The projects that I work on aren’t really projects in the technical sense. I like to think of them more as adventures into the unknown. They have a beginning and an end, but they don’t stick to specific milestones. Nothing is rigid and the work I am doing involves people, which means that anything can happen, particularly within higher education. However, I do get results, or rather ‘they’ do get results. This isn’t about me, it is about the students and how they manage their university experience. I am interested in how they bring together all the experiences that they have at university and how these translate into skills that they can use.
A way of capturing all of this is through ePortfolios combined with Badges. You need both. Yes, yes, you do. The portfolio represents a bigger version of everything that the student is involved in, the badges are the specific sets of skills or activities, based around evidence, that capture what their contribution was.
Badges + portfolios = 3D student/person
This balance of skills and context provides a lovely way of demonstrating who the student/person is, and what they have contributed to their activities. I’m finding that students don’t just enjoy creating the portfolios, they are gaining confidence, they are able to articulate their experiences and they can see what they have achieved (as well as how they have grown) and are guided by their tutors through sets of Badges. Examples of the work of the iChamps who have been working alongside academics to bring digital skills to life show this very well:
The use of Pathbrite combined with Badges is a project that will end in July 2017. This has been applied with Geography and soon, Social Sciences students. I’m supporting more and more interest in this combination of development and digital literacies skills as we move forward with this project but I hope that when it ends, that we can use this model to enhance more educational and research experiences in this innovative way.