The Stamp of Approval
“For me, an open digital badge means several things. It allows me to showcase skills that I have learnt including CPD that I have undertaken and learning experiences that I have engaged with. Many of the skills that I can evidence from my digital badges relate to cross domain ‘soft’ ‘T-shaped’ graduate skills such as communication or collaboration. They are a way of informally recognising my achievements and this is particularly useful for courses that don’t have an official certificate etc. Where badges are peer reviewed this affords a ‘stamp of approval’ thus providing value. By having an open digital badge that links directly to the award criteria this allows me to provide evidence to this effect.
Displaying my #LTHEChat Badge with Pride
As I alluded to earlier though it is not just evidencing of skills that appeals to me in my love of open digital badges. I also love the fact that it makes me part of something and I get a sense of belonging to the open digital badge movement. I am very proud to say that I take part in the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education weekly chat #LTHEchat. Sadly I don’t manage to take part every week but nonetheless I still proudly display the #LTHEchat badge on my blog page.
To me this says that I am part of the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Community and I feel that I belong and having taken part in regular chats I have earned the right to display my badge. The #LTHEChat allows me the opportunity to engage with the wider L&T HE community synchronously and be part of a rich environment with such a range of voices. As a new comer to the community this is a lovely way of taking a leap of faith and finding my own voice. Being able to engage with others in this way allows me to reflect on my own experience and make sense of my own informal learning. It has also allowed my network to grow and offered the chance to participate in collaborative learning experiences such as the #LTHEchat Chat Poem for Open Education Week. This in turn enriched my relationships with my collaborative colleagues and I have gone on to do other things in collaboration which has again opened more doors for me such as the #BYOD4L Course and the #FOS4L Course. Although I may have come across these opportunities without undertaking the #LTHEchat, I think that feeling part of the #LTHEchat community has given me more confidence to undertake further learning experiences.
I therefore feel that being able to showcase the #LTHEChat Badge on my blog demonstrates that I feel part of the community and also shows my commitment to the academic community and to the open agenda in general. It also allows me to demonstrate that I undertake informal Continued Professional Development on a regular basis thus providing support for my commitment to lifelong learning.
As a regular participant of the #LTHEchat I self declare my participation and therefore copy and paste the badge into my site. In this way of course having this badge is different in that there is no explicit peer review to ‘award’ the badge although there is of course implicit peer review in the fact that my peers would if needed evidence my participation). With this in mind therefore I feel that this holds equal value to me personally as much as other badges that have incorporated peer review explicitly.”