Show Me Your Badge: Enticing Faculty to Take Part in Professional Development Through Micro-credentialing

Concurrent Session 4

Brief Abstract

This session will describe one institution’s approach to moving faculty professional development online and incentivizing this training through a micro-credentialing, or badging, process.  This incentive program will entice faculty to take part in institutional professional development and assure they acquire skills relevant to their teaching.

Extended Abstract

Pursuing professional development is encouraged and supported in higher education.  In most cases, faculty can use these professional development opportunities to further their advancement in rank.  Not only do these opportunities help advance their professional endeavors, but they also help seasoned faculty develop and maintain the skills necessary to be successful leaders in the classroom by learning new teaching styles and technology advances.  Most institutions design internal professional development training specifically for the needs of their own faculty.  Faculty take part in professional development to aid in developing skills, but many times they don’t walk away with the skills they had hoped, or there is no way to determine if they fully understand how to apply the concepts learned in these professional development sessions.  Training opportunities may be abundant on campuses, but if these opportunities don’t fully meet the needs of their faculty then the time and effort put into developing these training opportunities are pointless. 


An approach to rethinking faculty professional development on campus can be seen through the use of a micro-credentialing, or badging, system.  Micro-credentialing, or badging, has become popular for many external professional leadership organizations.  Participants earn an electronic badge upon mastery, or competency, of a particular skill or set of skills has gained interest in.  Faculty, like students, are encouraged by incentives that prove they have acquired a new set of skills to add to their educator's toolbox.  By incorporating this badging design process into internal professional development opportunities, institutions can design and identify competencies to ensure their training aligns with the needs of their faculty.  


Attendees of this session will learn about the current development of a badging system for faculty professional development.  Conversation and feedback will be encouraged, particularly around how these opportunities have improved faculty involvement in professional development.  Discussion on the development of a badging system tied into an online instructor certification will be shared during this session.  Examples will be shared regarding the design and implementation of a current badging system through the institution’s LMS.


Specific Objectives for this session:

  • Identify the process of implementing a badging program for institutional professional development.
  • Analyze the design process of moving professional development to an online format
  • Evaluate one institution’s plan for redesigning its faculty professional development opportunities