I left the summit with a much better understanding of the variety of programs that could be developed around CBE, that institutions could create these options as just that, additional options, and that students could definitely benefit! I noticed that Cali reference an important thing to consider when thinking about CBE, this approach can easily be one of several at an institution: traditional rtf, “traditional” online (isn’t that funny), and CBE ( both online, hybrid, and rtf).
I learned that the idea of badges with meta data (information attached), could provide students with not only skill verification, but confidence chips, as they journey through their educational life. Additionally, I was reminded about what it felt like to put “course work” at a particular institution on a job application with no attached degree completion. That looked like I hadn’t finished something, when in fact, I had obtained some valuable information from those stand alone courses!
I think, for me, the timing couldn’t have been better. My own daughter is a single mom (the dad is not in the picture even) who has been making a fairly decent living for herself and her four year old son by working in a sales call center. What she says after four years at that job is that there is nothing for her to aspire to and no way to change the day-to-day. She has tons of skills, but no education beyond high school, despite my efforts to provide for that!
As I reflected on on the summit, which highlighted a very non-traditional approach to educating the students of this country, I understood my daughter’s situation better and saw an opportunity for her to grow and develop through this approach.
When I came home I expressed my enthusiasm for badges and CBE to a couple of colleagues who questioned the idea of badges as being trivial and related to boy scouts. I understand their reaction because they don’t know about the meta-data that verifies the badging effort and I agree that I wish there was another word for “badge”. My hope is that their minds will change as they learn more about the idea, mine did. My colleagues are amazing and forward thinking so I know that we will grow into this idea. I am not so sure about everyone in academia.
If we all could just get out of our own academic comfort zones a little bit, consider the student need scenarios for all students, not just the academic top tier, we could really change the lives of so many Americans who we are not adequately serving now.