There has been growing interest in the use of digital credentialing systems to promote learning both in companies and in learning institutions. This is especially true in light of the numerous benefits they have been proven to offer. There has also been a rapid change in the skill requirement in the workplace over the past decade, which has made it important to credential the learning that takes place outside of formal schools. Digital credentials come in handy for capturing such skills and competencies. In addition, the growth in the use of computers, smartphones and other devices makes the use of digital badges in learning more appealing, as they give a better user experience in the digital world than traditional paper certificates.
However, many organizations run into problems when implementing digital credentialing systems. This is partially because these organizations fail to prepare adequately. To seamlessly implement a digital credentialing system within your organization, you need to know how to overcome a number of challenges. Here are a few tips on how an organization can overcome the challenges of adopting digital credentialing systems.
Establish the Need for Badges
To successfully implement a digital credentialing system in your organization you need to establish the need for such a system. This is important as it will help you avoid resistance and other challenges associated with the current education culture within an organization. To do this effectively, you will need to first analyze the learning process within your organization, establish the gaps that such credentials can fill, and then identify how best they can be used. This analysis will give you valuable information on the need for digital credentials, both in your organization and the larger industry, and how they should be implemented to benefit all important stakeholders within it. It will also play a significant role in helping you establish agreeable criteria for awarding credentials as to avoid a scenario where the criteria are so high that no one can meet it, or too low that the badges loose meaning. If you want to avoid all the common challenges involved in adopting digital credential systems, ensure that before you take that first step in creating digital badge you carry out a thorough analysis of your organization and industry, and establish all the important points that will help with the implementation of the program.
Education and Awareness
Education is the key to the implementation of any new technology in an organization. Ensure that you educate and create awareness about digital credentialing before setting out to implement the system. Take all the important steps to educate and train the people in your organization on the whys and hows of digital credentialing. This will help you avoid a majority of the challenges that arise during the implementation of digital credentialing systems, most of which arise from lack of awareness about the utility of the system and how credentialing aligns with larger organizational or business goals. It is thus important for you to create awareness about the system among your staff and other stakeholders within your organization. You should also ensure that you train all the participants how to use digital badges; this should include creation, validation and sharing. Ongoing education and promotion will help avoid challenges associated with resistance and lack of interest towards such a program. Keep in mind, education is not something that only needs to happen before implementing the system. Make it a continuous process.
Piloting and then Gradually Roll the Program Out
To succeed in the implementation of digital credentialing technology in your organization, it is important for you to pilot the program first. This will help you learn more about the challenges associated with implementing a digital credentialing program within your organization and how to overcome them. Your pilot program will allow you the opportunity to identify and resolve issues, so that your larger roll out can be successful. Start by rolling out the program in a small area or department within the organization and monitor the reaction of participants and any other challenges you may experience. Take everything one step at a time. If you work in a large organization and you have a multi-badge credentialing system, it is important to start small with a number of departments or badges and then roll out the whole system gradually. This will help you monitor the implementation and correct any anomaly before it becomes an issue that can negatively impact the adoption of the program. Work on finding solutions to any challenge you identify before rolling the program out to other groups within the organization.
The creation of digital credentials involves a lot of skills and planning, which may require working with a number of different organizations to make the program successful. There are a number of organizations that offer support to companies and businesses implementing digital credentialing systems. At Reva Digital, we work with BadgeOS and leverage open source solutions like WordPress and LearnDash, which offer great community support, often at no additional cost. Working with such organizations will help you avoid a number of challenges associated with digital credentialing. It is also important to consult with organizations that have already implemented such programs as to learn from their experience.