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Treasure in the Sierra Madre? Digital badges and educational development



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In “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” a bandit famously says, “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” This session will provide a rebuttal and will showcase ways badges are being used effectively in faculty development.

Resumes and certificates have limited value in representing our capabilities; digital badges help by visually communicating that we can demonstrate certain skills. As this session starts, participants will begin earning their own badges. Following an overview of how badging works, presenters from a variety of institutions will describe how they are using badges in educational development. The examples range from a small homegrown program to a major statewide initiative. To wrap things up, participants will work on developing badges that faculty could earn at their home institutions.

Bandits may not need badges, but faculty developers can use them to communicate achievement.

Alex Ambrose, University of Notre Dame ( )
Chris Clark, University of Notre Dame ( )
Gwynn Mettetal, IU South Bend ( )
Robin Sullivan, State University of New York at Buffalo (
Dave Pedersen, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University ( )*
* Prior collaborator and co-presenter at POD.

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Treasure in the Sierra Madre? Digital badges and educational development

  1. 1. Alex Ambrose, Notre Dame Chris Clark, Notre Dame Gwynn Mettetal, Indiana University South Bend Roberta (Robin) Sullivan, University at Buffalo (SUNY) Presentation:
  3. 3. A. Never heard of digital badges. B. Heard about them ... want to learn more. C. I know all about those stinkin’ badges. Step 1: Engage Connect with someone in Shindig. Introduce yourself and discuss: What do you know about badges?
  4. 4. Step 2: Create and submit evidence Type the first name of the person you spoke with into the chat window.
  5. 5. Step 3: Issue (badge issuer does this) Evaluate evidence Check to see if the partner’s name was posted to chat Issue badge (Credly or ?) Send email w/ claim ticket
  6. 6. Simulated badge This is only a simulated badge activity. Badges will be awarded upon completion of follow-up activity at end of session!
  7. 7. Step 4: Claim
  8. 8. Step 5: Display Add your badge to your personal portfolio and social networks!
  9. 9. Review
  10. 10. Enroll Engage Complete Submit Claim Display
  11. 11. Regional campus of about 8000 students 300 full-time, 200 part-time faculty Began badges in 2013 as a way to document faculty development LOW TECH option
  12. 12. Plan Implement Refine and Share Many topics: Independent Study for faculty! Reviewed by small committee
  13. 13. Post-hoc badges On our website
  14. 14. Uses? Document faculty development in teaching for annual reports, P & T dossiers, teaching awards Put screenshot or link to page (we have eDossiers and electronic Annual Report) Usually include their application, the Badges flyer Adjuncts get Learn & Earn dollars for completion of a badge ($100) Total awarded: 1 Gold 2 Silver 49 Bronze
  15. 15. SUNY Profile 64 Campuses 463,000 students 7,500+ degree & certificate programs Nation’s largest comprehensive public university system Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP) ● 5th year with 1/3 SUNY campuses participating ● Supported through the SUNY Center for Professional Development (CPD)
  16. 16. Online On-demand What is the Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP)? Professional development to expand tech-infused pedagogy Goal: To encourage instructors across SUNY to explore and reflect on the use of emerging technologies to expand their pedagogical toolbox. Discovery Learning Social-network
  17. 17. Flipped Professional Development Discovery Activities Information About Learning Online/Flipped Learning Audio/Video Blogs & Wikis ePortfolios Gamification Mobile Apps Open Education Resources Resource Libraries Simulations Social Media
  18. 18. 3. Earn Badge 1. Explore Tool TOEP Discovery Activity Process 2. Complete Discovery Exercise
  19. 19. Quest Badges Awarded for the completion of learning activities Mastery Badge Awarded after completing of a number of quests Community Badges Issued by the learning community (1st & 2nd place awards)
  20. 20. Demographics 1000+ participants
  21. 21. Total Badges Issued 1329 Badges Issued 52k Badge Activity * Number of times a badge is seen, clicked, shared, or viewed across Credly or Open Credit enrolled apps. Shared via Social Networks 88% via LinkedIn 12% via Facebook + professional development awards issued through peer-review * As of 03/28/17
  22. 22. Private, Catholic – 2% of faculty are clergy Founded 1842 in South Bend, IN 8500 undergrads, 2200 grad./professional High % service learning, study abroad
  23. 23. Face-to-face → online All-or-nothing → badges Project-oriented, evidence-based ePortfolio for participant work
  24. 24. ND
  25. 25. PERSONALIZED educational development Self-paced: deadlines Self-directed: topics, path Individualized: disciplinary content Flexible: 1 badge ➤ certificate ➤ 10
  26. 26. • Multi-Campus: Daytona Beach - 6,000 Students; 400 Faculty • Leader in Aviation and Aerospace: Technology Rich Environment
  27. 27. Badging at ERAU – Daytona - CTLE • Goal - Institutionalized process for documenting faculty development •Piloted Badges in February, 2013 •50 badges issued; 26 claimed •Electronic Promotion and Tenure Application: •Electronic Promotion and Tenure piloted last fall •Senate revision of teaching documentation
  28. 28. Cross Campus Summary Matrix Center Target Badge Earners Badge Purpose Badge Types Badge Value Platform IUSB * Faculty * Adjuncts *Document faculty development efforts such as institutes * Bronze - Plan * Silver - Implement * Gold - Refine & Share Topics: Peer Review, etc. * Annual report * Tenure dossier * Teaching awards * Adjuncts - pay DIY Sticker + Website SUNY * Faculty, Adjuncts, Librarians, Staff *Doc student/TA *System-wide flipped faculty development to expand tech-infused pedagogy * Community * Quest * Mastery * Document steps for advancement * Lifelong Learning * Digital literacy Credly + Google Plus ND * Faculty * Grad Students * Staff *Personalized learning *Pair technology use with sound pedagogy * Pedagogy, Tools, Media, Project * Classroom skill acquisition * Resume builder Credly + Website + ePortfolios Embry- Riddle * Faculty * Adjuncts * Document faculty development *Tied to institutional initiatives SoTL, Course Redesign, Active Learning, Inquiry Learning, Challenge Project, Teaching Partners * Electronic promotion and tenure application Credly + Website
  29. 29. Image Source: Mozilla Wiki - Anatomy of a Badge @
  30. 30. Earn Your Own Digital Badge Apprentice “Badge” Here’s How:
  31. 31. Design Challenge Brainstorm a draft of the first badge for your campus. ❏Use the Design Canvas and Cross Campus Summary Matrix ❏Bounce ideas off others ❏Ask questions ❏Get feedback from panelists At the end: shareback prototypes
  32. 32. Badge Design Canvas DESCRIPTION: Target Badge Earners? Purpose? Value? CRITERIA: Requirements? Rubric? EVIDENCE What? Where? DESIGN Shape, Border, Banner, Icon, Text, Branding? TITLE & TYPE: Get your copy at:
  33. 33.
  34. 34. Campus Technology Innovator Award Announcement. "Pairing E-Portfolios With Badges To Document Informal Learning" (2015)
  35. 35. Ambrose, G. Alex, Anthony, Elizabeth, & Clark, G. Chris (2016) “Digital Badging in the MOOC Space” Educause Review.
  36. 36. SUNY - Quality by Design (QbD) Tokens
  37. 37. POD Network November 2016
  38. 38. Where can we take all this? RESOURCES page: contact info, slides, links
  39. 39. View full video here (1 min. 24 sec.) We Need Stinkin’ Badges!
  40. 40. Presenter Contact Info Dr. G. Alex Ambrose Associate Program Director ePortfolio Assessment University of Notre Dame Mr. Chris Clark Assistant Director Kaneb Center for Teaching & Learning University of Notre Dame Dr. Gwynn Mettetal Director University Center for Excellence in Teaching Indiana University South Bend Ms. Roberta (Robin) Sullivan Online Learning Specialist Center for Educational Innovation State University of New York at Buffalo


  • (Chris)
    On screen before starting
  • Introductions:
    Chris Clark, from Notre Dame
    Gwynn Mettetal from Indiana U South Bend
    Robin Sullivan from Buffalo
    Alex Ambrose from Notre Dame
    Dave Pedersen, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University*
    * Prior collaborator and co-presenter at POD.
  • Groups offer badges, verify submissions, and issue badges, backing up their value
    Learners seek, earn, and display the badges
    Viewers (current supervisors, potential employers, colleagues, friends, etc.) see the badges and check out the evidence
  • (Gwynn)
  • (Robin)
  • Claim your badge
  • (Chris)
  • This summary of the process you just went through
    is also a framework for measuring
    levels of engagement in a badging program

    First line - internal/personal, learning
    Second line - external/public, validation, etc.
  • Badging at Educational Development Centers
  • (Gwynn)
  • Three levels of expertise
    “Independent study for faculty”---most any faculty development topic.
    Turn in documentation--goes to 3 people (UCET staff, UCET board member, other) for review
  • From our website
    Badges are posted on the website with link to materials
    We allow “post hoc” badges--particularly to let senior faculty document
    Experimenting with Credly--not there yet.
  • Our institutes (whole semester initiatives) are set up so that completion results in Bronze badge.
    Currently Active Learning, Course Design, and SoTL
  • We use portfolios, and you “make your best case.” So Badges are just one more means of documenting what you have learned/done.
    Junior faculty are very excited. Senior faculty are learning . . . .
  • (Robin)
  • Online, on-demand, PD website
    Discovery-based activities
    High-quality resources and tutorials
    Exploration through hands-on Discovery Learning Activities
    Peer-to-peer support through a private social network
  • Did the use of digital badges help to provide any motivation to participate in the Discovery Learning Activities?
    12 - yes
    14 - no
    5 - somewhat
    Would you consider using badges with your students? Please explain why, or why not.
    12 - yes
    12 - no
    7 - maybe
  • (Chris)
  • Originally aimed at grad students, now open to faculty and staff as well
  • (Alex)
    Welcome from the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence team at the Daytona Beach campus of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Embry Riddle is a multi-campus university with residential campuses at Daytona Beach, FL, and Prescott, AZ as well as a Worldwide campus with online courses and on ground locations around the world. At Daytona we have about 6000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 400 faculty.

    Embry Riddle is a recognized leader in aviation and aerospace education, and as such, very technology focused which means our faculty are probably more open to tech solutions such as digital badging.
  • We began planning our initial foray into digital badging in the fall of 2012 with a goal of institutionalizing a process for documenting faculty achievements related to their professional development in the areas of teaching and learning. Our goal was to make badging an ingrained part of faculty recognition.

    Prior to badges, I used to spend hours creating and distributing paper certificates to faculty who completed significant programs and projects. The truth is I don’t like to work any harder than I have to, so issuing a badge digitally is certainly more efficient than paper certificates.

    Further more, faculty who had received certificates often approached me later at promotion and tenure time asking for documentation of CTLE participation because they had misplaced the certificates I slaved away to create. Digital badges solve that problem.

    Not only that, but digital badges are more visible in two ways. The badges can be displayed by faculty on appropriate sights, and we display them on our website as well. In addition, CTLE got some visibility by adopting a more innovative way of recognizing achievements.

    Finally, and maybe most importantly, badging makes it possible to archive the artifacts from the various faculty development programs in a linked repository. Prior to badging deliverable files were often scattered across various computers, drives, and clouds.

    One way to institutionalize an initiative is to tie it to already institutionalized initiatives, and there are few initiatives in higher education than accreditation.
  • (Alex)
  • Metadata
  • (Alex)
  • 44 badges issued to 469 students and clicked on over 37K times

    We have badges for undergrads, grad students, faculty/staff, HS admission recruits, Alumini and MOOC global learniers
  • We also wanted to spend just a moment on elaborating the case between why pair badges with ePortfolios.

    Why ePortfolios Need Digital Badges:
    If we want to keep the eP EKG pulse alive and connect employers to ePortfolios that communicate specific competencies…. digital badges provide the motivation and opportunity for the students to make their learning visible.
    Why Digital Badges Need ePortfolios:
    If digital badges are going to be evidence-based and transferable… the ePortfolio platform is best optimized to deliver that evidence and provide a logical space to showcase the badge

  • five different Credly Open Badges across three edX MOOCs and issued them to 233 learners around the globe.
  • (Robin)
    4 week asynchronous online course to identify the importance of learner-centered instruction and the qualities of effective course design.

    Tokens through the LMS awarded for:
    - course progress
    - community
    - surprise

    Course completion and course facilitator badges awarded through Credly

  • (Chris)
  • Other questions, ideas
  • Clark, G. Chris, Ambrose, G. Alex, Mettetal, Gwynn , Sullivan, Robin, Pedersen, David (2016) “Digital badges and educational development” Professional & Organizational Development (POD) Annual Conference. Link:
  • ×