*Benjamin Roome, Ph.D., is Chief Product Officer for Badge List and Ethics Consultant at Ethical Resolve.
While competency-based education (CBE) has been around for many years, a number of forces are now advancing CBE to the forefront of the educational reform. Major initiatives include the U.S. Department of Education, the Lumina Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many others. This, in turn, is transforming how students, institutions, and employers think about education. Moving away from the traditional metric of “seat time,” proponents of CBE suggest representing learning through the lens of specific competencies. This has re-ignited a debate that has been simmering for decades, which helps highlight one of the many ways digital badges may serve educational reform more broadly.