The concept of a badge is a very deep-rooted one; everyone is familiar with merit badges from scouting. Badges are bite-sized visual representations that denote evidence of skills and experience. In the world of higher education, badging is becoming a sophisticated technology to verify learning.
Open Badges are a relatively new technology standard for recognizing and documenting student learning. Beginning with Mozilla’s Open Badge Project in 2011-12, and with help from the MacArthur Foundation, a standard for badges as digital micro-credentials emerged. By 2013, over 1,450 organizations were issuing badges worldwide.
Why are badging & credentialing important in higher education? Badging is an ideal way to prove skills and experience to employers.
The bachelor’s degree is now a virtual commodity. As such, the laws of economics must prevail to drive down its value as a differentiator.
In order to break the cycle of commoditized degrees, educational institutions need to bravely take on the challenge of verifying and documenting student learning in a way that allows employers to seek and find the candidates they need.
At Chalk & Wire, our experience leads us to be optimistic and believe that verified digital badging will be the solution needed to successfully chronicle students’ skills development and allow employers to understand and trust their academic and soft skills achievements.
First, let’s be clear that the so-called skills gap is not something new. It’s been brewing like a toxic stew for more than forty years. The term “skills gap” only barely describes what is really going on. Nearly everyone involved has had some role in creating and sustaining something that runs deeply in the culture of western society.
The often unrealistic expectations and dreams of many well-meaning people are at the center of a tragedy of the perceived skills gap. It is the unfortunate byproduct of hope – that most laudable of human traits.
As we explore the recipe for the current “skills gap stew” and job readiness consequences, we take firm aim on what we see as the best path forward to achieve job readiness in hope of inspiring the higher education industry as a whole and the stakeholders who drive it.
A college portfolio is students’ best opportunity to show graduate schools, employers, and credentialing agencies what they know, how they will act and how they will address real-world problems. A robust academic portfolio can quickly provide confirmation that students have the knowledge and skills they claim. However, without forethought and guidance on choosing the right evidence, students may end up creating a worthless academic portfolio.
Here’s are ten tips for creating a killer college portfolio to make this a huge win for your students…
Regardless of grade level or subject area, virtually every teacher is familiar with the concept of curriculum mapping. Some are actively engaged in the process. This is also true, albeit to a lesser extent, in higher education. Due to the structure of higher education programs, faculty sometimes find themselves focused on their own courses with a bit less awareness of the program at large.
Find out more about curriculum mapping and assessment mapping and why they are so important.