1.Why are e-portfolios important for cross-cultural learning?
They promote reflective processes which allow maximum gains in cultural learning and perspective-taking while also integrating seamlessly with online learning activities. Please see more details about eportfolios in our toolkit.
2. How is online learning relevant to cross-cultural learning?
The most obvious benefit of online activities for cross-cultural learning is that it allows real-time connections to people and cultural settings across the globe. Merryfield (2003) identified multiple unique strengths of the online setting for intercultural learning, however:
- Conversations can extend beyond the time-limit of class, allowing a more in-depth analysis of cultural materials.
- Online formats promote reflection; mini-reflections have become standard modes for measuring student progress toward badges and other elements of e-Portfolios.
- Students share more about their cultural experiences due to the sensation of anonymity that online settings provide.
- Open forums allow students to witness conversations between students of another culture. Merryfield (2003) describes to a time in which students were privy to a heated conversation between three of their Turkish peers: “Another dimension of online discussions is access to insider discourse among people whom most of the majority of the class would never hear talking to each other” (p. 153).
At Ohio State, we award students Buckeye Badges as a way to mark their achievements and help them think about what they’re learning in terms of job-readiness. These markers of achievement aligned with the students’ assignments and also help us with our assessment of their learning. The badges themselves are optional co-curricular credentials students can choose to collect. Whether or not students actually download the badges, they capture humanities-based skills they have earned which prepare them for the job market. The tools below are ordered according to the sequence of when they should be introduced in the classroom.
1. What is a Badge?
See this 3-minute video by the MacArthur foundation about badges in general. A Buckeye Badge marks student achievements that fulfill skill requirements employers are looking for, and helps students keep track of their co-curricular accomplishments in order to build their resume or online portfolio. Badges can also be a means to effectively engage students in their learning, as they can track their progress more effectively. Apps such as Suitable, allow students to compare their progress with other students, and see what other activities students are earning badges in.
2. How do badges work for the Global Learning e-Portfolio (GLP)?
There are two badges which are central to the GLP: The Global Community Building Buckeye Badge, and the Global Media Project Buckeye Badge. They assess learning cumulatively Students start with the community building badge, demonstrating they are able to effectively communicate with partners online across cultural boundaries and build rapport. Once they have demonstrated this ability, they are eligible to participate in a collaborative project online to earn the second badge.
3. What makes Buckeye Badges unique?
Buckeye Badges are offered at OSU to the entire campus, regardless of level or discipline, or whether the learning is co-curricular. They are supported by the Mozilla platform of badging, which is rigorous and requires substantive work on the part of the student. Buckeye Badges are offered in the Fisher College of Business, the Department of Psychology, Horticulture and Crop Science, among others.
4. What is the value of a Buckeye Badge?
Badges are validated by students, employers and career development professionals. The design of the particular badges used in our global learning e-portfolio are informed by student focus groups, consultations with the Office of Career Services and discussions with private industry. Universities are adopting badges and other alternative credentialing systems for the specific purpose of meeting employer demands, and creating career-ready graduates.
Badging can increase student engagement via “gamification” of learning. We are piloting Suitable as a means to gamify our global learning badge, and also so that students will be able to track their progress toward assignment goals on their smartphones and share with peers – in a similar fashion to online games.
5. Does a Buckeye Badge Carry Credit?
They are independent of course credit, but may be earned in tandem with a course assignment or certificate. The Department of Psychology, for example, awards a Pedagogy Buckeye Badge for students who successfully complete their “Teaching of Psychology” certificate.
6. How are Buckeye Badges Different from Certificate Programs?
Buckeye Badges differ from certificates in that they are co-curricular, don’t earn academic credit (although they can be assigned in tandem with a course), and are focused on the learning process in a granular fashion.