12691 BB: Digital Badges for College Credit: Motivating Learning in Informal Science Programs Through Digital Badges

06/12/2015 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
The Palace

Organizers: Theresa Horstman, Carrie Tzou
Presenters: Ian Schooley, Siri Nelson, Amanda Goertz, Kyle Bates-Green

We will present the University of Washington’s partnership with two informal science education programs (environmental science and aerospace) in developing digital badges for college credit program. In this presentation we cover the unique challenges of incorporating an online platform and digital badging framework with traditionally offline, informal science learning programs. We discuss the constraints and affordances of three emerging stories from early research: the differences in pedagogical perspectives of digital badges and online platforms that inform program design, design strategies for creating badge systems to foster identities associated with college- and science-focused learning trajectories, and formalizing informal learning spaces for college credit. We look specifically at how the two pilot programs utilize the technology to support sustainable science education programs and the adaptation of the programs as they work with the university to formalize the participant experience.

We believe our Badges for College Credit program fits well with the Blurring Boundaries: Broadening Equitable Access Within and Between Learning Institutions and Networks theme. We believe our work between formal educational institutions and informal science learning programs to develop educational programs as an alternative for earning college credit creates opportunities for high school students. The intent of these programs is to involve a diverse population of high school students; both those who may or may not self-identify as science focused and/or college bound. Our hope is this work leads to a scalable operation which incorporates additional informal science learning organizations into a digital badges network.

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