Employer Information

Some of the intended audiences for Mblem Digital Badges are businesses and firms in the worldwide workforce who employ University of Michigan graduates. Below are some frequently asked questions about digital badges in general, and specifically the Mblem program.

What are Mblem digital badges?

Please see our program page for a definition of digital badges and our approach here at the University of Michigan.

What skills are recognized in Mblem digital badges?

In the initial pilot, M-ENGIN, the Engineering Program of M-STEM Academies, recognized co-curricular learning in Community Service, Cross-Cultural Experiences, Entrepreneurial Mindset, Ethics, Intellectual Curiosity, Leadership, Professional Development, and Science and Engineering Research. Since that time, individual programs have expanded and refined these skillsets for their relevant populations.

What can Mblem digital badges be used for?

Digital badges can serve a variety of purposes. Some employers have reported using digital badges for the following activities for both applicants and hired employees:

  • Documenting and verifying skills/competencies (job readiness, 21st century skills) of job applicants
  • Identifying skill gaps / training needs
  • Illustrating pathways for career development
  • Stipulating requirements for a posted position (e.g., "Applicant should have at least an Intermediate level Mblem digital badge in Leadership")
  • Employee performance reviews
  • Content for electronic portfolios, resumes, and other applicant materials

Why should I trust an Mblem digital badge?

All of the information about the trustworthiness of a badge can be found within the badge itself (the metadata). This includes both the criteria and the evidence submitted for each achievement. Employers can judge the suitability of an individual Mblem digital badge by reviewing this metadata. For more information on the application and review process, please see our program page.

What metadata are included in Mblem digital badges?

Each Mblem digital badge contains the name of the achievement, a short description, a link to the specific criteria, a link to the submitted evidence, and the date when the when the digital badge was issued. All Mblem digital badges also include the name and website address of the issuing organization, the University of Michigan.

How can I see an earned Mblem digital badge?

Each person who earns an Mblem digital badge has the choice to publicly share their achievement using the Mozilla Backpack. In the backpack, earners may curate badges from multiple sources into public collections that can be displayed in online venues such as digital resumes, ePortfolios, and social networking websites.

How can I verify an Mblem digital badge?

Mblem digital badges are compliant with the Open Badges Initiative (OBI) standard, an open source common framework for issuing, collecting, and displaying digital badges. The OBI standard establishes a direct and permanent link to issuing organization (i.e., The University of Michigan) for each digital badge created. The included metadata (e.g., descriptions, criteria, and evidence) also encourage and permit direct verification of any aspect of the digital badge.

I have heard of "open badges." Are Mblem digital badges "open?"

The term "open badges" is a distinction within the broader category of digital badges. Mblem digital badges are compliant with the Open Badges Initiative (OBI) standard, which has the goal of ensuring interoperability in the badge environment. Non-open badges are sometimes issued internally within single organizations and some software platforms issue proprietary badges that are of their own design and not compliant with the open badges standard.

This FAQ has been adapted from the Badge Alliance Workforce Workgroup's "Workforce FAQ." The original work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.