Excel at teamwork? Now you can earn a 'Digital Badge' to show off on LinkedIn

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FCC Digital badging

Fresno City College has become the first community college in our area to use "digital badges".

The tool will help students lock down jobs faster by validating the achievement of different achievements or skill sets.

"In the first class that we are rolling out it deals with soft skills -- basic skills such as teamwork, communication and decision making," said professor Lydia Anderson, whose online business management class is where these badges have begun being awarded.

The badges are similar to the ones a Cub Scout earns, except they are purely digital in nature. To earn them, students have to score a 90% or higher on all related coursework. They can then attach them to their LinkedIn or other professional sites for potential employers to see.

"Traditionally they [students] had to wait for their grades or transcripts to be posted and in this case their employer can immediately log into their LinkedIn account, pull up the account and validate what criteria had to be met," Anderson said.

The badges are currently only being offered in Anderson's class, which gives them the opportunity to earn up to 13 as part of the course. Students can then upgrade their badges, starting from bronze and going up to gold, the highest level for which they must demonstrate hands-on application.

Anderson says the badges have been a great motivator for her students.

"They were very competitive and that is a good thing, because they were competing against themselves," she said. "Anything that keeps my students engaged and helps them meet their career goals makes me happy."

The ultimate goal is to have digital badges offered in all Career Technical Education Classes on campus. Next semester they'll be offered in a new course -- human relations.
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