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NSO Digital Badges



15 May 17

Digital Badging at NSO

By Lieutenant Commander Rémi Tremblay
Standards, Evaluation and Training Department

For more than 60 years, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) has been issuing course certificates as a way of recognizing the knowledge and skills developed by students during residential and online courses. While these course certificates have traditionally been well received by both students and sponsoring organizations, they were often of little practical value in helping students promote their credentials and achievements to potential employers, colleagues, and friends. As part of modernization, the NSO has entered into a pilot project with Acclaim to offer a digital badge in addition to the traditional course certificate for graduates of select courses from May to December 2017.

A digital badge is essentially a validated indicator of accomplishment that will enable NSO students and instructors to share their credentials on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, via email or embedded in a personal website, in a way that can be credibly verified. When an individual clicks on a digital badge earned by an NSO student or instructor it will allow them to see the degree of effort that the graduate has invested into earning the badge and the associated knowledge, skills and proficiencies that they have demonstrated. This real time verification individual accomplishment provides a level of credibility and transparency that is not currently available through most professional websites or online portfolios.

The NSO is the first military organization to provide a digital badging solution using the Acclaim platform. In doing so, the NSO is joining other institutions and companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, University of Utah, Capella University and IBM in offering digital badges to our graduates in recognition of their resumé-worthy achievements. During the pilot project the NSO will assess the overall level of effort required to provide digital badges to students and the overall desire of students to receive and display their digital badges. At the conclusion of the pilot project in December 2017, the NSO will evaluate the overall success of this initiative and determine the way forward for this initiative in 2018. If you would like more information on the NSO Digital Badging initiative, please contact LCdr Remi Tremblay, Director of Standards, Evaluation and Training at the NSO.