Exciting things are happening in the Instructure world! Today we welcomed Concentric Sky, the creators of Badgr, into the Instructure family.
Badgr, the longtime free micro-credentialing tool in Canvas LMS, has been rebranded as “Canvas Badges” as it joins the Instructure Learning Platform. The deal also makes Badgr Pro‘s advanced suite of tools available to our customers for an additional fee in new “Canvas Credentials,” offering unlimited badging, leaderboards, analytics and personalized pathway progress visualizations. I am thrilled about what this acquisition means for our incredible customers and education family.
A lot has been written about the skills gap—the gap between the skills college graduates bring to an employer and the skills they actually need to perform a job well. This has led to the need for graduates to prove skills at a higher level of granularity than a diploma or degree can indicate.
At the same time, enrollment in undergraduate and graduate programs has been trending downward since around 2012, with the pandemic turbocharging some of those declines. This has left colleges and universities looking for new ways to serve all students, with special emphasis on cultivating offerings for non-traditional students. At Instructure, we’re fortunate to work every day with educational institutions, so we see firsthand how they are innovating at incredibly fast paces to meet the changing demands and aspirations of an increasingly diverse student population.
One popular answer is using badges and pathways to help students develop and demonstrate essential skills. Verifiable, skill-aligned micro-credentials are fast becoming the currency between those learning outcomes and employment opportunities. We also know that these stackable credentials can help to keep students motivated and rewarded on the way to degrees.
In my work as an instructor with UC Irvine for the past seven years, I've had the privilege of teaching a certificate program, and have recently started issuing badges for specific skill deliverables in the class. So, as an advocate for verifiable credentials, it's personally exciting to see the industry moving in this direction.
We're even starting to see some K-12 institutions embrace the power of digital badging, which at its heart is a student-centered strategy. Most students are familiar with the concept of earning badges from activities outside of school, from scouting to video games to martial arts. Using badges in K-12 supports the growing emphasis on a competency-based approach in elementary and secondary education.
“I like to describe the work I do as creating a future I want to live in or my kids will want to live in, and this deal is a catalyst to move that vision forward at a faster pace,” said Wayne Skipper, founder and CEO of Concentric Sky. “The power of the Instructure Learning Platform is its commitment to openness and equity, and our two companies share a fundamental belief in the importance of open technology standards for advancing equity in education.”
It’s also worth noting that as part of Instructure's deep commitment to openness, Canvas LMS will continue to support the seamless integration of other third-party credential management and badging solutions.
This acquisition moves us further down the path of our customer-centric journey, and underscores Instructure’s commitment to building the education industry’s most integrated teaching and learning platform. On behalf of the entire Instructure community, welcome to the family Concentric Sky!