Badges threaten college monopoly on credentials

If digital badges catch on as a way for people to show what they know, colleges and universities will lose their monopoly on credentials and the ability to keep on raising tuition.

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  1. Darren Burris says:

    Will it shift to badge givers? Makers? Distributors?

    It will disproportionately affect certain fields more than others. Earning online badges in computer programming is different from earning badges in organic chemistry lab. We are destined for a more diverse edscape, but certain aspects of institutions make them suited to deliver degrees and grades (their badges) in particular arenas. A diverse set of tools will hopefully optimize the delivery of education and allow more access points to potential learners.

  2. Colleges and universities may lose their monopoly, but they’ll also learn new ways of doing business. That’s probably a good thing. Learners might even benefit, though that’s no guarantee.

  3. I’d say that claiming digital badges will bring about the end of the college monopoly on credentialling is a bit premature. Some – many – of those credentials are supported and protected by law as a bar to entry to a market and those who benefit from that legal barrier will fight to keep the barrier in place.

  4. This might be a step toward the elimination of letter grades and GPAs, which could transform education at all levels.

    • Michael E. Lopez says:

      Grades didn’t just happen by chance.

      Don’t commit the Chesterton’s Fence fallacy.

      • Roger Sweeny says:

        Chesterton’s Fence fallacy? When you come to a fence and say, “I don’t see any reason why it’s here,” your next step should not be to tear it down. At some point it was put there for a reason and the fact that you can’t see the reason is a deficiency of your’s, not the fence’s. That reason may still be good.

        I take it you are saying that grades are there for reasons that will not change if credentialing goes from seat time to badges.