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Badging: A form of high-impact learning

We introduced the learning activities this morning to our U.S.-based OSU students. They seemed enthusiastic about the chance to learn about Turkish culture – not only be interacting with texts from/about it, but with actual Turkish people.  These students all had prior cross-cultural experience, and seemed to understand the value of this opportunity.

I focused on explaining the details of the badges they can earn by participating in these activities.  The badges are not “add-ons” but are based on the assignments of the course.  The badges merely capture student achievements, and hopefully help to make them more visible to future employers. Please see our FAQ on Global Learning Buckeye Badges for further information.

Badges, especially as part of e-portfolios, are one of the high impact practices of education (provided they are designed well). In sum, e-portfolios:

  • go beyond the academic transcript by providing future employers a set of prompts to assess applicants (Kuh,2016).
  • provide an ongoing process of digestion, processing, if well-designed (Kuh,2016).
Image of infinity symbol with gather, reflect, feedback written

By Mosborne01 (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Background of the Project

This project started with conversations between Professor Joy McCorriston, Department of Anthropology, the Middle East Studies Center, and the Office of Distance Education and e-Learning in 2014.  We were looking for a way to provide access to experiential cultural learning other than study abroad, as many constraints prevent students from experiencing the Middle East first-hand.  Our initial goal was to create an app that would give students access through their smartphones, but we concluded that a combination of existing tools could be used for the learning we envisioned.  Social Studies Education Professor Mehmet Acikalin has been a great partner, helping us to get our dream off of the ground.  He and his students have provided invaluable feedback, and continue to be instrumental in the development of the learning activities and future direction of the e-Portfolio template.