Alternate Credentialing Forum

Held on Thursday, June 12, 2014

UMB’s Center for Innovation and Excellence in eLearning (CIIE), College of Advancing and Profession Studies (CAPS) will host an Alternate Credentialing Forum at the Corcoran-Jennison building (next to the Bayside Expo Center) on 150 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA.

The event is free to public but spaces are limited so registration at is suggested.


9:30 am: Coffee Hour
10:00 am: Keynotes
12:00 pm: Lunch then Breakout Sessions
2:30 pm: Adjourn

Keynote Speakers

Jonathan FinkelsteinLogos for Jonathan Finkelstein
Jonathan is founder and CEO of Credly, and director of the BadgeOS project, an open source system for recognizing and rewarding achievement. As founder of LearningTimes, he has worked with mission-driven organizations to produce and launch innovative online programs and events. He is author of Learning in Real Time (Wiley), contributing author to The Digital Museum, and co-author of a report for the US Department of Education on the potential for digital badges.

Erin KnightBadge Alliance logo
Erin is the Executive Director of Badge Alliance. Previously, she was Senior Director of Learning of Mozilla Foundation where she implemented Open Badges, a system for credentialing and accreditation in support of broader learning across the Web and lifetimes. Erin was one of the progenitors of the badge movement. She also served as Research Director at the Center for Next Generation Teaching and Learning, a nonprofit of UC Berkeley committed to researching and promoting technology practices for student-centered learning. She also did product management at

Archived Recordings of the Keynote Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks: Dr. Philip DiSalvio, Dean, College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS), University of Massachusetts Boston.
  2. Overview of Badges and BadgeAlliance: Erin Knight, Executive Director of BadgeAlliance.
  3. Use Cases and Examples: Jonathan Finkelstein, founder and CEO of Credly.
  4. Questions, Answers, Comments and Reflections, Further Discussion

Breakout Sessions

(Note: breakout sessions were not recorded and archived.)

Badge Awards in a Credit Based Online Graduate Course

Graduate students of a traditional course describe earning badges to augment traditional credits. Ruth Ronan, Bram Moreinis and Victoria Schein, students in “Design and Instruction of Online Courses” taught by Apostolos Koutropoulos, present reactions to inclusion of badge awards in a conventional graduate course. Koutropoulos notes "A" grades in a graduate course indicate students have met the rubric for assignments, but give no indication about other important aspects of student behaviors, such as collegiality, inquisitiveness, helpfulness to other students, all of which go beyond the rubric to create professional work.

Quinsigamond Community College Adoption of Blackboard Achievements

Judy Colson of Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) will discuss the early planning and adoption of the achievement badge functionality within Blackboard Learn 9. Dr. Colson has starting using badges on a small scale in Introduction to Psychology, a course for which she recently received a 2014 Course of Distinction Award from Mass Colleges Online. She is currently working with the QCC library to expand research badges to the rest of her college community. She’ll describe information she’s learned from those with extensive alternate credentialing experience and seek feedback on her institution’s adoption process.

Publisher Coursepacks, Adaptive Learning and the OER Movement

Mark Lewis, UMass Boston’s Manager of eLearning and Instructional Design Services will describe publisher-produced “coursepacks” which load seamlessly into learning management systems, and will explore adaptive learning systems. Dr. Lewis will then propose similar integration strategies as the optimal goal for developers of open educational resources (OER) and will lead group discussion on the relationships among OER strategies, publisher materials, and alternate credentialing systems, posing key questions about adaptive learning and the ways alternate credentialing can accommodate alternative learning systems.