Recognizing Learning across Contexts: SA&FS

Badges allow recognition of learning that occurs across contexts, but this presents challenges for assessment. This case study details how UC Davis’ Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems program is designing an assessment system to match the ambitious goal of recognizing learning that students build up over many experiences in different contexts.

Recognizing Principles Assessing Principles Motivating Principles Studying Principles
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Supporter To Reporter (S2R) Medals

Supporter to Reporter (S2R) provides learning opportunities for young people to take on the roles of sports journalists, media producers, and mentors. S2R Medals will recognize and reward the skills and achievements gained by young reporters who learn and demonstrate a rich array of competencies acquired through their participation in the program.

Supporter To Reporter, an existing program developed by DigitalMe in the UK, participated in the Digital Media & Learning competition focused on Badges for Lifelong Learning. S2R won a grant from the MacArthur Foundation to implement Mozilla OBI-compliant digital badges in support of its educational objectives, helping young people to learn skills required in sports journalism and apply them in their communities.

Recognizing Principles Assessing Principles Motivating Principles Studying Principles
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Sweet Water AQUAPONS

Sweet Water AQUAPONS is an online platform where students gain digital badges as they learn the skills needed in aquaponics. The Sweet Water Foundation (SWF) developed AQUAPONS to provide self-directed learning opportunities to future sustainable agriculture practitioners and expand the field of aquaponics by creating a replicable model for urban agriculture education.

Recognizing Principles Assessing Principles Motivating Principles Studying Principles
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UC Davis Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems (SA&FS)

SA&FS Portfolio Thumbnail

The Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems is a new interdisciplinary major that integrates a portfolio system featuring digital badges. UC Davis’s Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences developed “a model of learning, participation, and assessment focused around high-level ‘core competencies’ that bridge classroom and real-world experiences, academic investigations and concrete skills. We believe this model has the ability to train leaders who will transform the food system, changing the way each of us eats and lives.”

Recognizing Principles Assessing Principles Motivating Principles Studying Principles
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Webinar recording on establishing badge value for earners

On June 4th, Christine Chow and Nate Otto of the DPD Project joined Paul Allison’s “Teachers Teaching Teachers” webinar series to discuss their recent case study on establishing the value of badges for earners. Representatives of two projects we studied

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Who Built America

Who Built America Badges for History Education (WBA) is a project developed by the American Social History Project (ASHP) in partnership with Electric Funstuff and Education Development Center (EDC). The project moves the face-to-face synchronous professional development for grade 7-12 history teachers that the ASHP has been conducting for over 20 years to an online asynchronous space where teachers work at their own pace and without a cohort. This has been a somewhat challenging process, but the use of leveled digital badges and formative assessments have aided in the process.

Recognizing Principles Assessing Principles Motivating Principles Studying Principles
Specific principles: Specific principles: Specific principles:
Mozilla Open Badges
Digital Badges are web-enabled credentials of learning or accomplishment. -Erin Knight, director of the Badge Alliance
Badges contain detailed claims about learning, links to actual evidence of learning, and they're shareable over the web. -Dan Hickey, DPD Project Lead Investigator
To me, digital badges represent the bridge between formal learning & informal structures. -Alex Halavais, DML research competition winner
Open Badges can help people tell a verifiable story about their accomplishments. -Nate Otto, DPD Project coordinator
Regardless of where you start, it’s more than likely you’ll end up somewhere other than your intended destination. That’s okay. Systems are living things, and your badge system needs to be flexible. You must embrace a bit of chaos in its design. -Carla Casilli, Director of Design + Practice at the Badge Alliance