers to translate their skills and experience into a manufacturing career," noted Jennifer McNelly, president of The Manufacturing Institute.

The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), Mozilla, Blackboard Inc., and Sage Road Solutions LLC will convene a massive, open, online course (MOOC) beginning September 9, 2013, to explore the role that badges are expected to play as academic institutions and employers scramble for new ways to document completion, competency and achievement. During its six-week duration, MOOC participants from around the world will use a variety of distributed technologies to connect and learn more about how to design, use and support these new systems for creating quality professional credentials.

Thought leaders from postsecondary education, public policy, and workforce development in targeted arenas including manufacturing will join course facilitators to discuss, debate and increase awareness about the value of badges. Featured experts will include Dr. Cable Green, Director of Global Learning, Creative Commons; Mark Surman, Executive Director of Mozilla ; Dr. Cathy Davidson, Duke University professor and Director of the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC); Pamela Tate, Council of Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and Jennifer McNelly, National Association of Manufacturers. "User-friendly digital badges allow students and workers to translate their skills and experience into a manufacturing career," noted McNelly, president of The Manufacturing Institute. "Manufacturing badges have ensured the success of three levels of skills: fundamental skills, including team work and problem solving; knowledge acquisition, including basic manufacturing skill sets; and industry-based certifications and credentials."

Over the last several months, many forces have emerged to accelerate interest in and support of new systems of quality credentials for American workers. Numerous research groups, non-profit organizations and foundations now argue for fundamental changes in the delivery of education. In particular, the Clinton Global Initiative’s commitment to help 1 million students and 1 million U.S. workers access opportunities through badges has sparked significant attention and interest. Non-profit organizations, universities, civic organizations, technology providers, employers, and others are teaming up to see where badges may provide a solution.

“Currently in my work as an instructional designer, I am intrigued with the idea of Mozilla's Open Badges and the opportunities they can provide for individuals in the workforce in order to continue their education,” said Julie Laubach, Instructional Designer, PSU World Campus and WCET member. “For myself, I am looking forward to participating in WCET's MOOC Badges: New Currency for Professional Credentials and to receiving evidence of my own professional credentials. I'm even more excited about the possibilities that may lead to incorporating badges into course design.”

Additional speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. To sign up for the course, please visit

About WCET
The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is a cooperative, membership-driven, non-profit exchange of solutions and services that accelerate the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. More information about WCET’s institutional membership resources, services and common interest groups can be found on WCET’s website,

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About Mozilla
Mozilla ( has been a pioneer and advocate for the Web for more than a decade. We create and promote open standards that enable innovation and advance the Web as a platform for all. Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide use Mozilla Firefox to discover, experience and connect to the Web on computers, tablets and mobile phones. Mozilla's Open Badges Infrastructure is a technical standard that makes it possible for learners everywhere to display their skills, interests and credentials. For more information please visit:

About Sage Road Solutions LLC
Sage Road Solutions fosters innovation and success in the learning technologies marketplace. Our clients and partners include emerging technology providers, education institutions and consortia, industry associations, and policy organizations. Sage Road Solutions helps our clients get smarter about how elearning in all of its various forms and formats can have a direct positive impact on results. For more information, please visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Cali Morrison, Manager, Communications, WCET
Visit website


Blackboard Inc logoSage Road Solutions LLC logoMozilla Open Badges Logo