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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pairing E-Portfolios With Badges To Document Informal Learning

Meg Lloyd, Northern California-based freelance writer summarizes, "In order to support the recognition of co-curricular and integrative learning, the University of Notre Dame came up with a campuswide strategy to integrate digital badges in students' e-portfolios."

Notre Dame students can use digital badges to document informal learning in their e-portfolios.
E-portfolios have always offered an avenue to showcase informal learning, but at the University of Notre Dame's Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, digital learning designers realized that the maximum potential of e-portfolios on their campus was not being met. Most students were not taking full advantage of e-portfolios to document the integration of formal and informal learning.

Project lead G. Alex Ambrose
The key, Kaneb's learning scientists determined, was to promote the inclusion of digital badges in the e-portfolio. "If we are going to harness the full power and promise of e-portfolios beyond a single course assignment and show employers what students know and can do, then we need the digital badge to communicate specific competencies with evidence and motivate students to make their learning and skills visible," said G. Alex Ambrose, associate director of e-portfolio assessment at the university. Ambrose and his team came up with a campuswide strategy to develop a technology integration for the university's digital badge and e-portfolio systems.

The integration came about in three project phases. The first phase, said Ambrose, was in effect a do-it-yourself effort in which the project team coordinated between Notre Dame's Digication e-portfolio system and other campus-based systems. Students who wished to earn badges were asked to submit evidence to Digication's backend Assessment Management System, so that evidence claims for badges could be collected, scored and stored. After the evidence was evaluated and badges could be awarded, the team sent badge earners a picture file to display on their e-portfolio, along with a verification link that connected back to Notre Dame's badge directory.
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Source: Campus Technology