History of Microcredential and Digital Badging Initiatives at Rutgers University
During the 2018 academic year, the Executive Committee of the University Senate charged the Instruction, Curricula, and Advising Committee (ICAC) to:
- Consider the feasibility of, and approach to, developing a complementary digital badging credentialing system at Rutgers University.
- Examine the complementary credentialing programs already in place at Rutgers.
- Make appropriate recommendations, including guidelines for departments and programs.
Recorded as Charge S-1805: Complementary Credential and Digital Badges for Rutgers University, the ICAC presented its response to the charge to the full University Senate on May 3, 2019 for a vote to affirm its recommendations to the University administration. The resolution was passed and presented to President Robert L. Barchi for consideration.
The President asked Barbara A. Lee, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (SVPAA) to appoint a committee to review the University Senate’s recommendations, and SVPAA Lee requested committee member nominations from the Provosts on each of the Chancellor-led campuses of the University. On November 1, 2019 SVPAA Lee informed the University Senate’s Executive Committee that the Digital Badging Committee had been appointed, with Gary A. Gigliotti, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs — Teaching and Assessment Research, serving as Chair, and she charged the committee to explore the feasibility of digital badging for the University, to consider the utilization of badges by peer institutions, and to provide recommendations for policy and procedures on their use, identity, creation, approval, community outreach and education, and overall program assessment at Rutgers.
The Digital Badging Committee began meeting in December 2019, and utilizing the requirements of the SVPAA’s charge, formed subcommittees to consider these six areas:
- Badging Procedures
- Software Platform Evaluation
- Badge Identity
A Chair or two Co-Chairs led the work of each subcommittee, and committee members elected to participate in the work of one or more subcommittees, which met on a periodic basis. Presentations by directors of digital badging programs at other institutions of higher education at these meetings served as the basis of discussion regarding the application and development of a digital badging program at Rutgers, and to learn from those who had moved from trial exploration into full university- and state-wide utilization of digital badging programs.
A Preliminary Report of the committee was submitted to SVPAA Lee on June 16, 2020 and following the receipt of positive feedback from her and the Provosts, the committee continued its work through the summer and fall semester, to complete its charge. The Final Report of the committee was submitted to Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (EVPAA) Prabhas V. Moghe on December 23, 2020. In 2021, EVPAA Moghe appointed a new Microcredentials Steering Committee to move the microcredentials and digital badging initiative forward at Rutgers. The Steering Committee worked with the Provosts across the University to put processes into place within each Chancellor-led unit, as well as with leadership of university-wide departments to manage the continuation of existing microcredentials and digital badges and the development of new offerings in these exciting learning opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members.
In 2023 the Accredible software platform began managing the creation, distribution, and maintenance of digital credentials across the university, and in June of that year digital certificates were added to the offerings of digital credentials at Rutgers.