Digital badges communicate learning outcomes to employers

SUCCESS STORY

Digital badges communicate learning outcomes from flipped classroom to employers

Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, California

 

Santa Barbara City College Badge

Community colleges across the United States face a similar problem ― ensuring the courses offered align with the needs of the workforce. Employers agree that job-specific qualifications are an important part of the hiring process, but report that candidates are missing the kinds of business-critical soft skills that are not always taught in school.

According to Melissa Moreno, dean of Educational Programs for Santa Barbara City College (SBCC), “We are actively connected to local employers and heard very clearly from them that workers lacked skills such as communication, innovation, critical thinking, team building and conflict resolution, among others.”

“Through SBCC’s Career Skills Institute,” Moreno explained, “we decided to shift that paradigm and focus on a series of noncredit courses that would provide professionals with the 21st century skills necessary to succeed in a business environment in a way that would be portable, verifiable, and in many cases align with a certificate from the state of California.”

SBCC’s Career Skills Institute developed a flipped classroom model that leveraged content available on Lynda.com. For each course, instructors curate a playlist of educational videos that students watch prior to attending class. Once in class, students spend their time using the skills learned through Lynda.com to work through real-world workplace challenges.

At the end of each course, students complete a capstone or portfolio project to demonstrate his or her proficiency and many of them earn digital badges, issued through Pearson’s badging platform, Acclaim. Students can share these badges via social media, on a digital resume, or in an email signature. Employers can click on the badge to view the course’s learning outcomes and verify the student has met the course objectives.

In the first two semesters of the program, SBCC issued 72 badges to 35 students. “We currently offer badges for over 40 of our soft skills courses,” Moreno explained. “It’s our goal to offer more in the future, because the badge really is the right way for our students to communicate to employers what they’ve learned and how they’ve demonstrated proficiency.”

To learn more about the digital badge program at SBCC’s Career Skills Institute, read the full story.

Read the full success story

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Acclaim is a digital badging platform backed by Pearson, the world’s leading learning company. Acclaim has issued millions of badges from reputable organizations for career-advancing achievements that help individuals move forward professionally.
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