#OLC15 – Badging Models in Faculty Development: Building Faculty Connections and Empowering Growth

October 14, 2015 – 11:45am
Lead Presenter: Errin Heyman (University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, USA)
Jordan Utley (University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, USA)


Badging serves a purpose in higher education faculty development by allowing faculty to earn peer and university leadership awareness of professional development activity


Why Badging?

  • To connect peers
    • Mentoring
  • To track accomplishments
    • Tenure promotion and merit
    • Contributing/adjunct faculty
  • To recognize skills leaders
    • Leaderboard can function as a “GoTo” resource
  • To organize faculty development plan
    • Roadpmap and vision

Badging Applications

  • Badges for students – primary focus (Built-in achievements in Blackboard)
  • Badges for faculty development focus

Plans/Pilot Targets

  • Rank and promotion
  • University and community service
  • Mentoring and peer review
  • External profession development
  • Internal faculty development sessions

Starting the Initiative

“We’re adults, we don’t need badges”

  • Climate can be a challenge, or are faculty on board?
  • Purpose is to make it meaningful
  • Attach it to high priority themes at the institution (online initiative or hybrid courses skills)
  • The network value of the badge is also important
  • Tied to tenure and promotion, merit, advancement is helpful but it may not be for all faculty

Badging Map: Timeline Approach and Building Blocks Approach and Theme Organization

  • Creating a map for new faculty, associate professor, or full professor is helpful along with using a baseline process to provide a “foundation”.

Using Badging Models

  • Tracking development
    • Key to connect to university and personal learning goals
  • Recognize expertise among us
    • Provide options for display such as email, linkedin, profiles, newsletters
  • Keys
    • Make purposeful, timely
    • Provide equal opportunity to earn badges
    • Badge across topics and specialties
    • Avoid bean counting, leaderboards for the sake of leaderboards
    • Building community through badges is important
    • Connect the badge initiative to a theme such as “Online Learning” or “Outcome-based Education”
    • Connect microcredentials with specific outcomes/badges or to a certification
  • Recognize different outcomes, levels
    • Start small with beginning badges all the way to expert


  • Connect badges toward rank and promotion
  • Centralized system can help with tracking and monitoring and serve as evidence for accreditation and compliance
  • More onus on directors to demonstrate that development efforts are moving the company forward
  • Zero in on improved student learning outcomes, higher faculty satisfaction, increased mentor opportunities, and increased opportunities for rand and promotion.

Badging Platforms

  • These provide the underlying technology infrastructure and there are many options:
  • Jive – This system has a “gaming” feel. Ashford University, The Quad is an example.
  • Credly – This system is rising in popularity in academics. Free badge design and adding metadata, and you can share to Mozilla Backpack.
  • Openbadges – Pioneer in the space, substantial following
  • Fidelis Education – Full badging and coaching system
  • Can you import badges from external constituencies and can you export to the Mozilla Backpack?