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Work in Progress: Awarding Digital Badges for Demonstration of Student Skills

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Joan B. Schuman Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Dr. Joan Schuman is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Department at Missouri S&T. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Arkansas and completed her Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi. Schuman is a Project Management Professional (PMP) certified through the Project Management Institute. She worked for several years in the aerospace industry with the Boeing Company initially as a design engineer and then later in systems engineering. At Missouri S&T, she teaches a variety of courses emphasizing Project Management and Financial Management for both undergraduate and graduate level courses. Her research interests focus on engineering education with a special interest in Service Learning and project management. Schuman is also the Departmental Experiential Learning Coordinator. She has developed her undergraduate project management class into a Service Learning class where the students work with area communities on real projects that benefit both the communities and students.

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Digital badging has been used extensively in industry for highlighting employee skill sets and is valued in the workforce. In recent years, digital badges have become a more prevalent assessment tool utilized in higher learning to show and verify credentials for specific skills. Criteria, assessment and evidence can all be embedded within these badges which can then be added to student’s resumes as a visual indicator of skill. This paper will discuss the use of digital badges for the award of skill development in an undergraduate class, Introduction to Project Management. The effect of assigning micro-credentials on the attitudes toward and motivations of students will be also be discussed. The software used in class is not typically a skill acquired by undergraduate engineering students and those skills are not evident from examining student transcripts. The ability to create effective team dynamics is highly valued by industry but again cannot be assessed from transcripts. Digital badges were developed and awarded to students who showed proficiency of those two skill sets: the adept use of project management software and the creation of effective team dynamics. In this project, a summative assessment was created for the software utilized in class and an evaluation process was developed to assess each project team’s ability to perform effectively as a team. Two digital badges were developed and awarded to those students who showed proficiency in each of the two skills assessed. The badges were developed using Badgr, which is a free open sourced achievement recognition and tracking system that can be used to issue and share badges . These badges were then embedded into the University’s learning management system. A survey was also developed to determine student attitudes toward the use of digital badging and to better understand if the potential for receiving a badge better motivated the students to learn the material.

Schuman, J. B. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Awarding Digital Badges for Demonstration of Student Skills Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33597

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