As an extension to the PebblePad eportfolio learning program, micro-credentialing was implemented into the Murdoch University Bachelor of Nursing (BN) course in 2019. Digital badges are awarded to nursing students as a form of recognition for achieving competence in selected skill sets at each stage and year level of the BN course. The digital badges, containing metadata to help explain the context of the achievements, are awarded via the institutional LMS then uploaded and displayed in the students' PebblePad eportfolios, demonstrating their accomplishment of identified core skills relevant to national standards. The Digital Badge Program encourages students to independently and autonomously participate in practising the skills and developing knowledge to gain competency in core skills commensurate to students’ year and semester level, and it assists students to develop the graduate attributes necessary to maintain the ongoing capacity to practice. The Practice Records workbook is available to every student as a resource in their PebblePad account. For ease and convenience, and for situations where students do not have access to WiFi connectivity, the process of “signing off” the achievement of competence is undertaken in PebblePocket. Once students return to WiFi connectivity, they upload the signed certificate to their Practice Record workbook. Digital badges are currently awarded and collected through the institutional LMS, with the intention of moving to a badging issuer platform when it becomes available.
Rewarding students with digital badges motivates students both externally and internally to engage in their learning. External motivation results because the Digital Badge Program is so comprehensively embedded into the BN course, and the students are able to clearly see it as a critical tool to support their future job seeking, and internal motivation comes from students seeing the relevance of skills and knowledge competence to their future career. The program supports students from the first year of study to enhance their understanding of the dynamic and complex global context of nursing in the real world and supports their capabilities to be work ready.
The above case study is just one of twenty-five brilliant examples from our 2020 'Charting new courses in learning and teaching' conference. With case studies spanning degree apprenticeships, clinical assessment, interprofessional education, showcase portfolios, and many other contexts and disciplines, they are real stories of trailblazing innovation. If you'd like to download all 25 exemplars of pedagogical goodness, click the link below.