ITCC Innovation Award: IBM and Acclaim honored by IT Certification Council

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The ITCC Innovation Award was given to two winners in 2017.

ITCC Chair Kristin Wall Gibson presents the 2017 Innovation award to David Leaser (left) and Peter Janzow.

On Feb. 26, a muffed envelope hand-off at the 89th Academy Awards resulted in two films being identified, one after the other, as winner of the prestigious Best Picture Oscar. Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced that La La Land had won the big prize, followed a few chaotic minutes later by the identification of Moonlight as the actual winner.

One week later, on March 5, the IT Certification Council presented is own equivalent of a Best Picture Oscar, the annual Innovation Award, to two separate winners. Is there something in the water at awards shows this season? The answer is no, at least as far as the ITCC is concerned. There was no botched presentation, and no onstage confusion in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Rather, the IT Certification Council, for the first time in the brief history of the Innovation Award, recognized a joint effort. The 2017 Innovation Award was presented to both David Leaser, accepting on behalf of IBM Training and Skills, and Peter Janzow, accepting on behalf of Acclaim, a digital badging venture owned and operated by Pearson VUE.

The tag team victory began at IBM, where the certification team recently started using digital badges as incentives to promote learning. Acclaim supported the effort through its increasingly popular digital badging platform, which, up to this point, had mostly been used to replace paper certifications with digital doppelgangers.

There are numerous benefits to any certification program of flushing paper credentials out of the system and replacing them digitally-created and digitally-issued certifications, which can be easily shared and identified online. IBM’s use of digital badges to recognize completion of learning goals is carrying the banner for what is shaping up to be the next hot trend in badging.

Earlier this week, Microsoft Learning launched a similar program through its Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). Learners who complete a “learning path,” as laid out by MVA educators, receive a digital badge.

The IT Certification Council created the Innovation Award to recognize “achievements or innovations from a team for the creation of a product, service, or initiative that results in a positive impact to their company or the IT certification industry.” The award has presented annually since 2015.

This year’s award was presented at the ITCC Member Meeting during the Innovations in Testing Conference in Scottsdale.

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