Employers and educators agree that critical thinking, oral and written communication, and teamwork are among the most important student skills to develop during a college education. Career Connect allows students to document and connect their learning to these four competencies and showcase them to potential employers through the use of the digital ePortfolio.
These skills can be defined as:
- Critical thinking: A habit of the mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusions.
- Oral Communication: A prepared, purposeful presentation designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners' attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors.
- Written Communication: The expression of ideas in writing that develop through iterative experiences across curricula and can involve learning to work in different genres, styles, writing technologies, and mixing texts, data, and images.
- Teamwork: Behaviors that represent the collective of individual contributions towards team tasks and discussions and the manner of interactions among team members. Contributions are measured in both quantity and quality.
If your classroom environment is conducive to the development of any of the four skills mentioned above, partnering with Connect could help validate the skills you are helping your students develop.
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What is a badge?
A digital badge is a marker of achievement that recognizes an individual’s skill acquisition across different settings.
"Badges help form a new common currency for skill and career development and workforce advancement" (Diaz, Finkelstein, & Manning, 2015). Badges highlight skills that may not be shown on a traditional academic transcript but are frequently sought out by employers. Besides demonstrating competency in a skill, a badge also provides information about what it represents, examples on how it was accomplished and who validated it.
Badging at UNT
Students can now have the opportunity to earn badges through assignments or co-curricular activities. To offer assignments that allow students to earn badges faculty need to include the following:
- Integrate students’ ePortfolio use into a student experience
- Require students to develop a product or activity that can be observed, rated, and reflected upon
- Require students to reflect on their learning activity and product by providing answers to Career Connect reflection prompts
- Integrate student learning in one or more of the following skills: written communication, oral communication, teamwork, or critical thinking
- Develop an assignment or program that involves real-life experiences (experiential learning) and may include a community partnership benefiting both students and the community partner
By accumulating badges throughout their time at UNT, students can gain a credential that could appear on a proposed digital transcript. This credential achievement would have a direct link to the classes and/or activities that contributed to earning the credential.