Teaching online has bubbled up to the forefront of my consideration. A lot of active processing during the last few days has been devoted to thinking about it. Credentialism is real. People are seeking out new credentials. Employers value credentials. Some careers are so specialized that breaking into a field almost requires some type of credential. Based on my initial analysis it is pretty easy to conclude that the future of online education will include credentials.
Some people have even gone as far as talking about earning educational badges. A college package could easily be developed that presented a huge bucket of potential educational badges that students could earn. Students would have to earn a certain number of badges in a certain number of buckets to have a degree confirmed upon them from the college or university. I believe that the future will probably include educational badges in some form. It might be digital badges, open badges, or some other incarnation of that model.
The type of online classes I have facilitated could easily be converted into badge components or badges in and of themselves. At some point, the semester or quarter system might even fade away into class lengths that are built based on the badge being earned.