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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Compentency-based Instruction & Badging

Page address: https://www.mnsu.edu/its/academic/compentencybasedinstructionandbadging.html

 

Overview:  Increasingly we are being asked (by accrediting bodies, by legislators, by parents, and by the business community, among others) to demonstrate and certify that students have mastered specific skills, knowledge, and competencies, rather than simply providing a summative grade in a course. Competency-based instruction is the natural extension of basic principles of instructional design; it assumes that a curriculum has overarching competencies that are the threads that tie the individual courses together, and that those competencies are being taught and built upon throughout the Aristotelean arc of the courses that make up the curriculum. One means (among, perhaps, others) that people have tried to use to credential individual curricular competencies is through the use of badges -- like a digital version of boy scout or girl scout badges -- that instructors can use to credential learners with specific skills or competencies. Examples of badges might be "technical writing", "public speaking", "self-learning", "Java programming", or "leadership". As instructors across a curriculum see these skills emerging among their learners, they may choose to provide them with badges, or "level them up" in a badge that they have already been provided (such as a bronze, silver, and gold level of the "leadership" badge). The learners can choose to accept badges or not, and display them in a wide range of places -- such as their LinkedIn profiles, their Facebook profiles, in an ePortfolio, or on a personal web site. The badges are linked back to a page with metadata indicating who was the issuer (in this case, MSU, Mankato), what the rubric for assigning the badge were, and, if available, demonstrations of mastery from the learner (such as a link to a web page that she or he created).