ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and Volunteering Experience) is NUI Galway’s student volunteer programme. Students (or staff) who participate in volunteering activities, (minimum 10 hours), are eligible to receive the ALIVE certificate, awarded at a graduation ceremony held every year. These students have the opportunity to enrich their personal development and employability skills; have a fun experience and made new life long friends; learn from community which could enhance academic learning and build personal knowledge and skills while contributing to the capacity of community.
To allow students to display and showcase their volunteering experiences online, ALIVE decided to offer a digital badge to students to complement their paper certificate. In summer 2015, over 900 staff and students were issued with the first ALIVE digital badge.
The badges were issued via the Achievements tool in Blackboard. A module space was developed on Blackboard to educate students about badges, to allow recipients to claim their badge and to outline how to export their badge to display it on social networks, online CVs etc. The pilot is continuing in 2016, with again over 900 students expected to earn the ALIVE badge.