In my current job within the higher ed sphere, there’s been much talk lately about badging and micro-credentials. While they are still somewhat in the early stages, especially when it comes to their recognition and valuation in the workplace, that is slowly changing. What badges and micro-credentials offer are flexibility provided within multiple pathways of learning. Isn’t this exactly the kind of “personalized learning” we’re looking to give our students? How can these be implemented at all levels of education?
In higher education, badges can be given as part of a for-credit course, that students will complete on their own, outside of the classroom. Once they earn these badges, they form part of a portfolio of learning that exists outside of their college degree. These discreet learnings are now sharable via social media or online portfolios with potential employers.
In K-12 education, badges and micro-credentialing can also be part of ongoing learning, either in the classroom or from home. Think Khan Academy. Learners are encouraged via a game-like interface and points system to earn points and badges that speak to their learning. The subjects are wide and varied across grade levels and disciplines. These could easily be used to supplement classroom learning. If you’re up for creating and building your own badges, check out this post from Alice Keeler in which she explains the entire process from designing the badges to structuring the points and ways of earning said badge.