Katie Davis and Bob Boiko interviewed about badges in the PSBJ

The concept of awarding badges for a new skill has been around awhile - think Scouting. But what if the same concept could be used to enhance your resume?

The Open Badges initiative led by Mozilla, with the help of the MacArthur Foundation, helps any organization create an online badge to enable someone to identify an earned skill.

The story was picked up in a recent Puget Sound Business Journal article entitled, "Badges? You may be asked to show one to prove a skill."

Assistant Professor Katie Davis and Senior Lecturer Bob Boiko were interviewed for the article because of their work on the subject. Davis has a research grant to explore how badging systems might fit into the K-12 public school framework to enhance student motivation and learning. Boiko has experimented with non-digital badges as a motivator in one of his iSchool undergraduate classes. Boiko reports that "they worked best when displayed online, where other students could see them."

There is a difference of opinion in academic circles about the merits of badges, based on who issues them - universities, training organizations, or employers.

"What is the function of the university in this world when everyone can get a badge? I've been discussing it with colleagues," Boiko said. "Is that as good as a college education? Should we embrace it or fight it? Or should we be the badge-giver?"