At KAZ we know the benefits of digital badging and in 2019 we were delighted to receive approval for our online touch typing course and become City & Guilds Assured.
Digital badges provide a flexibility that the GCSE and A level exam boards can only dream of. This benefits education, students and companies.
One of our key audiences is home learners and they took a real hammering on the exam front last summer as the government decided that ‘not all external candidates were able to be awarded a grade this summer because some will not have been in a position to provide sufficient evidence to enable their exam centre to include them in their centre assessment grades and rankings.’
Some estimates indicated that over 20,000 students were affected and unable to move on to college or university or to certain careers.
Contrast this with digital exams, taken online at the end of a course or module by everyone, whether they are studying at school, college, in a workplace or at home.
We were interested to see an article in FE News from the Fashion Retail Academy that claimed they had witnessed a 135% rise in students signing up for a fast track career entry.
They feel that after lockdowns and the uncertainty of the last year, some students are unwilling to enter into long term commitments and want short periods of study that will produce quick results and give them a head start when applying for jobs.
Increasingly, we are getting requests from people who are looking to change their job, moving from catering or retail into a job with more of an IT focus or young people who want to provide evidence of efficient keyboarding skills alongside vocational qualifications.
Digital badges recognise skills and experience and offer so many advantages to students, apprentices, career changers and young people looking for their first job.
- They recognise individuals’ skills and talents
- They are a digital showcase for individual skills
- The secure online system keeps everything in a safe place
- The badge can be verified online straightaway
- Potential employers or colleges can see how the candidate proved their skills and who endorsed it
- The badges can be added to CVs and shared via social media, especially useful now that 92% of recruiters are using social media to identify the right candidate
We have seen how young people are turned off by schoolwork and are reportedly less engaged now that public exams are not going ahead in their usual format this summer.
Most people like to have their achievements recognised. Badges are a simple way for individuals to showcase their achievements, and for prospective employers to verify them.
This is an attractive modern solution to awarding qualifications and is so much more flexible than the current unwieldy exam system that it is hard to see why the government is not encouraging more widespread use.