Over the summer we have been working on a lab skills badging project. Lots of detail is on the project home site, but briefly this is what it’s about:
- Experimental skills are a crucial component of student laboratory learning, but we rarely assess them, or even check them, formally. For schools, there is a requirement to show that students are doing practical work.
- By implementing a system whereby students review particular lab techniques in advance of labs, demonstrate them to a peer while being videod, reviews the technique with a peer using a checklist, and uploads the video for assessment, we intend that students will be able to learn and perform the technique to a high standard.
- The video can form part of students electronic portfolio that they may wish to share in future (See this article for more on that).
- The process is suitable for digital badging – awarding of an electronic badge acknowledging competency in a particular skill (think scout badges for… tying knots…).
Marcy Towns has a nice paper on this for pipetting and we are going to trial it for this and some other lab techniques.
Looking for interested parties to trial it out
I am looking for school teachers who would like to try this method out. It can be used to document any lab technique or procedure you like. You don’t necessarily need an exemplar video, but a core requirement is that you want to document students laboratory work formally, and acknowledge achievement in this work by a digital badge. We will provide the means to offer the badge, and exemplar videos if you need them, assuming they are within our stock. Interested teachers will be responsible for local implementation and assessment of quality (i.e. making the call on whether a badge is issued).
This will be part of a larger project and there will be some research on the value and impact of the digital badges, drawing from implementation case studies. This will be discussed with individuals, depending on their own local circumstances.
So if you are interested, let’s badge! You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to follow up.