Digital Badge FAQ

You’ve earned a digital badge. What should you do with it?

  1. What are digital badges?
    • Digital badges serve as proof that the bearer has learned something. A badge is a signal to others that whoever owns it completed a set of learning objectives, such as mastering a new skill or developing subject-matter competency. Organizations, such as universities, create digital badges as credentials to provide confirmation that a student achieved a specific set of learning objectives.
    • Unlike a merit badge, a digital badge is represented on an electronic device by a visual image. This image functions as a link to a personalized web page with evidence that the bearer met the badge’s learning objectives. This is certified by a specific organization such as the University of Iowa Public Policy Center.
    • Digital badges are sometimes called micro-credentials because they are awarded for small, but significant, gains in learning.
  2. Why should I care about digital badges?
    • Earning digital badges is a fun, accessible, and new way to learn about topics you’re interested in.
    • Employers, graduate programs, and other organizations increasingly see digital badges as a way to encourage, recognize, and reward learning.
    • Digital badges pair well with other credentials, like college transcripts. Together, they provide a deeper profile of your knowledge and accomplishments.
  3. How do I claim a digital badge?
    • As soon as you complete all of the Levels of a badging module, including the assessment questions, you are eligible to receive a digital badge.
    • The Public Policy Center awards digital badges using Badgr, a free and widely used service. Once you earn a digital badge by completing a badging module, you can collect it in ICON or on Badgr’s web site.
    • To collect your digital badge on ICON, follow these steps.
      1. First, click on “Badges” on the left side of any page in your online learning module. If you have completed all of the criteria to earn the badge, you will see a green check mark.
      2. Second, click on “View Details.” A pop-up window will appear.
      3. Finally, you can download your badge by clicking “Download” or you can share it on social media by clicking one of the links under “Share on.”
    • To collect your digital badge on Badgr, follow these steps.
      1. First, go to
      2. Second, create an account using your email address (this step is crucial to be able to find your badges).
      3. Finally, log in using this new account. Any badges you earned using this email address will automatically be linked to your Badgr account, and can be downloaded and shared.
  4. Who should I share my digital badge with?
    • Digital badges are relatively new, but there are lots of people who would be interested in knowing you learned something and were awarded a badge. Employers, search committees, professors, family, and friends all will be interested in what you accomplished.
    • You can show off your digital badge—in much the same way you would frame your college diploma and hang it on the wall—in several ways.
      1. You can add a digital badge to your resume, CV, or other document. First, download the digital badge from ICON or Badgr as an image file, such as .png. You can now upload this image or copy-and-paste it wherever you want to share it.
      2. Be sure to include a link with it. This link takes whoever clicks on it to a page on Badgr that confirms its details, including learning objectives, who awarded the badge, and other useful information. You can share your digital badge with a link by locating it under “Badges” in ICON or logging into
  5. Can I earn more digital badges?
    • Yes! The Public Policy Center offers many digital badges to help you grow your skills while you’re a student at the University of Iowa. See the collection of badges here.