Connecting Faculty to Digital Credentials: Your Questions Answered Part 1
In our last webinar, "Connecting Faculty to Digital Credentials," we heard from a panel of experts on how to start and implement a digital credentialing program that has led to a well-versed and qualified faculty.
Christopher Price, Ph.D., the Academic Programs Manager at the SUNY Center for Professional Development, was tasked with creating a badging program that covers over 64 campuses in New York State. He answers some of the pressing questions our audience asked during our live webinar. Read more here:
Q: Does SUNY use badges (digital credentials) from other environments like e.g. industry leaders and do you endorse badges in your programs?
A: Outside of their use in professional development, many SUNY campuses are experimenting with the use of badges in a wide variety of micro-credentialing programs. Many of these programs are developed in partnership with industry partners. The Center for Professional Development sponsored a webinar series in the Spring of 2018 highlighting the campus experiments with micro-credentials and digital badging with recordings available here. SUNY also convened a task force to look at the use of micro-credentials in the System and recommend guiding principles and best practices. The SUNY Board of Trustees adopted a series of resolutions based on this report. The report and resolutions can be found at: http://system.suny.edu/academic-affairs/microcredentials/
Q: How do you engage with external organizations to build reputation or brand awareness of your badges?
A:Right now our badges are designed to help SUNY faculty and staff communicate what they learned in our programs to others on their campuses (primarily for annual reports as well as tenure and promotion). We have not engaged with either internal or external organizations to create awareness of our badges but will look to do something like that after an initial assessment of the badging initiative.
Q: Are the badges being offered largely "soft" skills associated with a particular area or are they more technical in nature?
A: The competencies (skills and knowledge) one learns in our programs are a combination of both technical and soft skills since they are focused on teaching and other academic work. The technical skills typically involve being able to demonstrate the ability to apply educational theories to practice but to do this requires one to apply soft skills like listening, working in teams, or communicating effectively.
Q: Once badges have been earned, are they perceived as having value outside of your organization (other institutions)? How much involvement in the design of criteria come from outside of your organizations?
A: We don’t know how valuable our badges are perceived yet since we have only been issuing them for a year. The criteria needed to complete our programs are all designed in partnership with communities of practice in the SUNY system made up of faculty and staff who are involved in the program area.
Q: Biggest challenges that you've faced in implementing a digital badging program? What has the adoption been from faculty?
A: The biggest challenge so far has been to create awareness of our badges across the system. With 64 diverse campuses, it is a challenge to break through the noise and get them to take notice of what we are doing.
To learn more about how to start a digital credentialing program at your organization, fill out the form below to be connected to a Credly expert: