August 5

How Digital Badges Work

Here is a neat infographic about how digital badges work. For some reason, I thought these badges I kept hearing about were more complicated than this. But no. They really are this simple. I even have one myself. I clicked a button after completing a MOOC last week, and it was magically added to my LinkedIn account. Pretty cool.

Image credit:

Image credit:

Watch this webinar recording by the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas, Austin if you would like to learn more about how one can create and issue badges.

May 21

What Tk20 Is, and What It Isn’t

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

By Holly Evers and Carol Kuhn

What Tk20 is

Someone once asked: what do you want to know about your students? What are you curious to find out about your program? Tk20, a comprehensive assessment tool used throughout the St. Cloud State campus, provides an opportunity for you and your colleagues to answer these, and other, questions.

Tk20 was purchased in 2013 in order to better manage assessment and assessment reporting—effectively leaping us from our paper-based reporting system into the 21st Century. We expanded the initial purchase for the University’s accredited programs. We now have a collection of tools to help us better manage both assessment and, for those that need it, accreditation.

We offer training and a myriad of supports—quick guides, videos, one-on-one sessions, and webinars. We do not want you to be afraid nor do we want you to feel abandoned. Tk20 isn’t hard to learn or hard to use. Believe us when we say: It is safe to go in and push buttons and see what happens. It might require some patience, but in return you get the tried and true honor of learning a new technology.

Some amazing features of Tk20 include:

• The ability to track your internships, student teaching or other field experience.
• Electronic portfolios
• An electronic CV feature with a PDP/PDR report (custom built for SCSU!)
• An accreditation report and website builder

This is a small slice of the system’s capabilities. Egon Guba, founder of Western Michigan’s Evaluation Center, suggests that “evaluation’s most important purpose is not to prove but to improve”. Tk20 provides the campus with systematic processes to track that improvement.

What Tk20 is not

We wish we could wave a magic wand and make stacks of paper disappear from your desk and re-appear in an amazing aggregated report. Oh wait! We can! Unfortunately, TK20 is not fully automated; it requires your input—mission, outcomes, assessment reports—which requires the most precious of all commodities: time*

The system is not going to replicate your current system of assessment exactly. Both TK20 and those of us on the implementation end are eager to work with you to re-frame and adapt both the system and your assessment measures to figure out what works. Who knows? It may do a few things you hadn’t thought of! And if we run out of ideas, we are tapped into a battery of users in Minnesota who regularly share thoughts and innovative system usage.

Tk20 is not magic, but we believe it can help.

We invite your questions and concerns under the ATTN bi-line, “The Rumor Mill”

*incidentally, I cannot magically give you time, either.