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Badges and Certificates; Is there a difference?

In just a few short years, Open Badges have stormed into the accreditation space, providing a unique way to issue a credential which can be shared instantly on social sites – the perfect marriage between social media and credentials/recognition.

When someone (like a potential employer) clicks on the badge, valuable details about the activity are surfaced, including a description of the event, skills which were developed and verifiable evidence, linking directly to the actual activity, task or achievement. And, with Open Badges, a badge earner can quickly build social eminence by adding credentials to LinkedIn profiles, Facebook activity streams and Twitter feeds.

Do Badges and Certifications complement each other?

Open Badges were never designed, nor intended, to serve as mini-certifications. Where a certification is an activity in itself (usually an exam), a badge is a digital representation of an existing activity, like the completion of a class, an assessment or a demonstration of skills or abilities.

Certifications can benefit greatly from Open Badges and, in fact, create more demand. Here are three examples:

1. Badge certification exams

By issuing badges to certification holders, you can dramatically increase the social media exposure for the certification. Where a handful of people may see a paper certificate hanging on a wall in a cubicle, hundreds or thousands of people will see the digital representation of the certification when it is shared in social media.

2. Create progression activities

In karate, after you earn your green belt, you typically want to earn the black belt. Similarly, by issuing badges for small, bite-sized activities that lead up to a certification, you will increase the likelihood the earner will continue all the way to the certification exam. Badges help get people on the “leader board” by making it easy (and rewarding) to start the journey.

3. Issue continuing education credits

If you earn a certification every two years, how will you show the world you are current in technology in between exams? Here is where badges can complement certifications by providing “continuing education” credentials for skills which are more “liquid.” Badges also provide a way to keep certification holders engaged beyond the test, maintaining a relationship with the test taker until the next release of the certification.

Can Open Badges increase the shelf life of certifications?

Certifications provide a valuable credential in the IT business, especially in areas where security, legal defensibility and psychometrically sound assessments are a requirement. In fact, here are at least four areas where certifications provide an essential credential:

1. Must be legally defensible and psychometrically sound

2. Is required by an industry governing body (i.e. to certify knowledge around an industry standard for legal purposes)

3. Is required for safety or security

4. Is required by state law or license

But, with technology changing so quickly, how can you create a certification program which has a long shelf life of, say 24 months? Perhaps the T-skills model is the answer, where certifications provide core, essential and foundational knowledge. Badges can then be layered or stacked onto the certification to represent deep skills in areas where technology is changing more frequently.

The model also provides additional value to certifications, because badges can be stacked onto a core certification to represent a specialization or an advanced designation. Imagine the personalized credential programs you can create.

Disruption is inevitable, and the future is uncertain. So, we can’t stand still.

Rapid changes in the IT space and the rise of social media have disrupted the IT credential space, I say for the better. There are now more incentives than ever to earn credentials because of the value they provide building social eminence in ways not possible before. The transparency in badges makes it easy for employers to see and verify what knowledge, skills, passions and abilities a credential represents – at the nano level. And credential issuers can now create programs which are far more relevant and tailor-made for industries and lines of business.

That's where TiiQu comes in, it adds a layer of security and privacy to badges and stackable certificates: it bridges blockchain technology and real world

Tiiqu's Certiif issued credentials look like normal digital badges or digital certificates but contain metadata that send the verifier to the proof on chain . Nor the owner neither the viewer need to do anything else than clicking in the credentials

Since open badges are typically stored by issuers' cloud providers, they could be subject to cyber attacks, counterfeiting or can be lost.

But Tiiqu's proofs on blockchain can't be lost, as they work on the basic principle of blockchian, and the pdf certificate in itself is stored by the individual

Tiiqu is:

1) converting individual steps of learning, working health or other into micro credentials that can then feed a certificate .

The certificates can expire automatically if one of the micro credential expires

2) allowing an individual sharing only what he/she wants

3) Guaranteeing reliability of granular information to the verifier

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