Fellows | 10 May 2019

Summer Public Fellow Collaboration Leads to White Paper


Aaron Aruck Authors White Paper for Badge List

Public Fellow Aaron Aruck, PhD Candidate in History at UC Santa Cruz, spent part of his 2018 summer working with Bay-Area 
startup, Badge List. As a result of this collaboration, Aruck authored a white paper: “Digital Credentialing for Professional Development Organizations: Benefits, Insights, and Recommendations”, published this spring.

Digital credentialing is a process of assigning badges—like digital certificates—to track and reward professional development achievement. Aruck examined how this technology helps staff and student engagement with professional development. His study found that digital credentialing encourages “social learning” and, among other outcomes, makes it easier to measure progress towards professional development goals.

Badge List is a learning-technology startup that helps companies, schools and professional development organizations “make skills visible and trackable by creating digital badges to represent them.” The company’s goal is to make “the opportunities afforded by knowledge accessible to every human on the planet,” and was co-founded by Ben Roome, who holds a PhD from the Philosophy department at UC Santa Cruz.

Roome noted that “Aaron did an exceptional job interviewing professional development leaders in multiple contexts and reporting on the impact of digital credentials for learning organizations.” He added: “This report is a notable contribution to the field and a benefit to anyone looking to understand more about the uses of digital credentials for guiding, tracking and encouraging professional learning.”

Read the white paper here.