Shifting demographics and workplaces create new needs for non-traditional adult learners. Two responses to these changes have been online learning and certificates. The use of digital badges is another response to these needs that is full of potential.
Digital badges offer new ways to recognize and support learning. This means that they also offer new ways of attracting students. When used appropriately, digital badges contain and present compelling evidence of learning and accomplishment. Students will naturally want to share their badges and the information they contain with their friends and colleagues via social networks, Twitter, or even email. This sharing should help programs and schools connect with previously untapped prospective students. In particular, the sharing of digital badges can help specialized programs gain recognition within whatever networks are associated with that specialization. When done right, this sharing should help busy adults who are not actively considering further education to see the value of a particular program.
How do you assess 21st century skills? This post explores this issue and sugests that "the term 'assessment' needs to be examined. "At its core, assessment should be thought of as an opportunity to give feedback. Without giving students specific, targeted feedback on how they are performing these skills, students will have little opportunity to understand how to improve their level of creativity, become better researchers through increased information literacy skills, become better at collaborating with groups for project creation and problem solving, or develop good habits of mind to become self-directed learners."
The question then becomes how do we effectively assess these skills? What criteria should be used?
The post provides some suggestions as well as links to a number of resources.
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