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HopeLives365 Online University’s

Digital Badges Policy

1. PURPOSE
The purpose of this policy is to establish the guidelines for the use of digital badges that are awarded by HopeLives365 Online University (“the University”).

2. BACKGROUND
The University is committed to providing online courses developed to train and further equip local pastors, lay leaders, and members to be effective in ministry, in leadership and in sharing the love of Christ within their congregation and community. We believe that communicating your earned credentials in a way that is easily verifiable can be beneficial to you and others as you grow in your knowledge of God’s word. So, we have established a program to provide you with a digital version of your credentials – a digital badge. Digital badges can be shared via email signatures and on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This digital image/URL contains verifiable information (metadata) that describes your qualifications, the source (the University), and the criteria required to earn them.

3. PRINCIPLES
The University is committed to ensuring the integrity and credibility of its digital badges. Digital badges represent the attainment of knowledge and information determined by the successful completion of criteria designed, by the University, to achieve a set of learning objectives and outcomes.

4. DEFINITIONS AND TERMS
Digital Badge: Use of digital technologies to represent various learning achievements; electronic badges include metadata on the evidence of learning and link back to the University and the criteria for awarding the achievements.

5. RESPONSIBILITIES
A digital badge(s) is awarded after a detailed review of the student’s transcripts by the University to verify that he/she met the highest standards of achievement. For example, the number of times the student attempted an assessment before succeeding, the accuracy of the responses, and the grade/score. For example, the University’s standard passing grade for any assessment is 70%, but to be considered a candidate for a digital badge the student must score 90% or higher. Digital badges are created and administered by the University’s staff using the Badgr platform. Badgr is trusted by over 20,000 issuing organizations spanning over 140 countries. Millions of users earn, share, and use digital credentials in Badgr every day.

6. PROCEDURES
6.1 Permissions and Usage
6.1.1 The University
The University will permit the use of digital badges for the purposes of acknowledging and rewarding the achievements of students across selected courses/programs.

6.1.2 Digital Credentials
The earning of a digital badge symbolizes the attainment of knowledge and information evaluated by the number of times the student attempted an assessment before succeeding, the accuracy of the responses, and the grade/score. The earner must demonstrate their knowledge by achieving a passing score of 90% or higher. Digital badges provide evidence of achievements and are NOT to be used as an acknowledgment of an endorsement by the University.

6.1.3 Ownerships
The awarding and ownership of a digital badge is the right of the University. It is also the right of the University to revoke a digital badge. A reason for having to revoke someone’s digital badge maybe that new standards (for example, an increase in scoring levels or new requirement to complete additional coursework) are established; the past digital credentials would be revoked; when the individual meets the new criteria, the digital credential can be reissued with the new criteria “baked” into the newly issued digital badge.

The revoking of a digital badge could also be done at the request of the earner. For example, the earner may ask for the digital credential to be revoked because he or she suspects the digital credential has been compromised. Issuing or re-issuing a new badge requires the earner to pay a small fee associated with the setup and configuration of the badge.

In summary, revocation could be sought due to:

  • Change in criteria
  • Compromise of the digital credential

6.1.4 Digital Badge Taxonomy
The University’s digital badges are designed and developed in accordance with the open digital badge industry standards adhered to by Badgr and widely adopted by institutions of learning.

7. FEATURES
The University’s digital badge design and content ensures that consistency in brand representation can be maintained across social media, and other online platforms, and the University can be distinguished from other educational institutions offering digital badges. One of the characteristics of badges is that they inform and engage both earners, and those wishing to validate the credentials, with accessible, accurate, verifiable, and credible information about the knowledge that was recognized.
Each badge will have two central features as follows:

  1. Badge Image and URL. The image/URL will be the visual representation of the learning objectives and criteria that have been satisfied.
  2. Metadata. Key packets of information that provide a basis for determining the validity of the information and knowledge that have been acquired by the earner and the means by which it was achieved, including the following: Badge name (e.g. Search for Certainty – Certification Badge);
    • Short description (e.g. this student has successfully completed the Search for Certainty 30-lesson program)
    • Criteria (e.g. this student has completed the Search for Certainty 30-lesson Bible study program and achieved an above-average score in their assessments)
    • Issuer (e.g. the University)
    • Date issued

8. CLAIMING YOUR DIGITAL BADGE
Every badge recipient will receive two emails. The first email will be from the University informing the recipient that he/she has been awarded a digital badge. Shortly thereafter, a second email with an invitation from Badgr to accept/view the badge will be sent, which also includes steps for the recipient to create/login to his/her FREE Badgr account. The recipient will also have the option to share his/her digital badge on any social media platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) and email signature lines.

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