Implementing digital badges in Australia: the importance of institutional context

Deborah West, Alison Lockley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The use of digital badges in the tertiary sector, while gaining some momentum, is still in its infancy with institutions just beginning to think about how they might be used. While seen as one of the emerging technologies to watch in coming years, discussion on the use of badges can be connected to various concepts around the future of higher education and approaches to learning and teaching. Within this discussion issues are raised around credentialing, micro-credentialing (and the place of higher education in this), the relationship of this to competency based education, pedagogy and the role of emerging technologies.

The engagement of higher education more broadly in such discussions is a key stepping stone to the way in which digital badges can be conceived of, and potentially utilised. However, positioning of institutions around these issues and consideration of their own infrastructure gives rise to the various ways in which badges can be implemented in any given context. Working from the idea of institutional context, a range of use cases are highlighted and attention is drawn to both the challenges and opportunities these present.

The chapter considers the implementation of digital badges within the Australian context and presents a model which draws together contextual elements and more technical considerations for a badge system. Some of the key considerations include institutional directions such as strategic position, level of investment, policy and process issues, learning and teaching approaches as well as technical aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFoundation of Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials
Subtitle of host publicationDemonstrating and Recognizing Knowledge and Competencies
EditorsDirk Ifenthaler, Nicole Bellin-Mularski, Dana-Kristin Mah
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-31915425-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-15424-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Badges and
  • Implementation
  • Institutional context
  • Strategic positioning


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