This policy defines the parameters for use of digital badges at UW-Madison.
Current and former students, and all UW-Madison units including non-academic units.
Students seeking to document specific learning achievements recognized by employers and other audiences may use digital badges offered by UW-Madison to provide durable, reliable, shareable and verifiable records of well-defined and specific competencies, skills and/or knowledge.
Digital badges are associated with competency, skills, and/or knowledge gained through participation in certain learning activities offered and assessed exclusively by UW-Madison. Though the technology and tools used to create and issue digital badges can also be used to maintain digital archives for participation in camps, conferences, or workshops, such digital records are not digital badges as defined in this policy. They are, instead, digital participation awards and fall outside the scope of this policy governing the official UW-Madison badge and its associated imagery.
Digital badges may augment or complement, but may not duplicate, transcripted credentials. Similarly, badges are not to be awarded merely for completing a regular, credit-bearing course. All communication and promotional materials related to digital badges must clearly state these limitations.
Digital badges must be offered in conjunction with a formal or informal UW-Madison learning experience and cannot be earned through assessment only. Credit-based offerings can include portions of courses or combinations of courses. Non-credit offerings may include continuing education, employee professional development programming, seminars, workshops, or other events that involve a learning experience and assessment activity. The learning experience, not the badge itself, determines whether admission, financial aid, and/or enrollment policies and processes pertain to an individual’s experience, e.g., a student seeking both a degree and a badge may be eligible for financial aid while a learner seeking only a badge is not eligible for financial aid.
While elements of for-credit courses may relate to meeting digital badge requirements, badge completion is not a substitute for, or component of, for-credit coursework nor are badges recorded on the university transcript. Digital badges are non-credit credentials intended to supplement traditional academic transcripts and resumes for learning by highlighting demonstrated competency, skills and/or knowledge in a defined area or discipline.
Once issued, badges are controlled by the learner. Badges are designed such that they cannot be altered, and are verifiable, shareable, and discoverable.