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NAWI 2014: Open Badges for Workforce Development: Findings from the DPD Project

Nate Otto
Nate Otto

Open badges have the potential to transform education credentials, especially because they can recognize the development of individual competencies that go unmentioned in traditional degrees and transcripts. The Design Principles Documentation Project studied 30 learning initiatives as they implemented digital badges and identified general design principles used by these projects. See some of our findings about badges, case studies in workforce preparation, and questions about implications of badges for workforce development.

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Digital Badges in the
Workforce
NAWI Annual Conference
22 May 2014
Design Principles Documentation Project
Digital Badges in the Workforce
Nate Otto
Project Coordinator
Design Principles Documentation Project
Indiana University
Thanks to:
Quick poll: How familiar are
you with digital badges?
1.I am hearing about them for the first time
2.I know about badges and want to learn
more.
3.I have earned some digital badges.
4.I have built a badge system and issued
badges.
Web Navigator Badge
- Hackasaurus
“Digital Badges are web-enabled
credentials of learning or
accomplishment."
Prof. Dan Hickey, Design Principles Documentation Project

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NAWI 2014: Open Badges for Workforce Development: Findings from the DPD Project

Editor's Notes

  1. This is a digital badge.
  2. We decided to study these four functions of digital badge systems. We pulled these practices apart.
  3. The system designers didn’t intend to specifically design for these four functions of badges.
  4. This is hard to explain sometimes…
  5. Use this diagram to explain how the the badge (which means “___ can operate a web browser with celerity”) moves through the ecosystem.
  6. Mozilla’s Backpack application allows you to collect badges from wherever you’ve earned them, all in one place.
  7. Here’s a shot of a basic backpack collection showing a badge someone earned when they were studying aquaponics.
  8. Digging deep into the claim and evidence. It describes the learning outcomes intended for this badge and has links to detailed criteria and evidence.
  9. So that’s the earner perspective. Our research dug into how the issuers design badge systems. That means we’re studying the decisions the issuers made around: what claims they wanted to make with badges, how they could back up those claims with valid assessments, and how they intended learners to progress.
  10. Though the system designers didn’t necessarily start with these four functions, we found it useful to pull them apart to analyze separately. Recognizing refers to the decisions issuers make about what badges they define: the claims those badges make about the earners at various points in their progress, as well as how they intend for learners to progress from badge to badge and how they unlock the value of the badges. Each claim made by a badge needs associated assessment practices for two reasons: To make the critical decision whether or not to issue the badge, and to collect the right evidence that will serve to back up that claim. The decisions in each of these first two areas will affect how students are motivated to participate, in rich and complicated ways. It’s not simply a question of, “do badges motivate learners?” There are many questions about the effects on motivation that arise from how students are intended to participate in learning activities There are many reasons and ways to implement research practices, though few of the projects we studied designed any formal practices in this area from the beginning. Many came across information needs later, often when seeking continuing funding and needing to quantify or justify what they had done so far. We defined three purposes for badge research and two main methods.
  11. This is how the general principles work. Some of them, we’ve broken down
  12. This was the process we used to identify principles. Note that we started with the practices
  13. YALSA, a division of the ALA focusing on young adult services
  14. The goal of YALSA’s badge system is to issue badges to librarians and library workers to recognize developing competencies that they’ll use in serving young adults.
  15. {read quote} Ok, so YALSA’s badges recognize what librarians and library workers learn on the job about serving youth. This covers people who have received their library degree as well as non-librarians.
  16. YALSA had a pre-existing framework of competencies they felt Youth librarians should develop.
  17. Often these skills are developed once librarians have gotten a job serving young adults.
  18. YALSA had these 7, planning to issue a badge as library workers demonstrated each competency.
  19. They’re starting with these three, {list} and then expanding the system to the full 7 once it gets going
  20. For each of the competencies, they already had defined outcomes they wanted librarians to demonstrate, like this badge for “Communication, Outreach & Marketing”. When YALSA issues this badge, they’re making a claim that the earner can perform these skills on the job. These are specific things, what a lot of people in the badging community call granular skills, in contrast to big credentials like degrees that recognize many skills and experiences at once.
  21. Fill in who are the players in this diagram. Badge issuer = YALSA, national professional organization Badge earner = librarians and library workers serving young adults Audience = ?????
  22. This is what YALSA had to say about it: {quote}
  23. The goal of YALSA’s badge system is to issue badges to librarians and library workers to recognize developing competencies that they’ll use in serving young adults.
  24. I see this as being very relevant to libraries, as much as what libraries do is helping others learn outside of the sphere of formal education.
  25. Telling a more complex, nuanced story about a person’s learning. Compared to traditional degrees, which is a slip of paper, maybe a transcript. Badges include proof of specific achievements, often linked to the evidence of that achievement. You don’t usually get that with a traditional bachelor’s degree.
  26. You can pick and choose which badges to display to tell the story that you want to tell, just as you might tailor your resume to different job positions. Badges can also be used in different online contexts: online resume, portfolio, blog, etc.
  27. YALSA, a division of the ALA focusing on young adult services
  28. Use this diagram to explain how the the NAM badges move through the ecosystem. Earners: high schoolers participating in chapters of Project Lead The Way and SkillsUSA.
  29. Students who participate in Project Lead the Way chapter sponsored classes in their high schools, completing project-based courses, earn badges and develop skills that are useful in all sorts of workplaces, including manufacturing.
  30. This badge system is designed for manufacturers, to help them find the skilled employees they need. Build positive perceptions of manufacturing.
  31. This is a hard principle to implement. It involves building content programs and assessments that provide adequate evidence of soft skills. Though, they could be as informal as a personal recommendation by an instructor.