Digital Badges Help Students Show Skills Beyond Resume

Contributed by Rolando Sánchez
Economics Faculty

Recently, Economics faculty Rolando Sánchez joined the efforts of Alamo Colleges Online of offering digital badges certification across all five campuses. According to the District’s Course+ Badge Initiative, faculty from all disciplines were encouraged to sign up for the training in order to become certified as Badge Specialists, which are faculty who are trained to integrate a badge into an academic course.

A digital badge, which is also known as a micro-credential, is a digital credential that shows potential employers that the badge earner (NVC student) demonstrates a particular marketable skill. It serves as a valid indicator for students to demonstrate 21st century skill competencies in areas not reflected in the student’s academic record, e.g. empathy, collaboration, or resilience. Upon completion, it is shareable on social media sites such as LinkedIn. The digital badges used by Alamo Colleges were designed by Educational Design Lab, based on numerous conversations with employers about desirable skills for potential job candidates. There are eight digital badges currently offered.

During the summer of 2020, a pilot program was formed, from which a couple of NVC faculty completed the training and included the micro-credentials into their fall courses. As a result, over 70 NVC students earned either an Intercultural Fluency or a Critical Thinking badge! Also during the fall of 2020, the cohort of Course+ participants consisted of 13 faculty from all campuses (seven from NVC – including Humanities, Student Development, and Workforce Development) and are now able to include digital badges into their spring 2021 courses. There are 48 total faculty participating in the spring 2021 cohort, including 11 NVC faculty. Rolando will continue to assist in this initiative by serving as a coach for this spring cohort.

Digital badges align with the Alamo Way and the charges from the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees and Alamo Colleges Chancellor Mike Floes in giving all students “the opportunity to achieve badges” as well as Alamo Colleges Online’s purpose of building “students’ marketable skills by incorporating digital badges”.

To learn more, contact Rolando at rsanchez376@alamo.edu.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *