Innovations That Inspire

Deakin Hallmarks

Recognition Year(s): 2017
School: Deakin Business School, Deakin University
Location: Australia

Innovation Statement

The Deakin Hallmarks initiative uses digital badging technology to recognize outstanding student achievement at the course level, as well as seven capabilities that are key to employment success. The approach is intended to encourage a mindset whereby students take responsibility of tracking and demonstrating their own capabilities.

Call to Action

The Deakin Hallmarks initiative is motivated by at least three factors:

  1.  Graduates are finding it harder than ever to break into the workforce, and there is a need to enable graduates to go beyond their degrees to better position themselves.
  2. The corporate world is increasingly emphasizing the importance of highly developed soft skills combined with in-depth disciplinary knowledge.
  3. Social media is an important source of employment and a valuable tool in the construction of the professional identities of graduates.

Innovation Description

The Deakin Hallmark is a micro-credential given in recognition of outstanding student achievement in one of seven key employability capabilities: global citizenship, problem solving, self-management, teamwork, communication, critical thinking and digital literacy. Each Hallmark is created and assessed at a program or discipline specialization level enabling the holistic demonstration of employability skills in a professional context.

Deakin faculty collaborate with industry partners to identify a specific employability capability that will feature in a Hallmark. Such collaborations will include hands on feedback in shaping its design and co-creating the assessment of quality: including criteria, standards of achievement, and the time frame for assessment.

Students are encouraged to nominate themselves to a Deakin Hallmark, and it is their responsibility to create and curate evidence that meets the Hallmark requirements. This approach is intended to encourage a mindset whereby students take responsibility for collecting and articulating evidence of their own capabilities.

A panel selected from the Deakin faculty and the industry partner or partners jointly assess student achievement and also provide feedback that is aimed at enabling students to further enhance their employability.

A student that meets the criteria for a Deakin Hallmark receives their award as a digital badge that bears the insignia of Deakin University, the icon and name of the employability capability, a brief description, the criteria, the identities of the assessment panel, and the student’s submission. The Hallmark may also include the name of the industry partner. Deakin Hallmarks can be readily shared using social media such as LinkedIn and are recorded on the academic transcript.


Three Deakin Hallmarks were launched in 2016:

  • Hallmark in Communication in the Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Hallmark in Global Citizenship in the MBA, and Hallmark in Communication in the Master of Arts and Cultural Management.

  • A further four Hallmarks are currently being developed for launch in 2017: Hallmark in Teamwork in the Bachelor of Property and Real Estate, Hallmark in Communication in the Master of Human Resource Management, Hallmark in Global Citizenship in the Bachelor of Commerce, and Hallmark in Problem Solving in the Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing).

Five students have been awarded Deakin Hallmarks to date. The success of two accounting students in achieving the Hallmark in Communication was highlighted in a recent article in a national newspaper (see the reference links). In the article, one of students stated that their Deakin Hallmark would be featured on their resume underscoring the use of a Hallmark as an important differentiator in a competitive employment market.

Reference Links