New to Micro-credentials and Digital Badges? Here Are 12 Steps for Starting Your Own Program


Microcredentials are innovative vehicles institutions of higher education are increasingly utilizing to provide students with specific skills required or desired by employers. This panel provides 12 clear and realistic strategies for implementing a university-wide digital badging initiative.

Video Transcript
Well, Good afternoon, everybody. How are you doing today? Woo. Yeah. That's some nice energy. Well, welcome. You have arrived.

At the session where we'll talk about everything micro credentials. And twelve steps for starting your very own program. So I hope you're in the right place. We've got some folks standing in the back. We appreciate you too, and feel free to move on over to help anyone else who's trickling on in here.

Alright. So, yeah, I'm happy to give my chair to somebody if we need that too. Could just sit on the stage. Okay. Alright.

Alright. Us being trying to be way too accommodating, I think. Okay. So welcome. We are so excited to have you here.

And we would absolutely love it. If you are taking pictures, You know, if you wanna selfie later, we're all about that. Come on down. But there's some little hashtags over here. So f g c u digital badge is making moments in INST con twenty three.

Feel free to use all of those hashtags and include us. We would absolutely love to see you and connect with you on social media. If that's your thing. So today, the clicker will decide to work. So before we get started, We like to know who's in the room and what you're thinking.

So, and you don't even have to say a word to do it. You just have to pull out that beautiful smart device And tell us, what do you hope to learn today during our wonderful presentation? So If you don't mind, Can you see? You can you have two options. Pull, p o l l e v dot com slash f g c u road map. And it will bring you to this, or you can text FGCU road map to three seven six zero seven. We're going to do a few of these.

So just kind of keep that pulled up. You won't have to redo it every time. So text to three seven six zero seven FGC road map. Oh. Oh.

Oh. Oh. Oh. There we go. Oh, micro credentials school.

I feel like school dot meant something else. Implementationmentation. Excited. Oh, yay. Oh, implementation got real big.

Alright. Well, that's a good thing. Don't worry. We've got you covered. Whoa.

Alright. That refreshed really big. Implement meditation is is going to just burst open the screen, I think. Wow. This is fabulous.

Thank you so much for participating in that. Governors programs, oversight, training, examples, buying Yeah. All of these are great partners. Fabulous. Well, you know what? You're definitely in the right place.

So this is going to be what we're talking about today. So thank you for participating in that. It's so great to have so many great audience members who are fascinated about what we're about to say. So this is what you're in for. I like to give you a little roadmap of what we're about to do.

So we're gonna introduce our team so you know who we are and who's talking to you today. We'll talk about Florida Gulf Coast University, f g c u r university. We'll introduce micro credentialing and digital badging. We will go through those twelve steps. We'll talk about our next steps and your next steps.

And if there's time, we'll do a q and a. So here's the fabulous team that will be leading you through this wonderful afternoon. Hello, everyone. I'm Clay Motley, and I'm Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at FTC Hi. I'm Glenn White House.

I'm the director of core skills at FGCU. My name is Jenna Fiedoa, and I'm an instructional technologist at FGCU. And I'm Kristen Vansello. I'm the assistant vice president for innovative education and partnerships at FGCU. And we have another staff member in audience who's just gonna smile and wave.

This is Irielle Williams, and she coordinates all of our marketing and communications. So she'll be a good person to follow-up with. And the person who's been talking to this whole time, my name is Andrea Fortin, and I am a professor in integrated studies, and also coordinate a lot of our micro credentialing initiatives at FTCU. Alright. So I'm gonna say a few words about Flore Gulf Coast University, just to give you a little bit of background on it, because really it's important to kind of understand sort of a little bit where we're coming from as a university.

So you'll understand kind of how digital badging fits in with that. And so, you know, one thing that's really interesting about FTC is that we're only twenty six years old. And so we're a relatively new Firsty, and we've grown to sixteen thousand students. About fifteen thousand of those are undergraduates. And, you know, the really the reason why FGC was placed were in Fort Myers Florida and Southwest Florida.

The reason why we were there is because, at the time, twenty, you know, about thirty years ago, the state of Florida realized that Southwest Florida was the largest population center the state that wasn't served regionally by a four year, regional comprehensive university. So they decided to build, you know, Florida Gulf Coast University in, Southwest Florida. We have a five county service region, about one point six million people. And so really from the very beginning, FTC was created with the idea that we were going to be, really serving the needs of our of our region, our community. That's the employers, that's the residents, really using the expertise of the university to really help the residents, but also connect with, the the different community partners out there.

And so, a lot of our programming at, at the university has been focused on really meeting those needs of what does Southwest Florida need. And so, you see things like we have, a really big emphasis on health care. We have an emphasis on, engineering because of the growth and the construction in the area. We have a brand new water school, and that really focuses an interdisciplinary focus on water health, you know, both freshwater and saltwater. We have a school of entrepreneurship.

It's just a few years old. So everything was kind of created as as something that was, meant to sort of meet the needs of the community. And digital badging is is another example of that, and we'll talk about how when we get a little bit deeper into our presentation. So something that's really interesting is the people who, one of the really the first champion of digital badging at Florida Gulf Coast University is Oshugal Tumore. She was gonna be speaking on this stage with us today, but she got elected president of our university.

So she kinda has some other some other things to deal with. But the point of that is that really one of the earliest champions of digital badging is now the person who's kind of setting the course for where we're going strategically as a university. We're working on a strategic plan right now. Something that Doctor. White House will be talking about in a few minutes is our quality enhancement plan, which is involving with our, accreditation and digital badging has become really important with that.

So, really the main takeaway of this is that, digital badging has really kind of become increasingly sort of interwoven into kind of everything we're doing at the university, and it's gonna continue even more for the foreseeable future. Alright. So everything that Doctor. Motley just talked about, it's great to know who we are. But it's more important for you to start thinking about who you are, because every single thing he talked about led to our initiative being successful.

It's because we have a strong sense of identity and purpose, and we're very attuned to the needs of our institution and region. So that's why we're going to start with the basics. The definitions that we use that help us operationalize every single thing we did to be successful. You can borrow our definitions, use them. They're they're drawn from common areas, but you might want to think about what are the ones that work for you.

So that's for everything we talk about. This is our story, but what we hope is to inspire yours. So before we tell you exactly what we think, Again, we ask, what do you think? What are your thoughts? When we say micro credential, what we we have been hearing a lot about micro credential digital badges, all of these things. What are the things, the words, the ideas, the actions that come to mind? When we say this, I bet you've heard a lot of definitions. I bet you've seen a lot of versions of digital badges and micro credentials.

Fabbulous, skills, badges, certificates, upskilling, learning. Mastery. Yeah. This is great. So we've got all of these ideas that come to mind as we talk about micro credentials and digital badges.

But I'm not sure that every single person who talks about these things, dreams about these things, or even does these things, are talking about the same thing. And so that's what our hope is is that we're hoping to rally around some common ideas. And these are the ones that have worked really well for us. So thank you for participating in this. I love this portfolio of values, skill based.

Great. So for us, a micro credential represents mastery of a specific competency That competency is something you know or are able to do. Alright. This is The absolute core of everything we do is this is what a micro credential is for us. And when we go out and you're gonna hear about our fabulous partners that we work with in our community.

These employers. This is important to them. So our micro credentials at FTC, you're gonna hear about these different badge categories from Doctor White House shortly. They are represented through a digital badge. So we differentiate between the two things.

And that's really important for us. Badges are beautiful, but they're not just a sticker for us. There's some substance there. So a digital badge is just that visual emblem that validates the competency. It makes it visible to people, right? Like a beautiful diploma, but a diploma wasn't your college experience, but it is that visual representation.

So whenever you click on a digital badge and we use canvas credentials for this, it contains metadata And that provides the detailed information beyond what a self reported resume, you know, I have great communication skills. Alright? How can I point that out? I can do that with the metadata from my digital badge. Right? So it's more than what I could just show. So if you click on a badge online, boom. You're going to see all of this wonderful metadata.

We have a description. We have the competencies. We show the earning requirement for people to have earned this digital badge. So it's not just a beautiful sticker emblem on their LinkedIn profile. It shows exactly what they did to earn it, and we're pretty tough.

So they get to see exactly what someone had to do to demonstrate that competency. Alright? Great. So before we get to the twelve steps for starting a digital badge program. We wanna talk a little bit about what we did with our batching program at FTC since we're gonna be referring to that, quite a bit in in our twelve steps. So a badge or micro credential is really just a tool.

Right? It's not an end in itself. And so what you have to sort of think about when you're designing it is figuring out, what is the job you want that tool to do? And when we went through that process at FG FGC of thinking about what we wanted, badging to do for us, it led us to this process of really coming up with three different types of badges for three different purposes. So I just wanna talk a little bit about what those are because we will be referring to them and what follows. No. This is like me classroom.

You're getting a preview of me as a teacher. Okay. So one of the categories of badges we have at SGC is called Industry and and this is really for us is based on the insight that, all college majors are general, but all jobs are specific. Right? So a lot of times what a student really needs to get out of the workplace is to, have that last mile, to have that one bridge from the knowledge skills and abilities that are native to their major, to the things that are gonna place them in one specific industry. So we created this category of industry specific badges to give students very focused experiences in particular, industries with particular employers, so that they're getting, focused content around, you know, one of the many kinds of jobs that they might get with their major.

But they're also getting a personalized connection with one of the employers who might then actually employ them. So that's one of our badges. However, we also know, from research and just common sense that, a lot of the skills that are most important to careers are not those highly specific skills that are specific to one industry. Their general skills like critical thinking and writing and speaking and teamwork. All those things we talk about as being transferable skills.

So, that's our second category. And for that, we really, we knew that we needed a different design principle because we are teaching those skills. It's just that they tend to be invisible to students because the names of courses are always content, and the skills are always sort of buried underneath that content. So Our transferable skill badges helps those, core skills become visible to students. It helps the students become more articulate in, in, talking about their skill set to employers and helps make those, those core skills more visible to employers who are then involved directly within the badging process.

And then finally, we realized, by looking at a lot of future of work research that we needed to make sure that we didn't just stop with the currently enrolled undergraduate students that we have in front of us because the nature of the workplace, with technology and globalization and workplace change, education is not just gonna be a one and done deal for anybody anymore. People are gonna need to reskill and upskill throughout their working lives. To learn to new technology, take advantage of, an opportunity, something like that. So our third category, the continuing education and skills academy, is specifically targeted towards our own alums, or towards members of the community, people who are not, primarily current current undergraduate students. So with those three categories, we're trying to do again three specific, tasks for our badges, and each one of those badges has own specific design principle.

But with that, we can kind of get on to talking about our steps. We'd like to move around the room. So we said we would be good for for, recording purposes. But what we'd love to share is just a couple of our success stories with you because everything is a pilot at first. And once that pilot takes off, we've we've hit the ground running.

And gotten real far up in the air. We are eagles, so we might make some references to flying and being eagles just, you know. And if you need to know, this is wings up. Okay? So at the end, we'll all do a wings up photo together. But we, to to speak a little bit more about the industry specific digital badge You know, that was one where we really identified an opportunity to develop new curriculum.

And so we would develop pilot courses in different content areas And then what we need you to know about our model that is significantly different than what we've seen anywhere else is that it is the power of and. The power of and. What do you think that means? Well, it means that students are not getting digital badges for completing activities or courses at FG you. It is not a repackaging and a rebranding of a certificate or a minor or something that they're already able to achieve. The and is what comes afterwards.

And so, essentially, what happens is that our students and we'll go into more detail about this, but our students are doing something above and beyond just completion. So it's a little different than some of the models that we've been exposed to as well. But these are just some examples of employer partnerships that we've had. We've developed specific non credit credentials. We've developed specific credit embedded credentials.

And so we will give you some more example about that. And help you decide what's gonna make the best sense for your institutions or the the population that you serve and want to serve with digital badges. The other is that we've been invited to participate in credential as you go. Do any of you know what that is, or are you in involved in it in any way? Okay. Wonderful.

Well, credential as you go is a national movement, that has brought institutions of higher education together in order to really look at how can we best define these things across our systems? What are the most common definitions? So it's not reinventing everything or recreating definitions. There's a lot of them out there, and they're creating and producing playbooks that are gonna be open to everyone. So if you go to their their website credentials, you go, you'll see some of those playbooks already that will help you as well. And then we are also representing, the state of Florida in conversations with our regional accrediting bodies, SAC, COC, Southern Association of College and Schools. Any other SaxCOCs out there? Great.

We also have to go for new accreditation in the state of Florida. So that'll be interesting. But we're we're talking about that because is this something that really fits into our current auspices of accreditation where there's accountability, student learning outcomes achievement, things that we need to make sure are substantive or not substantive changes for us, or is this something that's above and beyond the program for which we give a credential. And at FGC, that's how we've designed them. So it really does not fall under that scope of you need permission in order to do this programming.

And we've been published in a primer. So next, we're gonna do we're gonna dive into the twelve steps of the program. You're not here just to hear about FGCU, but here to hear about what might be relevant to you and your institutions and the partners that you work with in your own communities. Please do not feel like you need to take pictures or copy notes because we will provide you with all of this we promise. And this is a mystery scan.

But why don't you guys take my word for it and go ahead and scan the code. This is not going to give you a digital badge. Why? Because it's the power band at F GCU. Scan it and find out what's there. So what we're what we're, sending you to is a free downloadable chapter of a book that, many of my colleagues on this stage we're we're part of.

And this, this outlines the twelve steps that we're gonna go through with you right now. So you don't have to worry about taking copious notes. You have a book chapter. Did you get it? Did you Okay. Alright.

Alright. So step one. Alright. Thank you, Krista. So one thing that's important, I think, to to begin with when we talk about these twelve steps is that these are really the twelve steps that work for us.

You know, these these are how we went about, sort of implement designing, and and implementing our digital batching program. It may very well be different for you all. You know, there may be steps that you admit because of your local circumstances. There may be, you know, steps that we didn't do that you need to do. But know, we just felt that sort of breaking it down into sort of a a sequential and kind of strategic twelve twelve step program would be of most benefit when we're trying to talk talking to other audiences about it.

Know that we're not trying to be prescriptive. And we're describing in some ways the way we did it in hopes that it helps you, but there may be, you know, other ways as well. Also, really keep in mind as we go through these twelve steps that, those kind of three, categories of digital badges. Know, there was the transferable skills, there was the industry specific, and then that external facing skills academy. Because as we talk about the twelve steps, we'll kind of be weaving in and out of those three different kind of categories.

And so kind of keeping in mind, and we'll try to sort of mention that sometimes because, it's kind of an important detail to keep in mind. So the first thing is, you know, identifying what of which of your institution's strategic goals, really need digital badging or digital badging could help you, really advance. You know, what I think a lot of us probably in the room worry about is that as digital badges grow in, the number of institutions doing them and the number of students earning them, number of, you know, maybe corporate partners getting involved. There could be a sense of, oh, well, you know, everyone's doing digital badging, so we need to do digital badging as well. If if that happens, there's the risk of it just kind of becoming maybe a participation award.

You know, there's actually a thing that's a statewide digital badge in Florida that if you pass, writing one, you get a digital badge in in writing. That's not really the way, you know, that we do it. You know, we wanna do it where it's the power of and you're you're demonstrating competencies above and beyond to just attending class or earning a grade in a class. And so, it's really important when you think about where are we as an institution Where do we wanna go? How do we wanna serve our students? How do we wanna serve our community? Our our employers? And how does digital badging help us get there? So What are the skills that maybe students are earning in in these classes that you can sort of bring to the surface through digital badging? What industries are out there that, you know, that maybe, partners that you could partner with in order to kind of do that kind of closing the skills gaps or giving student that that last kind of boost is is he or she is getting ready to graduate and move out into the workforce. Who are those potential partners out there? And finally, what are the needs in the community? If you think about, the skills academy and kind of that, at that external facing for community members and alumni, what are the things that they need for that upskilling and reskilling and what are the resources you have, the expertise at the university that can provide that for them.

So I think way before you ever really think about, you know, like Oh, we wanna do digital badging. How do you create these digital badges? It's more of like how do we use digital badging as a tool to get where we wanna go and to serve the people that, you know, really need to be served? And oh, here it is. Number two is recruiting a core team from across the institution to develop the initiative into ensure varied context and challenges are represented. So digital batching is really kind of unique in that, you know, if you think there is certainly an academic component, There's a marketing component. There's a heavy technology component.

You know, there's potential for revenue, if you're thinking maybe like external, you know, community members, There is, you know, a lot of interface with with employers. So it's really multifaceted and so you you can't just be something that's designed within a single you know, faculty member, a single administrator, a single college or department. If you're gonna really make it sort of a robust university wide, then there has to be representatives from day one there. They can kind of, think about it and can design it and can sort of then become the champions for it. Just to give you a couple examples.

You know, Glenn was there from near the beginning with, because he ran a program called pages, which was about, you know, making sure that students and the humanities had the skills, to help them for kind of career readiness and employment. And so because of Glenn's work and thinking and kind of long history of of thinking about kind of skills and sort of employability particularly in this case with humanity students then he was a really good, you know, kind of initial partner. I was Dean of the honors college at FTCU at the time when this was getting started, and this was around twenty nineteen, I believe, wasn't and so Ashikultamura, now our president, you know, came to me, came to my office and kind of talked to me about digital badging, and we developed sort of a pilot pro that we could do within the honors college. So it's kind of a, so the honors college at FTC is the only honors college that issues its own digital badgings for, you know, through the honors college. We we have our own badge in there.

And so, thinking kind of strategically of who are those early champions? Who are those people who can kind of, start forming what this is going to be? Start doing some pilot programs, like pages was a was when some of our early digital badging activities that we did for transferable skills was through the pages program because it already existed. So we kind of took advantage of those kind of networks there. So, you know, thinking about who the early champions are, what they can bring to the initiative and kind of tying them together. And I think the one last thing I'll mention is that, because digital bad genes kinda knew, a lot of people have no idea what what it is, or if they've heard about it, sometimes they may have misconceptions. The very first time I had someone describing what a digital badge was, it was them telling me how much they hated it.

Right? So they weren't they weren't very persuasive because I kind of got involved. But The, you know, so sometimes, you know, there can be misperceptions or maybe someone's familiar with a version that isn't, you know, it's just that participation kind of sticker and it's not something that's, you know, maybe more, kind of meaty And so having a wide representation of kind of early adopters is really important to also kind of spread the word and kind of some ways combat some of the either misperceptions or kind of negative early perceptions about what digit badging could be. Great. So, there's the clicker. Oops.

Just click it back. Just put it on three. If you just put it on three Alright. So so so what is that what is that core group gonna do? One of the things we very much advocate is that you do a white paper early. Do a planning document early.

How many of you have been to one of the vendors and have them click here, your little thing? How many of you expecting those people you have to hear from those people later? Right? If you express an interest in badging, it's a great way to make some friends that you didn't know you wanted. And it's really, really easy to take something off the shelf from a vendor or to copy what another institution is doing and wind up, you know, a couple years later, not understanding why you did the badge. One of the things I think is really important to do a white paper early on is because it gives you that discipline to figure out exactly what is it in your institution that you really want those badges to accomplish. What is the what is the job that you want that tool to do? You need to get clear about that before you start thinking about, how other institutions are doing it or what products are available. I think doing the planning document early on with a small core group of people gives you that discipline, that you need in order to figure out and get a good conceptual task of what you want that program to do for you, then you can know, figure out what the technology is and what the, what the infrastructure is from there.

Alright. The next thing is to present that plan. Once you have the core group, once you have the white paper, so you have a very, very still sense of where you wanna go and why you wanna do it, then this the next one is to start presenting to groups. So for us personally, the first group that we presented to was the president's cabinet. Because we had to have that that buy in at the presidential, the provost level, both for resources, support, time, but also beyond that, there was, you know, Dean's Council.

There we've met with the faculty senate. Glenn gave a It was kind of a state of the union address on digital badging, that was open to the university community, primarily department heads were the ones who showed up for that one. So, you know, who are the different kind of constituencies out there? Once you have that very clear sense of who you are and what you want to do and the timeline for you doing it, then starting to kind of think about what are those other groups then that need to start, sometimes just being aware of it, but then also maybe becoming people who are supporting it. Through, maybe a staff position if if we're talking about the president's cabinet or maybe colleges that are saying, okay. Well, yeah, you know, this is something that I think is good for my college.

You know, these are some faculty that I think can can kinda get involved. Great. The fifth step for us was to broaden campus involvement by establishing steering committee. How so how's the steering committee different than the core group? Just talked to a a vendor today who like me went to the University of Iowa. Anybody from Iowa here? Awesome.

So you know, you know, you know that you know you know that movie where they say if you build it, they will come? It's a dirty lie. It's not true. You can build the you can build the most well designed badging program or any other program. It doesn't mean people are gonna do it. In order to make it happen, you need to have buy in from all those students and the faculty and the unit are gonna use it.

You need to have all the people who are gonna help you implement it on the technical side, on the institutional side. You need a lot of different hands on this, and that's what the steering committee does. It gives you, it broadens campus involvement. It connects you to the people who are gonna help you implement that program. Who are gonna help, communicate that program to the students who are actually gonna use it and who are gonna become your ambassadors around the campus.

You wanna do this. I do wanna emphasize you don't wanna do it too early. Right? Because I think, you know, there's that old saying that, a camel is a horse designed by committee. Right? You wanna make sure that you know what the horse is. That core group is, needs to first define, in very clear terms conceptually what your badging program is.

And then you introduce it to a larger group to, to spread the word and to, work the implementation side. You don't wanna get too many people, involved too early on because you don't wanna dilute the idea. But once you have that idea solid, then it's time to broaden campus involvement and get those implementers and communicators out to their units to make it work. Okay. So I've never heard the phrase that a camel is a horse built by design.

Am I alone? Okay. Good. So next, we would like to know where you believe the conversation needs to start when you want to create an industry specific micro credential. So where do you think it starts? Does it start with a board of trustees? Or, a state level board. Does it start with your students, your faculty? Employers.

Okay. Now industry community partners is out in front. So it's a race, it's a race for the finish. We've got some students faculty. Overwhelmingly, I think you are right.

You know, it starts with the industry and community partners because how does this differentiate from what you're doing already. You're already educating your students with experts in your faculty. You are already preparing them for wonderful opportunities upon graduation and beyond or before. But what are we not doing? We're not necessarily listening to exactly what our employers are looking for and making those changes internally. And how long does it usually take all of you in order to, develop curriculum or develop a program? Anybody under two years? Okay.

So step six is collaborating with your employer stakeholders in order to develop what those initial badge ideas are going to look like. And so we thought it would be good to show you a couple of those employers and those examples. Have you heard of Hertz? Anybody rent one of their cars this week? They have their, global headquarters located in our region. And so, you know, they're they're ready to employ our graduates all day long. They like our supply chain, logistics majors, they like business marketing, they like everything, communications, humanities, you know, writers through an English or professional writing program.

But what they don't see coming out of our curriculum is how do you really manage data to make informed decisions that are related to our industry related to the travel industry? You all probably heard about Hurricane Ian, right? Smashed our region. Hertz lost so much of their fleet. But now I'm I'm really excited to take this course because they're gonna use that data moving forward to say, okay. How long before a storm is predicted to hit land? Do we need to start moving the cars out of this area? And how can we get them back quickly because of the number of people who are without cars? So, you know, that's that's the kind of skill we're going to be instilling in our students when they go through that experience. So that is a course embedded model.

So when you see the blue, those are the industry specific that are that are aligned with curriculum at our university. So it's a new course special topics course that students will take. And they will only be able to go on for that digital badge if they're the best of the best. So they have to earn an eighty percent or better in that course have to get a beer better in the course to even be be eligible to go on for that digital badge. And in that digital bad act badge activity, what they will do is actually use real live data sets that Hertz will provide in order to come up with, recommendations in a solution.

But then, above and beyond that, They have to present to a team of leaders at Hertz in order to earn their digital badge. So that's an example. So again, this just reinforces our ecosystem. We've heard that word a couple times over the last few days, but we start with the employers. We engage our faculty right away in developing solutions as this new curriculum existing curriculum or is this just an and that could be done in a non credit world, and we figure out what's the best pathway and avenue to deliver this educational opportunity? And then at the end, through, canvas credentials, students are able to share that with the world.

This is another example that's extremely relevant to our region. You know, we continue to grow, grow, grow as a retirement hub. How many of you have ever visited for Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Naples, that area of, of the country. It's a wonderful place to retire and live when you're not yet retired. But we know that having more people in place to help our senior and aging community, is going to be absolutely necessary.

So you can trust if you wanna retire there that we're building a program to help make sure we all receive the care that we're going to need in the future. So step seven is technology. So I'm gonna go ahead and talk about identifying implementing the technology necessary to achieve your badging plan. So, some considerations for your system and, technology needs would be is a system compliant with institutional policies such as data security. Badging systems like any other technology should comply with restricted data policies, accessibility policies, and your institution's LTI review policy.

At the higher education level, vendors complete the higher education community vendor assessment toolkit. Is it in alignment with your budget and staffing parameters? Canvas credentials has a simple to use issuing system, and you can automatically award badges through your Canvas course or manually through a bulk issuing CSV. Bad setup is also quick and straightforward process. You do not need a massive staff to oversee this process of setup and awarding. Does it meet issuing needs? Canvas credentials can issue badges in two separate ways.

Through an independent badge earn a single course or activity, or an issuer can stack credentials to create an earning pathway with a culminating badge at the end, sort of similar to what we're seeing with the pathways here today. Does the badging system integrate into your LMS? Manually awarding badges directly from the badging system is a standard function. But automating the wording of a badge through an LMS integration is immediate and more efficient. Canvas credentials has improved the LMS integration in Canvas previously automatic awarding had to go through module requirements, but now students can earn a badge through a course grade or a specific assignment. So moving on to technology implementation, the implementation of Canvas credentials badge management system took place over two months, giving us time for several different processes.

The first one being system administrator training that was provided by Canvas credentials. They provided training via Zoom, as well as access to their fully online, administrator training course, which walked us through the processes necessary to get badging up and running. We work to learn these processes in Sandbox shells with sample students before our rollout. And then we also worked on process design, including setting up our issuer profile, setting up a batch specific unique email account, And, beginning to flesh out necessary processes for scaling, including pro qualtrics forms that made the setup process much more smooth. Finally, we made sure to fine tune responsibilities.

All stakeholders worked to ensure an understanding of their roles in the badging ecosystem in relation to badge type. So, for example, determining who will work with community partners for industry specific badges, who will work with students for transferable skills, or who will work, in relation to the overall system in terms of processes like help desk help desk technical support. Alright. We've arrived step eight. And so for this step, I'm going to ask you to look inward.

Like Ariana Huffington implored us to do is to take a moment And I want you to think, do I work hard every day to provide wonderful educational experiences for others no matter what that role is? Raise your hand if that's true. Yeah. This should be most of you. So we're trying to tell you here with this step that you're already doing fabulous work. You work hard every day.

So reflect on could a badging program align with that work that's already being done. So that's why you would conduct an inventory of existing curricular elements and co curricular activities to develop pathways to skills badges. What does that mean? Well, that means it's our transferable skills badge category. Alright. And so We've all maybe heard of NACE National Association of College's Employers.

Right? They've got all these competencies so we base our transferable skills off of that. And we call those core skills. Things like communication, critical thinking, all of those types of things. And by nature, those things are interdisciplinary. So we're not stuck in one category, one degree program, one college.

Right? If you think about critical thinking, you can start in a composition course and then practice that in many upper level electives across many different disciplines. And then maybe you're even practicing that in a co curricular activity, extracurricular, like internship or even in a student organization. So these are skills that everyone, and even your non academic offices own. Everybody owns this at the university. If you're talking about a university setting, maybe this is happening across different types of campuses than ours.

But that's where we saw it. So our portfolio model is how we assess that. So we have them build a portfolio and conduct an interview. So it does go above and beyond just doing those things. We are asking them to identify and articulate what they did, their own competencies.

They're translating that for employers, and that's a skill. You might be fabulous, but you don't know how to say it. And it doesn't really help you, right, in the interview. So this is a chance to earn and learn that skill. And that is where, you know, you can kind of see how our different skills, badge, categories really meet very different needs.

So this one really focuses on our undergraduate students. And so that's what this is about. What are you already doing that you can then build on? Alright. So we're on to step ten, I think. Right? We're getting close to the end.

Nine, if I skipped ahead. So I mentioned to you that we've developed a couple of pilot courses. And the way that we've done that at FGCU is through, special topics. So most of our our colleges offer at least one course and one prefix that is special topics. And that allows us to be be very nimble, very flexible, very quick, and and try it out.

Make sure that the course is is attracting student interest, make sure that the employer is seeing value in how we've developed and assessed our student learning through the end of that course. So what is important to know is that faculty still own that curriculum. Faculty developed that curriculum. They have academic freedom to teach it and assess it the way they want. The and is where the employer comes back in.

Okay? And so that's, again, qualifiers of of, doing well in their courses is so critical in this area. So here's an example. We start with a collaboration process, which again starts where? Partners. Yes. And so we identify what those skills gaps are because it's specific to what are the skills gaps, the competencies that they are not able to demonstrate and demonstrate well.

And what we ended up doing in the the case of medical device history, industry is, partner with a company called Artrax. Have any of you heard of Artrax? Do any of you have, like, new shoulders or knees or hips or anything like that? They they have, like, thousands and thousands of patents on surgery devices that are used by physicians all over the world. They're a multi billion dollar net revenue company, and they are in our community. Three years ago, they didn't employ more than fifty graduates of FGCU. And today, they have over six hundred of our graduates working for them.

Why? Because for fifteen years, they came to the university, and they said, how can you better prepare students for working at our organization? And this was not an organization that just wants to hire biomedical engineers. They want or doctors or or health professionals. They wanted communications majors. They wanted marketing majors. They wanted students that could work in their instructional technology area.

They wanted students that could work in hospitality. They built their own hotel in order to bring physicians to the region. So they wanted to reach all students. So how could we do that with a course open to all students? Okay? So we've specifically put this into our integrated health sciences area. And so after this, the industry and faculty collaboration came up with that idea, what were the sees, you know, and then the faculty took it from there.

Then following that eighty percent and that qualifying, opportunity, the students complete a comprehensive assessment, and they earn their badge. Okay? But what is even better, and what we can say for every one of our industry specific digital badges, is that they were guaranteed an interview. So they were not guaranteed the job. They had to still get through that process, but these companies know that they wanna hire our graduate. They are so confident in their ability to practice and put into, actual action, the, what they've learned through FGCU.

After one course, after one course. So we we had some questions before about, okay. So then what do you do in terms of branding these things and marketing the marketing these things. Who who are the audiences that you need to market? Shout it out if you can think of one audience. Students.

Absolutely. Cause if you build these for four years, you probably wanna make sure your students are aware and ready to to enroll. Right? The community, prospective students. You're right. So getting your admission staff on board, making sure they know exactly what to tell parents of students because we're helping them to prepare for jobs, not just getting a degree.

Okay. And internally, your stakeholders, you know, because you can have a steering committee with a hundred and fifty people on it, but that doesn't reach your entire audience across the campus. And we want everybody to be able to talk about is. So what do you do? Well, I can't talk about this without showing you some examples. And so one thing to do immediately is website presence, of course.

And our website, we will we have it at the very end, but you will be able to go and see everything that we've done so that you can kind of see what might work for your institutions. But we immediately, identified the steps to enrollment, sharing with the students, okay, what is this about? What is this for? How can I get in enrolled? How can I get involved? And the best part about this example is that it ends up being a course that counts for upper division credit towards graduation. So it's for most of our majors, it fits well because it's not so prescribed that they don't have room for those electives. We also certainly rely heavily on social media marketing. So these are just two examples of, some of the ads that we had running on social media.

We also, made sure that our homepage was very easy to navigate. And so if you were first time you go to our website, you're gonna see another example of how we're getting the word out. So I I look forward to seeing what you think about that. But the students And the the members of our community can just say, yeah, I have I have some questions. Can you reach back out to me? Cause we wanna make sure we have that personal with anybody on our campus or beyond that that wants to know more about these initiatives.

You're seeing so I I shared that we had a new logo. So just this year, last February, we launched our new angry looking eagle logo. Instead of, what you see up there, which is our traditional queue looking eagle. And so, essentially, we had to get a lot of permission from our marketing, branding guidelines because you were never allowed to use that eagle on its own. And our our VP of marketing did not know that the VP, who wanted to do this was going to be the next president of our university.

But we it's just an example of, you know, making it consistently branded. So some more examples. And then eleven How do you organize this once it's called to action? Well, you have to make sure that you have some consistent oversight. So truly, you're looking at the team that built the programs And I get to stand beside them and help execute them. And so my office is the central place where we have put all of our micro credentials in digital badges and you know, over time, we certainly have grown our staff, but but we do it with a considerably small group of people.

And we really rely on our partners across the entire campus. In order to support this initiative. And very last, but not least, who cares about how you fund these things. Right? Like, it's like everything else. It looks great, but how do you pay for it? Well, at FGCU, we started by, really working with the, just the Canvas LMS.

And so as we talked about, doing some of the the different types of, portfolio development and other things, we were using our existing and using Canvas in order to deliver these programs and house the student information. But we have also gone for grants. You know, we've been able to get local economic development support so that folks could come back and get a new credential in order to get a new job. And so we've tapped into funding that way. We've we were, very fortunate to be the recipient of the Good Jobs Challenge Grant which was twenty two point nine million dollars, to implement programming with other regional partners.

And so, you know, as you look at that, get creative, go for grants. When you have some of your businesses, they might sponsor that in the future too. So what's the ROI for them over time and for you to have that, you know, sustainability of the program? We honor and recognize that it is two pm, but if you give me thirty seconds of your time, I'll close out this presentation. If you're really interested in a quality enhancement plan, talk to Glenn White House whose information will be available in just a moment on these slides. Next steps for you.

Keep the conversation going, go to great events like this, talk to internal external partners, think about what's best for you. And also, if you've enjoyed the beautiful images in this PowerPoint slide, they're all of gorgeous sunny Southwest Florida, where you can come visit us in January during our two day digital badge summit. More information will be available after the conference. So you'll be hearing from Instructure Khan who's helping us sponsor that event. So we hope to see you in January.

And if you have questions, you talk to us later because our time is up. Here's our information in our website. Have a wonderful day. Thank you.

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