How Open Badges Could Really Work In Education

How Open Badges Could Really Work In Education

Higher education institutions are abuzz with the concept of Open Badges. The concept was presented to SCSU CETL some two years ago, but it remained mute on the SCSU campus. Part of the presentation to the SCSU CETL included the assertion that “Some advocates have suggested that badges representing learning and skills acquired outside the classroom, or even in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), will soon supplant diplomas and course credits.”

For higher education institutions interested in keeping pace, establishing a digital ecosystem around badges to recognize college learning, skill development and achievement is less a threat and more an opportunity. Used properly, Open Badge systems help motivate, connect, articulate and make transparent the learning that happens inside and outside classrooms during a student’s college years.

Educational programs that use learning design to attach badges to educational experiences according to defined outcomes can streamline credit recognition.

The badge ecosystem isn’t just a web-enabled transcript, CV, and work portfolio rolled together. It’s also a way to structure the process of education itself. Students will be able to customize learning goals within the larger curricular framework, integrate continuing peer and faculty feedback about their progress toward achieving those goals, and tailor the way badges and the metadata within them are displayed to the outside world.


Teaching Is Not a Business

Teaching Is Not a Business

Business does have something to teach educators, but it’s neither the saving power of competition nor flashy ideas like disruptive innovation.

While technology can be put to good use by talented teachers, they, and not the futurists, must take the lead. The process of teaching and learning is an intimate act that neither computers nor markets can hope to replicate. Small wonder, then, that the business model hasn’t worked in reforming the schools — there is simply no substitute for the personal element.


Constructivism: Lecture and project-based learning

The blog entry title initially was:

Constructivism: Lecture versus project-based learning

Actually, the article is about both lecture and group work finding a niche in the complex process of teaching and learning.

Excellent points, ideas and discussion in and under a recently published article:

Anyone Still Listening? Educators Consider Killing the Lecture

“Professors do not engage students enough, if at all, when trying to innovate the classroom. It’s shocking how out of touch they can be, just because they didn’t take the time to hear their students’ perspectives.”

The article and the excellent comments underneath the article do not address the possibility of cultural differences. E.g., when article cites the German research, it fails to acknowledge that the US culture is pronouncedly individualistic, whereas other societies are more collective. For more information pls consider:
Ernst, C. T. (2004). Richard E. Nisbett. The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently … and Why. Personnel Psychology, (2), 504.
Nisbett, R. E. (2009). Intelligence and how to get it : why schools and cultures count / Richard E. Nisbett. New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2009.
The article generalizes, since another omission is the subject-oriented character of the learning process: there are subjects, where lecture might be more prevalent and there are some where project learning, peer instruction and project-based learning might be more applicable.

The Overworked Bachelor’s Degree Needs a Makeover

The Overworked Bachelor’s Degree Needs a Makeover

see also our blog post: Generation Z – the time of emojis approaching
Advanced college degrees are less important to them. 64% of Gen Z-ers are considering an advanced college degree, compared to 71% of millennials.

What’s desperately needed is a bachelor’s-degree makeover, one that isolates the liberal-arts education everyone needs in a fast-changing global economy and is flexible enough to accommodate the demand for skills training throughout one’s life.


How Social Media Is Being Used In Education: excellent infographic

How Social Media Is Being Used In Education

Here is also an IMS blog entry about the use of Twitter in education:

how social media is being used in education

The Myth Of Student Engagement

The Myth Of Student Engagement

Teaching and Learning: The Chicken and the Egg

the heart of the student engagement myth: that adding or changing classroom elements, doing a new project, or exposing a student to a new technology or method of instruction will magically transform apathy into a white-hot fire of curiosity.

True engagement comes when a teacher knows a student’s strengths and interests beyond the classroom and uses that knowledge to deepen relationships. If we go into our rooms each day to teach but not connect, we can’t expect students to care beyond a test score, if that.

Can you answer these questions about your students? If you can, how do you apply that knowledge to connect with them?

*What home issues are affecting their work?

*Do they have a non-academic passion?

*What are their favorite shows, games, songs, or books?

*Do they have a preferred learning style?

*What is their hidden talent?

*What goals do they have for themselves in the future?

My note: easily said then done; if the instructor is overloaded with 4 classes 100 students per class, the suggestion above is rendered useless.

The 5 Step Model to Teach Students Critical Thinking Skills

The 5 Step Model to Teach Students Critical Thinking Skills

1- Determine learning objectives
This is the initial phase where you need to identify the behaviours you want your students to exhibit and work on encapsulating these behaviours in an overarching higher order thinking schema.
2-Teach through questioning
The importance of integrating questions into instruction is uncontested. Thought-provoking questions help students explore learning from different perspectives. The art of posing well-formulated questions is regaled by a set of techniques, some of which are included in this wonderful poster: Questions A Critical Thinker Asks.
3-Practice before you assess
This is where hands-on learning activities are called for. To consolidate their understandings and therefore increase the retention rate of information taught, students need to utilize all components of active learning such as simulation, experimentations,rehearsing…etc

4- Review, refine, and improve
Students’ feedback that you can garner either formally or informally constitute the backbone of your teaching procedure. It provides you with insights into areas that students need help with and also informs your teaching objectives and methodology. There are a variety of tools you can use to collect feedback from your students, check out the  8 Practical tools to easily gather students feedback.
5- Provide feedback and assessment of learning
As you need students feedback to help you inform your teaching methodology, students too  need your feedback. They need to learn how they are learning and assess their overall achievement. One way to do this is to provide them with grading rubrics for self-assessment. Here are some other resources to help you provide better feedback to your students: