This is a program we launched in Fall 2017, to coordinate programming offered by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning for graduate students who are interested in developing expertise in university teaching and learning.

It’s run on the platform built by my team (go, team!), as well as D2L courses for online content and discussion. As grad students work through the program, they earn badges for completing a set of workshops or sessions in an area of focus:

(My team works with our Learning and Instructional Design team to offer sessions in the Learning Spaces & Digital Pedagogies badge.)

If a grad student works through all of the badges over a year or 2, they earn the full certificate, which is a recognized credential. It’s a great, low-stakes way to scaffold grad students as they build expertise in teaching as part of their career as students at UCalgary.

The narrative of teaching development in higher education is often “nobody ever thinks of grad students. ever!”. Here’s an example of what happens when a university values teaching, and an entire Institute mobilizes to develop robust and sustained programming for graduate students to develop into great teachers.

Next, instructors and faculty members…


4 replies on “Certificates (and badges) in university teaching and learning”

    1. Yeah. From scratch. Which seemed like a weird thing to do back when it was first built a couple of years ago, but it meant we survived Mozilla’s sunsetting of Backpack, and have been able to refine our platform without worrying about that. It integrates/integrated with Backpack, but also lets people publish their badges (if they opt to) elsewhere, on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or on their own websites via embedding.

      1. Oof. We were down the road of setting up a BadgeKit Server when D2L announced the Awards tool. We just use the Awards tool – but are thinking about the discoverability problem – how these badges are usable by departments. It’s a simple couple of API calls and a website, but no time…

        1. I was hesitant to use a tool baked into the LMS. If we ever, gods forbid, switch LMS sometime in the future, I wasn’t about to have to abandon any badges because they don’t migrate.

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