#MVUsym16 – Digital Badging in Educational Settings

Session Description
Digital badging provides a mechanism to acknowledge both formal and informal learning by students. This session will provide an overview of digital badging and highlight several Michigan badging projects that are underway.

Michelle Ribrant, Assistant Director, Office of Education Improvement and Innovation (MDE)

See > mibadges.org


  • Career and College Readiness is a focus of MDE.

  • Personalized learning is based on intentional instruction and integration, competency-based education, flexible learning options with a foundation of multi-tiered systems of support.
  • Personalized Learning
    • Choice, Context, Pacing, Relevance, Proficiency
  • Personalized Teaching
    • Collaboration, Flexibility, Student Ownership, Faciliation
  • Educational Technology
    • Access, Customization, Engagement, Data Use
  • Open badges are part of a reporting system. Competency-based pathways include: demonstrated mastery vs seat time, explicit and measurable learning objectives, rapid and differentiated support, application of knowledge, and flexible learning options and multiple pathways.
  • How do we recognize and value the way we learn…
  • Badges are digital documentation of skills and achievement. A badge is a digital icon and within the badge are credentials of who issued, what did the user have to do to earn the badge, and the evidence of outcomes/standards of the badge that is earned.

Image from Classhack

  • Students has control of what they have learned, and they can share their badge on social media via Mozilla open badges.
  • Badges can play an integral role by supporting recognition on a skill or competency level and allowing learners to create custom pathways.
  • Why badges? Schools and the workforce can see student learning that happens in and out of school in informal settings. Completion of a project, mastery of a skill, and life experience represents student learning. Provide a comprehensive picture and demonstrated evidence of gained competencies. Student ownership of their learning. Assurance of credibility.
  • Considerations for issuing badges: Aligned to standards (academic, industry, out of school learning). Multiple pathways to demonstrate content. Communication of badges and levels of accomplishments.
  • Credibility is important in badging. There is informal credibility, but also there are formal badges and the continuum therein.
  • Cyber security badges is a good example. It could take a student years to get through the “gold standard” certification.
  • Sample MDE badges include Digital Adventures bade for Detroit Public TV, FIRST Lego League, MiBadges, CS First (Google program). MDE is using MSU’s badges.msu.edu site to help manage badges.
  • Credly is another great solution to issuing and collecting badges.
  • FIRST in Michigan is a great example of what is happening locally. https://www.firstbadges.com This includes attendance badges of 60 hours and then there are levels of additional badging in 2nd and 3rd level.
  • Moving ahead:
    • Continue work with partners to develop criteria for awarding badges to ensure legitimacy
    • Alignment to TRIG, 21st Century Afterschool Learning, First Robotics, 21 Things for Students, CS First, DPTV, and other initiatives.
    • Design/enhance reporting systems that include competencies and badges to indicate student skills and knowledge aligned to career and college readiness.

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