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Information for Faculty and Staff

Boise State Digital Badge Fast Facts

Issuer — Boise State University via SkillStack

  • Programs/departments interested in issuing badges as an alternative method of validating knowledge, skills, and abilities (i.e. competencies) demonstrated by learners.
  • Boise State SkillStack is available for faculty, staff and students. Badging details are easily uploaded to Mozilla Backpack, LinkedIn, etc.

Target Audience(s) for Digital Badges

  • Existing academic students seeking additional specificity in the validation of demonstrated knowledge, skills, and abilities (i.e. competencies)
  • Non-credit students/individuals engaged in high quality non-credit programs (i.e. Center for Professional Development). Previously undervalued non-credit learning experiences will now include validation of knowledge, skills, and abilities (i.e. competencies) gained through these offerings.
  • Boise State University employees (i.e. use as a tool for tracking and encouraging employee training and development)

Digital Badge Storage

  • Stored using Idaho SkillStack (
  • Secure
  • Accessible to individuals regardless of whether or not they are a current student
  • Easily uploaded to Mozilla backpack, LinkedIn, etc. so that individuals can aggregate badges from multiple sources
  • Accessible to potential employers and others for those who do not use Mozilla. Links may be provided by individuals via “student” specific URL and/or QR code.

Development and Approval Process

Given the newness of digital badges at Boise State, we are interested in growing options and encouraging departments and programs to experiment with the concept. Faculty guidance on the matter so far has indicated a preference for limiting the formality of an approval process so that departments and programs are free to innovate. That said, quality is of utmost importance in the development of a badge and departments are responsible for reviewing the criteria for each badge they develop. The corresponding competencies, and the relevance of the assessment/evidence used must be equal to the task of placing Boise State’s name and reputation on the badge.

Departments and programs interested in developing a digital badge

  • Notify Peter Risse ( of their interest in developing a badge. Risse will provide “Notice of Intent” to SkillStack.
  • Review this document and attached examples
  • Develop a badge for review. Include the following:
    • Issuer (department or program)
    • Department contact/badge administrator
    • Badge Name
    • Badge description
    • Competencies appropriate to the defined outcomes (will vary)
    • Method of evaluating/assessing the competencies
    • Preferred starting date (adherence to semester schedules is not required)
    • Limits to the time a badge earner has to submit their evidence (adherence to semester schedules is not required)
    • Standards (if applicable, i.e. does it connect to an industry or licensure standard/requirement?)
    • Expiration (if applicable, i.e. badge expires based on the need to update competency or refresh skill over time—i.e. industry or licensure standard or simply because it should be updated)
    • Tags (if applicable, meta-tags)
    • Related badges (if applicable, multiple sub-badges may be stacked to achieve a “super” or “uber” badge)
  • Schedule a brief consultation with Peter Risse ( for assistance with:
    • Internal institutional approval –designee of President required (Sharon Patterson for Boise State)
    • Format of learning outcomes/competencies for upload
    • Submission of badge upload document and how skills/competencies will be assessed to Division of Career-Technical Education
    • Creation of digital badge art
    • Registration/fee support

Division of Career and Technical Education (CTE) partner roles and responsibilities

As an active partner in facilitating and supporting the development and storage of digital badges, the Idaho Division of Career and Technical Education (CTE) will review proposed badges and related competencies in preparation for upload into the SkillStack system. Please note:

  • Badges should not replicate industry certifications unless there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. high cost, no access to testing centers, etc.). However, multiple sub-badges that would indicate an individual is prepared for industry certification are acceptable.
  • Badges that support “soft skills” are encouraged with the caveat that special attention needs to be given to the assessment so that it is consistent across instructors and could potentially be scaled to a statewide level if appropriate.

CTE Process

  • 1. Once provided with “Notice of Intent” (submitted by Peter Risse) to create a new badge, the Division of Career-Technical Education will:
    • Review SkillStack to determine if a similar badge exists. If there is a similar badge, the Division will provide the learning outcomes/competencies and facilitate a discussion as to how the existing badge may be adopted by Boise State.
    • If a similar badge does not exist, the Division will provide feedback that should be considered in creation of the badge, connect programs that may be considering similar badges or decline the badge if it is not aligned with the intent of SkillStack.
  • 2. Division reviews/approves within 2 weeks
  • 3. If approved, upload badge, provide access to approvers

Badge Art

As a benefit of Boise State’s partnership with Idaho SkillStack, all badge art is developed by SkillStack designers for a nominal fee to the issuing program/department. This enables the system to maintain a consistent look that is easily recognizable by all. Badge issuers will have the ability to provide input into the artwork itself. Badge colors and shapes will be determined by our SkillStack partners. While the badges themselves will be consistent in look, all SkillStack badges delivered by Boise State will be clearly identified as having been delivered by Boise State.


As soon as all approvals are obtained, artwork is completed, and departmental processes are in place, market and launch your badge!

Periodic Review

Boise State is still in the process of developing digital badge periodic review standards. As with any program, periodic assessment of your digital badge program is encouraged. We will keep the campus-community up to date on changes as they are developed.

Badge Administration

Departments will need to identify an “administrator” who will have access to the system for the purposes of uploading program and student information and entering completion of competencies to SkillStack.