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Soft Skill Development Using Open Badges


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In this presentation, presented at AECT as well as the Utah ATD group, we discuss our proposal for issuing soft skill badges.

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Soft Skill Development Using Open Badges

  1. 1. Soft Skill Development Using Open Badges Casey D. Wright Daniel L. Randall BYU Image by photosteve101. Used under CC BY License. #UtahATD
  2. 2. The Need for Soft Skills Image copyrighted by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Used under the laws governing Fair Use of copyrighted material. Girls only like guys who have skills! – Napoleon Dynamite
  3. 3. “Personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.” -The Oxford Dictionary (2013). Soft Skills Defined Image by thetaxhaven. Used under CC BY.
  4. 4. “Personality traits, goals, motivations, and preferences that are valued in the labor market, in school, and in many other domains.” (Heckman and Kautz, 2012, p. 451). Soft Skills Defined Image by Kevin Dooley. Used under CC BY.
  5. 5. 202 out of 460 executives feel that soft skills is where the biggest gap in workforce skills are (Adecco Staffing, 2013). ID Professionals spend 35% of their time engaged in soft skill activities versus 30% in actual design work (Cox & Osguthorpe, 2002). Other Soft Skills 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Soft Skill Activities Instructional Design PercentageofTimeSpent Time Spent as ID Professional Why Soft Skill Badges?
  6. 6. Graduate Program Description • Learning outcomes to develop soft skills in graduate students. • Display skills gained. • A lot of energy has been placed on developing our design skills but more needs to be done to develop soft skills. IDT
  7. 7. • Concrete evidence • Evidence-based outcome • Professional development Why Soft Skill Badges? IDT
  8. 8. What are “Open Badges”? Images from
  9. 9. Merit Badges and Digital Badges Boy Scout Merit Badges Digital Badge - Acknowledge accomplishment - Display skills gained - Motivation - Enable feedback/teaching from adult mentors Typically not sharable - Acknowledge accomplishment - Motivation - Gamification - Enable feedback on specific skills -
  10. 10. Open Badges Open Badges Webmaker Open Badges - Uses Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI) - Criteria and Evidence links - Display badges via web - Motivation Awarded Automatically - Display skills gained - Motivation - Gamification -
  11. 11. Mozilla Backpack
  12. 12. Backpack Collection Multiple collections can be created. Collections can remain private or can be made public and shared.
  13. 13. Open Badge Information
  14. 14. Design of Open Badges for Soft Skills Image by Jordanhill School D&T Dept. Used under CC BY.
  15. 15. Mozilla’s Webmaker badges plan used the “constellation” concept in which smaller badges are earned and added together to receive a higher level badge. Badges image adapted from the Mozilla Open Badges Project. Retrieved from on 11/9/12. Early Badge System by Mozilla
  16. 16. Google Sites Personal Tech Choice 1 Choice 2 Choice 3 IPT EdTec Badge System Student selected Internet Communication Technology Student selected Multimedia Technology Student selected Personal Technologies Additional Concepts Mobile Learn Internet Safety Copy right iMovie Lower level badges are not issued for these projects Project level badge not issued for these additional concepts Educational Technology Course Level Badge Project Level Badge Lower Level Badges
  17. 17. IDT Badge System
  18. 18. (Prototype) Official Site Coming Soon (
  19. 19. Project Management (Brill, Bishop, & Walker, 2006)
  20. 20. Professional Communication (Brill, Bishop, & Walker, 2006)
  21. 21. Possible Solution 5) Badge Issued: If accepted, results of evaluation reviewed by administrators who issue badge. 4) Review: Documentation and checklist evaluated. Based on rubric, a recommendation to accept or reject. 3) Rubric Completed: All parties submit requested information (checklist, other documentation). 2) Contact: Dept. secretary contacts nominee, supervisor, and a peer to request evidence via checklist. 1) Nominate: Student (self), peer, or faculty begins process by submitting nomination form
  22. 22. Badge Issuer Available on Github msedev/badges
  23. 23. General Soft Skills Design Process Other -Project Management -Professional Comm. - Teamwork/Collaboration* - Any others?* - ADDIE - Agile - CPS* - Design Thinking* - TRIZ* - Any others?* - Fluid Intelligence* - Diversity understanding* - Psychological capital?* - Business ethics?* - Any others?* *In progress or planned Available Badges IDT
  24. 24. Future Design Iterations • Produce meaningful badges. • Scaling assessment. • Maintaining accuracy of rubrics and tutorials as tools evolve and change. • Creating a smart dashboard management tool for people to log in and track their progression on badges (ala Khan Academy). IDT
  25. 25. Future Research Considerations • Employer perception of open badges? • What populations can best be served by soft skill badges? • Student motivation. How many students will go above and beyond to earn badges? extra badges? Post-class badges? IDT
  26. 26. Casey D. Wright – Daniel L. Randall – Coming soon: Contact us with Questions Thank You#UtahATD