College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Digital Literacy Badge Initiative

Created on Oct 23, 2015

Colin McFadden, Administrative Fellow on the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services (LATIS) team, describes the use of badges for the Digital Literacy initiative within CLA.

What is the badges initiative within CLA about?

Our Digital Literacy initiative aims to provide opportunities for students to learn skills and technologies that we believe are key to their success at the University and in their professional lives. This project consists of a series of tracks oriented around a topic. Each track contains a set of modules with more narrowly focused content. Upon completion of a module, a student is granted a badge. Upon completion of all of the modules within a track, they’re granted an overall completion badge.

Students can engage in only a few modules, or complete an entire track from start to finish. Badges provide an easy way to track progress, and enable an instructor to quickly see who has completed a badge. We’re hoping faculty will begin to incorporate digital literacy badges as prerequisites for assignments or other coursework.

Have the badges been used in classes already?

Most of the students in the Spring 2015 First Year Experience (CLA 1002) course completed our first track, which is focused on presentation creation. We’ve awarded thousands of individual module badges, and hundreds of track completion badges.

Who else in CLA is working on the project?

This project is being managed by the LATIS TEL team. We’re working with subject matter experts as appropriate.

What are the next steps for the Digital Literacy initiative?

We’re developing four new tracks at the moment, and hope to roll them out over the remainder of the year. These tracks include an introduction to research, online collaboration, digital storytelling, and building a digital portfolio.

In addition to links or resources that you mentioned above, are there other resources relevant to this project that should be included?

You can learn more about this project at http://z.umn.edu/digitalliteracy.