Micro-Course and Micro-Credential Development Information

Learn more about how you can be a micro-course instructor or award digital badges at UMB

Badging Cost 

Receiving micro-credentials is free. However, there is a cost associated with awarding them to learners. See below for more information:

Badges Awarded by Initial Funding Departments

The UMB Badging Initiative is jointly funded by The Office of Emergency Management, UMBPD, and UMB Student Affairs. Offices that fall within those departments or divisions can award badges at no cost.


Badges Awarded by Non-Initial-Funding Departments

Badges are $4.00 for each individual badge awarded to a recipient. Payment is to be made by the department awarding the badges and is due to UMB Student Affairs by April 30th of each year. For more information about payments, contact Ray Dudeck at Rdudeck@umaryland.edu.


Digital Badging Grants

The Learning Institute does offer financial support to groups looking to partner in awarding badges to students. To apply for financial support and award badges for no cost, contact Greg Brightbill at Gbrightbill@Umaryland.edu.

Become a Micro-Course Instructor 

Who can teach a micro-course?
The Learning Institute believes that anyone can be a teacher. While we cannot pay any of our micro-course instructors, we are excited to offer them an opportunity to be an educator here at UMB. So, if you are an expert in a specific area or are passionate about a particular topic, submit a micro-course proposal using our online form! This opportunity is open to UMB students, staff, and faculty! If you have questions about developing a micro-course, contact Dr. Gregory A. Brightbill at Gbrightbill@umaryland.edu.

What are the steps for designing and implementing a micro-course? 

Here are the steps to building a micro-course:

  1. Identify the learning objectives: Determine what the learners need to know and what specific skills they need to acquire.
  2. Break down the content into small, manageable chunks: Divide the content into short, focused segments that can be easily consumed in just a few minutes.
  3. Choose the right format: Decide on the format that best suits the content and learning objectives. Some popular formats include videos, infographics, quizzes, and interactive games.
  4. Use technology to deliver the content: Use a learning management system or a mobile app to deliver the content to learners.
  5. Incorporate interactive elements: Add interactive elements, such as quizzes or games, to engage learners and help them retain the information better.
  6. Evaluate and refine: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the micro-learning course and make improvements based on learner feedback.
  7. Promote and market: Promote the micro-learning course to the target audience to ensure maximum engagement and participation.

Remember, the key to effective micro-learning is to keep it concise, relevant, and easily digestible for the learners.

Micro-Course Assessment Tips 

  1. Determine the program's purpose and intended outcomes: Identify the program's objectives, target audience, and intended learning outcomes. Ensure that the program's goals align with the needs of the target audience and the industry.
  2. Evaluate the program's design: Review the program's curriculum, instructional design, and assessment methods. Ensure that the program's design supports the achievement of the intended learning outcomes and incorporates best practices in adult learning.
  3. Assess the program's delivery: Observe the delivery of the program, including the quality of instruction, the support provided to learners, and the availability of learning resources. Evaluate the program's accessibility and ensure that it is delivered in a way that is inclusive and equitable.
  4. Evaluate the program's assessment: Evaluate the program's assessment methods to ensure that they align with the program's objectives and intended learning outcomes. Ensure that the assessments are reliable, valid, and aligned with industry standards.
  5. Measure the program's outcomes: Evaluate the program's outcomes to determine whether learners are achieving the intended learning outcomes and if the program is meeting its objectives. Collect feedback from learners and stakeholders to gain insight into the program's effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.
  6. Ensure compliance with relevant standards: Ensure that the program meets any relevant industry or regulatory standards and that it aligns with any relevant frameworks or guidelines.
  7. Continuously monitor and evaluate the program: Establish a process for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the program to ensure that it remains relevant and effective. Use the feedback collected from learners and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to the program.

Who can Award Micro-Credentials and Digital Badges 

Badges can be awarded by anyone at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Badges are awarded using an online tool called Badgr. Badgr is a free and open-source platform for badge issuing, management, and tracking user achievements. To access the online tool, individuals can go to https://umaryland.badgr.com/; then, using their UMB credentials, individuals can log into the platform to review the badges they have been awarded. Badges can then be externally shared to various social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, X (the company formerly known as Twitter), and embedded as a hyperlink for email signatures or on resumes/CVs.  

Individuals interested in awarding badges should first submit a badge proposal before they are granted access as a badge issuer in the badging platform Badgr.

Digital Badge and Micro-Credential Proposal Process 

Individuals interested in becoming badge issuers and awarding micro-credentials are required to submit a Micro-Credential Proposal. However, before starting the form, the following materials are needed:

  1. Micro-credential name (less than 35 characters)
  2. Brief description of micro-credential (less than 100 words or 750 characters)
  3. A digital graphic. Graphics should follow UMB branding standards, include the name of the micro-credential, and be an acceptable image file to Badgr. For examples, see the Learning Institute’s current badges.
  4. Micro-credential learning objectives. Micro-learning objectives should be brief, clearly outline the intended learning outcome, and should not exceed 5 learning objectives.
  5. Learning objective assessment measures overview

For each learning outcome, a clear and defined assessment measure should be used to evaluate if the learner has achieved and/or displayed the learning outcome. Assessment measures can be created at a later time in badge development; however, a brief overview of assessment measures should be included in the proposal.

Once an individual has compiled the 5 aforementioned items, they can apply to be a badge issuer using the Micro-Credential Proposal form. Micro-Credential Proposal forms are reviewed on a semi-weekly basis and applicants should expect to hear back in less than 10 business days.

Micro-Credential Proposal Form 
Click here to start filling out the micro-credential proposal form!