Speexx Exchange Podcast – Episode 25:
Badges and Credentials – A new currency for the digital world? with Doug Belshaw

Designing the Learning Experience

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Episode 25

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Do you know your way around badges and credentials? Or, are you like most people and struggle with the terminology and what achievements they actually recognize? Listen to this episode for an entertaining deep dive into the topic of badges and credentials, as Donald Taylor sits down with Dr. Doug Belshaw to discuss the importance, various fields of application, and actual value of badges and credentials. Some highlights include Dr. Belshaw addressing the question of credibility and verification of credentials, the difference between badges and credentials, and the motivation and value of a badge. How will hierarchy be influenced by badges and credentials in the future? Listen to hear more on this fascinating topic!

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Intro 0:01   

Welcome to the Speexx Exchange podcast with your host Donald Taylor. As a renowned learning and development industry expert, as well as chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute, Donald sits down with experts from around the globe to talk business communication, learning technology, language, digital transformation, and engaging, upskilling, and reskilling your organization. This podcast is brought to you by Speexx, the first intelligent language learning platform for the digital workplace. Listen in, and you might learn a thing or two. 

Donald Taylor 0:36   

Welcome to this episode of the Speexx Exchange podcast with me, your host, Don Taylor. With me is Dr. Doug Belshaw, co-founder of the We Are Open Co-Op. He’s based in the UK, but those few words don’t do enough to introduce you to Doug Belshaw. So, Doug, can you let us know something about yourself? 

Dr. Doug Belshaw 0:57   

Yes, of course, Don, thank you. Well, I was born at a young age, and since then, I’ve grown up quite a bit. I guess you’re interested in my professional life? 

Donald Taylor 1:05   

Yes, I should have said, please tell us about your professional life. Otherwise, we could be here for a long time. 

Dr. Doug Belshaw 1:11   

So, as you can hear, probably from my accent, I grew up and now live in the Northeast of England. I was a teacher, to begin with, a history teacher. Then I was director of eLearning at an academy, a large Academy in the Northeast of England. I went to work for Jisc, who I’m guessing some of your listeners will know of; educational technology in higher education. I then worked for Mozilla, which is essential to what we will be talking about today. They’re the people behind Firefox, but they also do many other things. Then I went to work for City and Guilds as a consultant. City and Guilds are a vocational credentialing body quite old in the UK. There I started my own business and set up a co-op. Then I worked with Moodle quite a bit, the LMS provider. I helped them establish a decentralized resource-sharing social network. Then since last year, so since 2020, I’ve gone back to working full time through the co-op that I founded five years ago, called We Are Open. We’ve got all kinds of clients from Greenpeace, Creative Commons, for-profit, nonprofit charities, all different types of organizations. 

Donald Taylor 2:12   

Fair enough to say that you