LMS user experience can make or break your learning and development initiatives. We explain why the quality of your LMS user experience is vital to engaging employees and keeping the larger learning and development wheel going, absolutely seamlessly.
“It’s important to understand that UX isn’t just user-friendly interfaces and a smart look-and-feel. It also involves applying intelligent business rules that help simplify jobs and push engagement and productivity. These ideas are crucial for user adoption,”
Such non-degree credentials have been growing in popularity.
“We do have a little bit of a Wild West situation right now with alternative credentials,” said Alana Dunagan, a senior research fellow at the nonprofit Clayton Christensen Institute, which researches education innovation. The U.S. higher education system “doesn’t do a good job of separating the wheat from the chaff.”
Thousands of credentials classes aimed at improving specific skills have cropped up outside of traditional colleges. Some classes are boot camps, including those popular with computer coders. Others are even more narrowly focused, such as courses on factory automation and breastfeeding. Colleges and universities have responded by adding non-degree programs of their own.
some 4,000 colleges and other providers issue industry certifications, according to the Lumina Foundation, but fewer than one in 10 are reviewed by a regulatory body or accreditor.
That companies need trained employees is uncontested: More than three-quarters of U.S. manufacturers told the National Association of Manufacturers this year that they had trouble finding and keeping skilled workers.
Despite those hiring and retention concerns, industry appears reluctant to discuss the topic of policing new credentials. The National Association of Manufacturers declined to answer questions.
“If an organization wants to grant a badge, there’s nothing stopping them from doing that,” Richardson said. “It’s important for consumers to do their due diligence.”
Badging programs are rapidly gaining momentum in higher education – join us to learn how to get your badging efforts off the ground.
Key Considerations: Assessment of Competencies
During this session, you will learn how to ask the right questions and evaluate if badges are a good fit within your unique institutional context, including determining ROI on badging efforts. You’ll also learn how to assess the competencies behind digital badges.
Key Technology Considerations
This session will allow for greater understanding of Open Badges standards, the variety of technology software and platforms, and the portability of badges. We will also explore emerging trends in the digital badging space and discuss campus considerations.
Key Financial Considerations
During this hour, we will take a closer look at answering key financial questions surrounding badges:
What does the business model look like behind existing institutional badging initiatives?
Are these money-makers for an institution? Is there revenue potential?
Where does funding for these efforts come from?
Partnering with Industry
Badging can be a catalyst for partnerships between higher education and industry. In this session, you will have the opportunity to learn more about strategies for collaborating with industry in the development of badges and how badges align with employer expectations.
Branding and Marketing Badges
Now that we have a better idea of the “why” and “what” of badges, how do we market their value to external and internal stakeholders? You’ll see examples of how other institutions are designing and marketing their badges.
Alongside your peers and our expert instructors, you will have the opportunity to brainstorm ideas, get feedback, ask questions, and get answers.
Next Steps and the Road Ahead: Where Badging in Higher Ed is Going
Most institutions are getting into the badging game, and we’ll talk about the far-reaching considerations in the world of badging. We’ll use this time to engage in forward-thinking and discuss the future of badging and what future trends in badging might be.
“Shifts in students’ learning style will prompt a shift to active construction of knowledge through mediated immersion.”-Chris Dede
The theory of constructivist-based learning, according to Dr. Seymour Papert, “is grounded in the idea that people learn by actively constructing new knowledge, rather than having information ‘poured’ into their heads.”
Moreover, constructionism asserts that people learn with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful artifacts (such as computer programs, animations, 3D modeling, creating spatial environments in virtual reality or building robots).”
Technologies like virtual reality, especially for Gen Z students’, provides avenues that allow them to engage in a social, collaborative, and active learning environment.
Virtual reality, especially when combined with powerful storytelling, allows the student to participate in the story, develop empathy to experiences outside their current realm of understanding and allows them to be fully immersed in their own exploration and learning.
and learn the strategies and processes that other institutions have used to develop digital badge initiatives and programs. You’ll learn the different ways that badges can add value to the learner experience, key considerations for developing badges, and how to effectively connect learners to industry.
case study: an undergraduate senior projects computer science course collaboration whose aim was to develop textual browsing experiences, among other library reference functionality, within the HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) headset. In this case study, readers are introduced to applied uses of VR in service to library-based learning through the research and development of a VR reading room app with multi-user support. Within the VR reading room prototype, users are able to collaboratively explore the digital collections of HathiTrust, highlight text for further searching and discovery and receive consultative research support from a reference specialist through VR.
Library staff met with the project team weekly over the 16 weeks of both semesters to first scope out the functionality of the system and vet requirements.
The library research team further hypothesized that incorporating reference-like support in the VR environment can support library learning. There is ample evidence in the library literature which underscores the importance of reference interactions as learning and instructional experiences for university students
Educational benefits to immersive worlds include offering a deeper presence in engagement with rare or non-accessible artifacts. Sequeira and Morgado (2013, p. 2) describe their Virtual Archeology project as using “a blend of techniques and methods employed by historians and archaeologists using computer models for visualizing cultural artefacts and heritage sites”.
The higher-end graphics cards include devices such as the NVIDIA GeForceTM GTX 1060 or AMD RadeonTM RX 480, equivalent or better. The desktop system that was built for this project used the GeForce GTX 1070, which was slightly above the required minimum specifications.
Collaboration: Library as client.
Specific to this course collaboration, computer science students in their final year of study are given the option of several client projects on which to work. The Undergraduate Library has been a collaborator with senior computer science course projects for several years, beginning in 2012-2013 with mobile application design and chat reference software re-engineering (Hahn, 2015). (My note: Mark Gill, this is where and how Mehdi Mekni, you and I can collaborate)
The hurdles the students had the most trouble with was code integration – e.g. combining various individual software parts towards the end of the semester. The students also were challenged by the public HathiTrust APIs, as the system was developed to call the HathiTrust APIs from within the Unity programming environment and developing API calls in C#. This was a novel use of the HathiTrust search APIs for the students and a new area for the research team as well.
There are alternatives to Unity C# programming, notably WebVR, an open source specification for VR programming on the open web.
A-Frame has seen maturation as a platform agnostic and device agnostic software programming environment. The WebVR webpage notes that the specification supports HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and Google Cardboard (WebVR Rocks, 2018). Open web platforms are consistent with library values and educational goals of sharing work that can be foundational in implementing VR learning experience both in VR environments and shareable on the web, too.