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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Breakthroughs in Badging, Traditional Credentialing to Badging Possibilities

Brenda Perea (Colorado Community College System, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 9:15am
Technology and Emerging Learning Environments
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Oceanic 3
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 5

CCCS is piloting digital badging to help students differentiate themselves in the workplace and opening up opportunities to recognize college level learning through badges.

Extended Abstract

Badge initiatives are happening in higher education and beyond. Badges are being issued by businesses, associations, institutions and credentialing agencies certifying learner achievement. Colorado Community College System (CCCS) has entered into the badging movement slowly and deliberately.

CCCS had to rethink how, as a system, we viewed college level learning. That self-reflection led us to a major change in our system's Prior Learning Assessment Policy. Our next step was leveraging the expectations of the TAA3 grant, which required us to build a MOOC that mirrored CCCS's for credit MAT108 Technical Math course, into a pilot to badge specific competencies in math valued by the advanced manufacturing industry partners. The creation of a badge system, including investigating self-hosting or external hosting of system badges, led us to decide that all badges should and would be originated at the system level, similar to how credit for courses are originated. With our first badging pilot, we are developing a working knowledge base on the practical uses of badges in education and employment. The challenge of creating a badging system has led us to envision a different framework for the use of badges in a postsecondary educational environment. The journey to badging in a traditional community college system has broadened our perceptions as to how adults obtain college level learning, translating that into digital representations of mastery of competencies and how to apply those credits to a degree or certificate that enhances their opportunities for college completion and gainful employment.

1. Review the information behind the international badging ecosystem
2. Share CCCS' strategies to develop a framework to issue and receive badges.
3. Share a 1, 2, 3 step plan on how we piloted our first set of badges.
4. Share stories of immediate benefits to students, system colleges and the business/industries in Colorado.
5. Reflect on what works, what doesn't and when rethink!

Expected Outcomes:
As a result of this informative session attendees will be able toÉ
? Understand the current badge ecosystem
? Identify potential benefits for institutions to include badges in their traditional education model
? Discuss the benefits and challenges in introducing badging in a traditional higher education system
? Understand the benefits of industry partnering with higher educational institutions to recognize non-traditional learning with badges

Outline of Presentation:
I. Engagement (5-7 minutes)
A. Introduction
B. Highlight key questions to engage audience in the rationale of offering badges
1. Why develop institutional badges
a) Identify ways to recognize college level learning outside a traditional higher education setting.
b) Meet Colorado Business and Industry needs for highly skilled labor
2. Badges help identify key competencies not evident in a traditional transcript or course description.
c) Student success - Flexible access, targeted learning and no cost
d) Scale - Cost effective for participants
II. Explanation & Exploration (15-20 minutes)
B. Discuss the development of badges
C. Highlight best practices for badge development
D. Highlight the Challenges and Successes of introducing badges in a traditional higher education setting
E. Provide development resources
III. Elaboration & Closing (5-7 minutes)
B. Brainstorming: audience suggestions for use of badges within their own institutions

Questions to be answered:
OLC Pillars
Learning access and opportunity - community centered learning with world-wide access
Scale - Cost effective for participants (free resources)
Meeting Industry needs - recognizing mastery of competency not shown on traditional transcript or course description
Student success - recognition of college level learning obtained outside traditional higher education environment, encouraging students to identify targeted learning and no cost

Lead Presenter

Brenda M. Perea has spent the last 16 years in the instructional design field, with projects spanning academia, corporate and government/military. Currently she is the Instructional Design Project Manager for Colorado Community College System's special projects including the TAACCCT 1 and 3 grants. Brenda is the first to admit that her current project is the most exciting; she is the change agent leading Colorado in developing micro-credentials or digital badging. For the past 18 months, she has been working to build knowledge awareness of digital badges throughout education, industry and workforce. The focus of the work has been to work with 2 year, 4 year, industry and workforce centers to build the ecosystem to ensure learning is recognized and valued through micro-credentialing. She is recognized as a thought leader in this emerging field and was asked to attend the Clinton Global Initiative American 2015 conference to join the committee to work to on reconnecting today’s youth with workforce and education through the use of micro-credentials.
This year she has been responsible for development of over 300 blended and online courses for the TAACCCT 3 grants. She provides technical assistance to 13 colleges and the system’s 2-4 year consortia partners including support of 540 hybrid and online course developments, while serving as a central resource for publishing grant material to OER. Her knowledge of adult education, industry instructional design standards, and OPEN content helps colleges and their instructors create dynamic, learner centered online courses. With her post-masters work in Instructional Design and Educational technology, and the experience she has gained as a Quality Matters Peer reviewer and a Merlot Peer Reviewer, she has ensured CCCS’s grant projects are both collaborative and inclusive while benefitting post-secondary and workforce partnerships.