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Some Frequently Asked Questions on Badges

Badges, to most people, are a unfamiliar thing when it comes to giving credit to people of all ages. So in order to make it easier in learning about what badges are and how to use them, here are some frequently asked questions on badges!

1.  What is a badge?

A badge is a digital credential that represents an individual’s skills, interests, and achievements. Among other uses, badges can convey an individual student’s core academic content knowledge, as well as other twenty-first century competencies that cannot be measured by traditional learning assessments in formal education institutions.  

AVNU and Sketch know that many of the skills youth learn today go unacknowledged or under-recognized. We want to you to know that we see how important 21st century skills are, and want you to get the credit you deserve for learning them. Open badges are a way of getting kudos for skills that are key to employability, capacity building, and skill enhancement,  that usually can’t be highlighted by a person’s GED, diploma, or last reference letter.

2. How does a badge benefit me?

What if all achievement could be recognized? What if “credit” wasn’t just something on a school transcript — but something we could continue to earn for life? People deserve credit for things they accomplish throughout their lives. Some achievements are marked with public ceremonies and framed certificates, and many other worthy accomplishments go unrecognized throughout our lives. By empowering anyone to give credit for worthy accomplishments, we aim to improve people’s lives. Lifelong credentials open up new job opportunities, expose new learning pathways, and help connect people with communities where they can have an impact and where their skills and experience are valued and needed. To learn more about how Open Badges can benefit you click here! (From Credly website)

3. How do I earn a badge at SKETCH?

In its pilot stage, Sketch has three different badges in three different categories that can be earned by program participants.

Self Category

i. The badge we’ve identified for the self category is called ‘You Got You’. To earn this badge, you must express self-confidence, self-control, and flexibility while participating in the learning opportunities at Sketch.

ii. The assessment  this badge is done through self-identifying yourself as meeting the criteria listed above. Nomination cards will be used to nominate yourself for the badge by identifying how they feel they’ve expressed the criteria. Workshop facilitators and AVNU staff will review your self-assessment to identify whether or not you have in fact met the criteria.

Community Category

i. The badge we have identified for the community category is called ‘Come Together’, which can be earned by expressing commitment to equitable engagement, healthy and empathetic relationship building, and critical consciousness.

ii. The assessment for this badge is done through peer-nomination. Nomination cards will be used by youth to nominate their peers, and identify how exactly they met the criteria for this badge.

 

Leadership Category

i. The badge we have identified for the leadership category is called ‘Project MGMT’, which can be earned by expressing personal accountability, a strong work ethic, realistic goal setting, the ability to self-assess, initiative, and persistence.

ii. The assessment for this badge is done through both peer and staff nominations. If a youth receives a nomination from either staff or peers that they have met the criteria, AVNU staff will review the nomination card to see if the criteria was met.

4. How can I earn badges outside of AVNU and SKETCH?

Badges aren’t only available from Sketch, but can be earned through a variety of other badge issuers, both in person and online. Click here to see a list of other organizations currently involved in the open badge system.

5.  The Open Badges program doesn’t seem right for me do I have to participate in it?

Participation in the open badges program is not mandatory! This is a voluntary program, and there is no penalty for not taking part. Also, if you’ve signed up for open badges but decide it isn’t right for you, you’re always able to discontinue your online account and request that Sketch program leaders not nominate you for future badges.

6. Is he Open Badges Program replacing AVNU certificates? How is it different?

Apart from working with Sketch on the open badges program, AVNU also offers its own type of certification. Open badges will not replace this. AVNU certification is not based on badges earned in programming, but rather from attendance at our partner events. Participants must attend three or more events hosted by three different AVNU partners in order to be qualified to receive a certificate and be eligible for a Learning Journey (an opportunity to travel outside of Canada to work with youth in other countries). Click here to learn more about AVNU’s certificate program!

7. How and where do I store my badges?

In the world of open badges, your backpack is an online space where all of your badges are stored once you’ve received them. It is easy to login to Credly to claim credit you’ve earned for your accomplishments. You can use your Facebook or LinkedIn credentials to create your Credly account, or create an account directly on Credly. Credly accounts can be opened for individuals or for an organization and its basic service is free for all users. Here’s step-by-step instructions on how to set up your open badges backpack:

a) Head to https://credly.com/ and click the ‘create account’ button in the top right corner

b) Sign up through Facebook, Linkedin, or by using your email address. Verify your account by clicking on the link in the email you’ll receive from Credly

c)Go into your ‘Account Settings’ tab and fill any additional information about yourself that you’d like to be part of your backpack

d)Any and all badges you will receive will be stored in your ‘My Credit’ tab. Once you’ve received a badge, you can manage its visibility or see its details by hovering over the badge and clicking the ‘Manage’ button

e)If you have any questions or concerns with your account, head to Credly’s support page here

8. When do my badges show up in my backpack?

An email will be sent to you approximately three (3) weeks after the current round of programming ends, once all nominations have been processed by Sketch and AVNU staff. Once you accept the email invitation to accept your badge, it will show up in your backpack right away.

9. How can I use my badges?

Badges can be added to your resume, your Linkedin account, or on any of your social media profiles. They are a way of showing that you have been certified in a particular skill, and can be displayed wherever you think is appropriate.

 

Have any questions that aren’t answered here? Reach out to Certification@AVNU.ca and we will do our best to answer whatever question you have!