In previous posts on the Public Sector View, we looked at Massive Open Online Classes, or MOOCs for short. MOOCs are essentially free online classes that students across the globe can participate in. MOOCs are often recorded with video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions and posted online for students to digest when their schedule allows.

We’ve discussed the benefits that MOOCs can deliver, including the ability to better prepare students for college and enabling students to “sample” different courses and areas of study. However, the accreditation of MOOCs has been a sticking point. Schools have struggled to identify a way for students to get credit or recognition for the MOOCs they’ve completed.

This is starting to be rectified as the American Council on Education (ACE), an influential higher education association that represents the presidents of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions, has begun to approve MOOC courses for college credit recommendation.

However, there may be a new technology that could provide students with an additional avenue for demonstrating the skills and knowledge they’ve gained from MOOCs and other online courses – digital badges.

Digital badges are an online representation of a skill that a student has earned. Badges can be earned from classes or even real world experiences. And with the introduction of Mozilla’s Open Badges – a free, open-source software solution – these badges can now be easily displayed online and multiple badges from myriad classes and experiences can be strung together to provide a better picture of a student’s skills and abilities.

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