Badge-based education wins a boost in DML competition

Dml BadgesStill Water Senior Researcher John Bell and fellow Intermedia alumnus Rick Corey advance in Stages One and Two of the prestigious Digital Media and Learning Competition held in San Francisco this month.

The Edge called the Bell and Corey’s Innovative Communication Design, or ICD, certificate a “clever and creative” approach to recognizing the varied achievements of a diverse range of students.

The UMaine ICD proposal, led by John Bell and Rick Corey, is built around an innovative way to supplement the graduate certificates awarded to students who complete the ICD curriculum. The group has developed a series of “badges” that will provide a quick and easy way for prospective employers to see what specific skills were learned through ICD.

“The ICD certificate is meant to help students who have graduated with the knowledge needed for their field at the time but who now want to better communicate with the rest of the world,” said Bell….

“We’re setting up methods that aren’t just a standard online class where you watch a few videos, take a multiple choice test, and call it a day,” Bell continued. “We want to make an online environment where students talk to each other as much as they listen to teachers. Our students are learning how to get a message across, and they start with assignments aimed at each other so they can get hard feedback on what they do well and what they need to work on….”

Essentially, the fluid nature of ICD means that two students with the same certificate may have learned very different skills. Through this innovation, students can use the badges as an endorsement of particular and specific skills endorsed by the University of Maine. It’s a clever and creative way to help clarify the product of such a wide-ranging and variable program.

The win in Stage Two Design follows the team’s Stage One win in the Program Content category. Though the two stages are independent and the competition is designed to mix and match design and content teams, the two separate wins demonstrate a principle reflected in the ICD program itself: Conceptual and technical strengths go hand in hand and reinforce one another….

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