Our Comeptency X Summer Workshop was designed to create digital badges based on what industry and college professionals think it takes to be successful in the science based workforce. We are excited to be filling in the gaps for what gets assessed in schools. Many of the badges are for undervalued skills, knowledge, and dispositions that our industry partners said were critical for success in the workforce. Also, our students were there with us as co-creators in this system. Many of the biggest ideas came from wonderings by our students. Below is a link to a digital story on how we completed this work:
Competency X Summer Workshop Story (produced using Sway)
Here are some brief highlights of our most significant "ah ha's" and wonderings from the workshop (For more details, check out the Sway story above):
Highlight #1: Performance Based Dispositions in the Biotechnology Industry
Prior to their attendance at the workshop, we asked our industry and college partners to describe performance tasks that they required interns and new hires to complete. It was from these stories of performance tasks that we backwards designed the learning progressions that describe how our students science and engineering practices develop and become more complex over time. The stories of performance tasks were rooted in concrete procedural tasks, such as solution preparation or sterile techniques in the laboratory. The fascinating thing was that this didn't show up when we prompted them with what we call nerdy delight (see the Sway to understand this construct). Instead of procedural skills, we got some context specific dispostions as the most important compoment for industry success. This led to some interesting badges that are filling in the gaps for what gets assessed in science education (e.g., The Receptive Listening Badge, The Elevator Pitch Badge, The Gig Badge). See the attached image to as a summary of what our industry partners wanted the most from their new interns and employees.
Highlight #2: Badges as a means for earning internships
Our industry partners thought it would be great to use digital badges as the reason why a scholar wants to get an internship. An industry participant thought it would be fantastic if a scholar came to him asking to do an internship to earn a particular badge. It would help him identify what type of project or set of tasks the scholar could work on throughout their internship. All of our partners thought it would make their mentorship easier if our scholars were wanting specific experience to earn badges as opposed to already having earned the badges as part of a digital portfolio based resume.
Highlight #3: Digital Portfolio Blog Roll and Tagging
Following the work with students, our team of teachers uncovered the idea of using a blog roll as a digital portfolio. Scholars would continuously curate artifacts as blog posts and uses tags as the badges they think are relevant. The tags become the bodies of evidence for earning a badge. This would allow us to have scholars continuously curating artifacts that can be used for multiple badges. Also, it allows a learner to reflect on the interconnection between badges and think about tasks that stretch across multiple domains of science and engineering practices. This will hopefully help us towards our goal of making sure learning is not being compartmentalized by the badges.