Since 2016, through the Office of Vice President for Teaching and Learning, UCC has been engaged locally, regionally and nationally in designing, developing and delivering innovative digital badge pilot projects. These pilots have demonstrated the opportunity and operational feasibility of Digital Badges. With several existing digital badges in operation and a number pending development, this highlights the demand for digital badges within the University.
The delivery of digital badges directly addresses the university’s strategic goal of ‘Delivering research inspired teaching and learning with a world class student experience’. Micro-credentials, or digital badges, are being offered in most of the world’s top ranked universities as students increasingly seek recognition for non-accredited extra-curricular contributions made during their studies. The badges refer directly to the university’s seven essential values of Creativity, Responsiveness, Transparency, Scholarship, Freedom of Expression, Integrity, Equality, Diversity and Respect. These badges can be issued to UCC staff and students.
The high-level strategic approach is to create the right conditions and an enabling environment that can realise the long term opportunity for digital badges within the University. The Digital Badge Sub Committee (DBSC) will be responsible to the ADSC for the oversight, development and implementation of policies and procedures related to the issuing of digital badges by UCC as well as the assurance of quality, standards and compliance with relevant data protection legislation working to best practice in Information Management (IM) and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL).
To launch the initiative, the Office of the Vice President for Teaching and Learning held an event in the Creative Zone of the Boole Library on January 19th. Professor John O’Halloran opened proceedings. Other speakers on the day included, Professor Paul McSweeney - Chair of the DBSC, Tom O’ Mara – Online Project Manager, Peter Finnegan – Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad, Mary McNulty – Deputy Head of Careers Services and Student Union Welfare Officer, Kelly Coyle.
To view the event online, please click here.
How do I apply?
There are four areas of quality assurance across which every UCC Digital Badge must meet agreed criteria in their design and delivery:
Stage Gate Approvals Process
There are two stage gate approvals for the development and delivery of UCC Digital Badges.
Stage Gate 1 – Badge Development
The first stage gate ensures that the design and planned delivery for the digital badge meets the required standard. Proposals for a new digital badge should be submitted as a proposal for review to the DBSC using the standard form Badge Development Plan. This form ensures that potential Badge Issuers consider and respond to all standards at the early planning stage. A Scored Assessment will be used by the DBSC based on the Quality Assurance Standards and associated criteria for assessment to approve progression to the development and delivery of the badge content and activity.
Stage Gate 2 – Validate Earners
The second stage gate assures that the badge has been delivered in line with the approved plan and that badge earners have met the required criteria. At this stage, the Badge Issuer and Contact sign off on delivery and request approval for the digital administration to issue badges to validated earners using the standard Validated Earners Form. The DBSC formally approve validated earners before recipients will receive their badges.
All major/minor changes to the badge are to be outlined in the Proposal for Amendment to Digital Badge Development Plan form and submitted to DBSC for approval.
An Annual Report is to be provided to DBSC, documenting the impact of the badge.
Example of Digital Badge