Using Badges for Faculty Development: The Badges

This is the second in a series of posts that detail our new system of badges and points.

We currently offer seventeen badges that faculty and staff who participate in our faculty development programs can earn. Of those seventeen, three are “automatic badges,” earned by folks who participate in one of our day long events or win one of our mini-grants. They’re automatic because you earn the badge just by doing the thing. (Though you have to attend ALL of the sessions of the one-day events to earn the badge).

Of the remaining 14, two are still in development. We’re working on exactly what one must do to earn the Flipped Classroom and the Student Engagement Badges, so those are TBD (and suggestions are welcome there). We’re very excited about those, but figuring out what combination of workshops, events, and proficiencies are required for those two are proving to be tricky. Don’t worry, though. They are coming!

That leaves 12 badges which faculty and staff can earn. I’ll give a little more detail about each one.

Blackboard: Earned for participating in faculty development activities that lead to expertise in our Learning Management System, Blackboard.

Critical Thinking: Earned for participating in activities designed to help faculty incorporate more critical thinking techniques, activities, and assessments in their online and face-to-face courses.

Course Design: This badge is earned by those who are working to redesign elements of their courses via working with the CETL staff. We use learner centered course design principles and the Understanding by Design framework to help faculty rework course elements.

Online Learning: Faculty earn this badge through combining elements of the Blackboard and course design badges. This allows them to better plan for and deliver online and hybrid courses.

Mobile Learning: Earned for participating in activities that focus on how to utilize mobile devices and apps to improve student learning in both face to face and online courses.

Smartboard: Through workshops and consultations, faculty and staff can learn how to best utilize the Smartboard technology found in almost every classroom on campus.

Friend of the CETL: Come and hang out with us! Earn this badge through engagement with the CETL staff in all kinds of ways, from stopping by to say “hello” to checking out materials from our library.

Socially Engaged: This badge represents a level of familiarity with social media. It’s earned primarily though interacting with the CETL and others through media such as Facebook, Twitter, and our blog.

Community: In a way, it’s Friend of the CETL+ Socially Engaged. It means you’re doing work that contributes to the learning of others and working toward the community of innovative practice we’re helping to develop at Texas Wesleyan.

Innovation: Earned by those who are trying new things in the classroom, working hard to incorporate new technology in their teaching, and sharing those uses with the CETL.

Trendsetter: Sort of a step up from the Innovation badge, Trendsetters are innovating and working hard to bring others into the community of practice. Maybe their developing a following on Twitter or referring others to the CETL resources.

Trailblazer: Whereas the Trendsetter badge is focused on recongizing those who are promoting positive pedagogical practice within the institution, Trailblazers take that beyond Wesleyan. They are conducting and presenting scholarship of teaching and learning research at conferences, working to get articles published, and sharing what they learn with the community at large.

Certainly more badges can be added as the pilot progresses. It’s also possible that we have too many or that the categories don’t make a lot of sense outside the walls of the CETL. I think we’re off to a good start, in that the badges represent the CETL’s and the university’s priorities for faculty development as they currently stand. We’re always open to feedback, however, so let us know what you think of the badges.

Unless you’re Gold Hat. Then we know what you think. 🙂

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About the CETL

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Texas Wesleyan University (CETL) promotes a student-centered university by providing resources and professional growth opportunities to faculty on enhancing instructional practice, integrating technology, and promoting essential student skills.

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