Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 AAEEBL Midwest Meeting Keynote: Open Badges + ePortfolios: Searching for and Supporting Synergy

By Dan Hickey

This is a brief report and link to a slideshare from the keynote address at the 2016 Midwest Meeting of the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence Based Learning.  It summarizes potential synergy between these two important educational technologies, as well as progress towards this synergy by the seven leading eportfolio platforms and between AAEEBL, the Open Badges in Higher Education Project, and the Badge Alliance.

Keynote Address at AAEEBL Midwest Regional Meeting at Notre Dame

Once I get this post up I will get to the several dozen emails awaiting me in my inbox with headers suggesting that we have indeed made some progress towards increased synergy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Situative "Roadmap" for Synergy in Motivating Family STEM Engagement

By Dan Hickey
This is the third post about my collaboration with Iridescent Inc., a science education non-profit in LA. This new post describes how a key assumption in newer "situative" theories of motivation can resolve the tensions between prior empiricist and constructivist approaches. When combined with Design Based Research methods, this assumption can result in a coherent "roadmap" towards synergy across the three approaches. I contend that such a roadmap can help Iridescent and other informal STEM innovators find a route that takes them from current levels of engagement to much higher levels of engagement, both in terms of quantity and quality.

This post could use some work and some trimming but I need to get it up for my class and colleagues and get on to other things. Will try to clean it up soon

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Motivating STEM Engagement in Children, Families, and Communities

By Daniel Hickey

 This extended post is the second in a series of post about my work with non-profit STEM education start up called Iridescent.  In a previous post I describe their Curiosity Machine and an evaluation I carried out of a program designed to encourage families to complete Engineering Design Challenges on that website from home, after attending two-hour weekly evening workshops. In this post I explore the challenges that organizations like Iridescent and science museums face in attempting to motivate inquiry learning in informal contexts. I am also using this post as my weekly contribution to the graduate education class on motivation that I am currently teaching.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Data of Learning: A Response to Martin Kurzweil's "Responsible Use of Student Data"

by James Willis

In mid-April, Stanford University hosted the "Learning Summit 2016: Inventing the Future of Higher Education." For those of us who study how the newer processes and protocols of using student data have ethical and legal consequences, one session in particular should be of interest: Marco Molinaro (UC Davis) moderated a panel on the "Responsible Use of Student Data for Individual and Organizational Improvement" which included speakers Martin Kurzweil (ITHAKA S+R), Mitchell Stevens (Stanford), and Kent Wada (UCLA). Kurzweil provided a recent blog posting summarizing the panel discussion, raising some important points.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Engaging Children and Families in Informal Science Learning

By Dan Hickey 
In this post, I share some things I have learned about the design of "semi-formal" science learning environments that I learned working with a remarkable science education non-profit in Los Angeles called Iridescent.

Friday, April 1, 2016

AERA and Open Digital Badges

by James Willis

The 2016 conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) will happen next week (April 8 - April 12) in Washington, D.C. There are some events related to open digital badges, so I'll discuss them briefly along with links to additional information. There is also an interesting disparity between the growing embrace of badges and the relatively little coverage at AERA.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Recognizing, Assessing, and Motivating Entrepreneurial Mindsets

By Dan Hickey

In this longer post, I explore some of the issues around recognizing and motivating an entrepreneurial "mindset" using digital badges. I am collaborating with Rebecca DeVasher at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Helen Chen at Stanford University. They and their colleagues are working with the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) on programs to help engineering students develop the dispositions needed to be a successful entrepreneur alongside their more conventional technical skills and problem solving ability.

Monday, February 8, 2016

2016 Developments at the Badge Alliance

by James Willis and Dan Hickey in conjunction with Nate Otto

At the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, there have been a number of changes at the Badge Alliance. In a recent blog posting, Nate Otto, Director of the Badge Alliance, sets out an ambitious agenda for 2016. Beyond the on-going work of supporting productive and evidence-rich badging projects, the Badge Alliance is also concentrating efforts on communicating across the various communities and providing technical support to the ecosystem. We summarize some of those initiatives here.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

So maybe open badges can get you into Harvard (or Yale or Dartmouth) after all

By Daniel Hickey and James Willis

As summarized in Education Dive and reported in the Boston Globe, Harvard and 80 representatives from other Ivy League schools released a report arguing that admissions officers should give more attention to service-learning and volunteer activities. They recommended:

  1. "Promoting more meaningful contributions to others, community service and engagement with the public good.
  2. Assessing students' ethical engagement and contributions to others in ways that reflect varying types of family and community contributions across race, culture and class.
  3. Redefining achievement in ways that both level the playing field for economically diverse students and reduce excessive achievement pressure."

Those of you who follow RMA can likely appreciate how much this means to us and where this post is going. Yup. Badges and assessment. That second recommendation is going to be a really tough one to implement. As we will elaborate in some length, open digital badges are intended to provide valid evidence of accomplishment outside of accredited contexts. Some new developments may allow them to serve precisely this function.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Possibilities and Challenges of Dual Enrollment for Assessment and Beyond

By Dan Hickey
My colleague James Willis was kind enough to introduce me to Emily Swafford who is the Programs Manager at the American History Association.  I emailed Emily about our several promising forays into history education, including our work with Chris Hitchcock to develop new participatory online courses at Indiana University High School and our initial discussion of the Dual Enrollment courses supervised by Indiana University's Advance College Project.  It just so happens that the current issue of the AHA's news magazine Perspectives on History just published a timely special issue on dual enrollment that was full of ideas we care about here at RMA.  In particular, it illustrated the complex challenges that emerge for assessment around dual enrollment in general and in particular when states mandate things like DE and get directly involved in school curricula.