“Every adventure requires a first step”: Initiating digital badging programs at two very different highered institutions
Concurrent Session 2
Instituiton A and Institution B are two very different higher education institutions; yet, there are very interesting similarities and differences in their approaches to starting digital badging programs.This session will provide a glimpse into both experiences and recommendations for starting a program at your institution.
The Institution A and Institution B are two very different higher education institutions. Institution A is a large, public, Research 1 institution with over 13,000 undergraduate students. Institution B is a small, private, liberal arts college with just over 1,700 undergraduate students. Both institutions have a reputation for quality, scholarship and innovation in teaching and learning. Undergraduate students leave these institutions well positioned to pursue careers in their chosen fields. But both institutions have recognized and acknowledged that the degrees and associated transcripts from their programs of study do not paint the complete picture of the learning and skills that these students have acquired during their time on campus. Many of these undocumented competencies are commonly referred to as 21st century skills; these include, but are not limited to, the following skill areas: oral and written communication, critical thinking, teamwork, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, perseverance, information literacy, technology skills and digital literacy, global awareness, social responsibility, and civic literacy. These are consistent with the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) career ready competencies which also include skills like equity & inclusion, leadership and professionalism. And students at both institutions are gaining these competencies across both curricular and co-curricular experiences. In order to capture this lost information to present a more comprehensive record of graduates’ learning while at the institution, both Institution A and Institution B have started digital badging programs.
The badges earned in these programs complement the traditional record of learning, the transcript, by adding a level of transparency into specific learning outcomes achieved in courses in the curricular space and giving voice to the many skills gained by students through their co-curricular experiences. As a result, these badging initiatives lay the groundwork for the implementation of a Comprehensive Learner Record, or CLR, in which learners can curate and share all of their achieved credentials, including those beyond their current degree pursuits, as part of their lifelong learning journey. Institution A has begun the process of implementing a CLR and will share insights on their progress thus far.
During this session, the presenters will share their experiences starting these various initiatives and will highlight the similarities and differences in their approaches. They will provide background on what digital badges are and the value they bring to students, the institution, and to potential employers. They will outline and describe the processes, people, and other resources involved including the roles and responsibilities of instructional and technology support staff. They will share their lessons learned and make recommendations for starting a similar program at your institution.
The presenters will use the following methods to infuse interactivity into the session for participant engagement:
- A Jamboard, or similar technology, will be used to allow participants to share their challenges, opportunities and solutions
Interactive polls will be introduced during specific areas of the presentation to interject participant experiences
Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:
- Identify key steps in starting a digital badging initiative
- Describe what is meant by a comprehensive learner record (CLR)
- Compare and contrast challenges and opportunities associated with strategic transformation at small and large highered institutions
- Identify key campus stakeholders to include in the strategic planning and execution of a digital badging program