About Our Professional Development Badges Initiative
For the past few years the CETL has implemented a system of badges to better acknowledge, challenge, and reward faculty and staff who engage in professional development activities. This initiative has gained a lot of notoriety in the faculty professional development community and we are very passionate about it. In the current iteration of the system, we have developed new badges, refined the badge levels, and tweaked the way badges are earned. We have also expanded the way participants can publicly display their badges.
If you are not familiar with the concept of badges, please watch the video below:
A list of our current badges and badge categories can be found below:
LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (BLACKBOARD) BADGES
SOCIAL MEDIA BADGES
MEDIA CREATION BADGES
DIGITAL LITERACY BADGES
HIGH ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES BADGES
FRIEND OF THE CETL BADGES
COURSE DESIGN BADGES
STAFF SERIES BADGES
NEW FACULTY SERIES BADGES
CETL TALK BADGES
Understanding the “Levels”
Most of these badges listed above have three distinct levels and the progression from one level to another is an example of a participant’s learning path. Level 1, which we’re calling the “learn stuff” level, is earned simply by attending any professional development activities. These activities can be CETL workshops, individual consultations with CETL staff, or even opportunities from other sources like a professional conference or webinar.
Those who wish to progress to the Level 2 badge, the “apply/do stuff” level, can do so by completing a challenge. Using personalized learning, learner-centered teaching, and competency based education strategies we encourage the participants to choose the challenges that they want to complete and they can complete them at their own pace. However, the completion of the self-assigned challenges become evidence of the participant’s learning.
Participants can move on to Level 3, the “evaluate/share stuff” level, by completing another very important challenge: sharing their knowledge with their professional community. Participants that want to achieve this level of badge (therefore becoming “trailblazers” for that topic) are encouraged to share their experiences of learning about a topic (or tool) and the results of applying that knowledge in their professional lives/teaching via the CETL blog, a workshop, or any other formal/informal research and publication avenues.
The graphic below illustrates the new system:
The Trailblazer Paradigm Shift
The evolution of our badges program has been established on the premise that procuring professional development is no longer something one must do to solely improve themselves. We do believe that self-actualization is paramount for someone in academia to remain relevant and to be able to communicate with younger generations. However, the paradigm has shifted to a belief that by achieving a Trailblazer status one becomes a resource to other faculty on campus and that service to the university is paramount for the growth of communities of practice in teaching and learning. We would love to help you in your personal growth, and we would love for you to help others at Texas Wesleyan by sharing your experiences. See the current list of Trailblazers here.
Our goal here is to build a system that’s customizable by the participants, acknowledges professional development comes from many venues, and pushes participants to apply, reflect on, and share what they’ve learned. In addition, all of faculty’s previous efforts are not going to be forgotten! The CETL will publicly issue all of the previously earned badges via Credly, as well. When you earn a badge you will receive an email notification of your achievement (see illustration). If you want to save and share that badge you must click on “save & share” (if you don’t have a Credly account yet you will be prompted to create one after this step). When you accept the badge you may view your badges via Credly.com or via the Credly app. If you wish, you can opt out of receiving those notifications.
To help folks get started, we’ve created the Pedagogy Map. This is a wonderful visual representation of the new badges and how they are related. Participants can earn any badge they want whenever they want, but they can also create their own Learning Path. Particpants can sit down with the CETL staff to determine which path best fits their professional development goals. Each Path will be individualized, including challenges developed by the participant, and self-paced. The CETL developed Pedagogy Map and new badges can help faculty and staff determine which paths would be best for them, however the CETL will develop and issue badges that are personalized to other requests for professional development.
We invite all faculty and staff to take the professional development journey with us! If you have any questions about our badges initiative please contact Dr. Adeline Meira Tolliver at firstname.lastname@example.org. All badges are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. If you would like to reuse them, please attribute them to Dr. Adeline Tolliver.