Digital Badges for High Impact

CSU Channel Islands Proposal for Foundation Funds

Dr. Jaime Hannans

Project Description

This project proposes to integrate the use of digital badges as a pilot for the nursing program. Investigation about the successful integration of digital badges at other programs and throughout the literature will be conducted. Collaboration with IT and the nursing program will support the implementation of significant digital badges appropriate to meeting student learning outcomes and goals for the learner. This project will act as a pilot for the possibility of integrating digital passports across campus programs. This innovative project has the potential to motivate students to direct their own learning path while gaining visual recognition of their progress along the way.

Passport at Purdue

Illustrating how Purdue is integrating digital badges in courses across the campus, including nursing.

Connection to Mission

The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) identifies service learning, community-based learning, internships, collaborative assignments and projects, and undergraduate research as high impact education practices.

  • Student Centered

The use of digital badges with students' in higher education have been found to be motivational, increasing learning engagement, and offering a visual representation of accomplishing a goal. Digital badges can be displayed in e-portfolio's or using social media demonstrating outcomes met. The use of digital badges may be motivating for the technology generation and individualizing the learning process.

  • Integrative Approaches

The use of digital badges can be explored to assess the application of its use campus wide. Digital badges have been found to encourage the development of habits of inquiry and innovation, while learners take ownership of their own progress. Relevant visual representation of meeting learning targets using digital badges can be utilized to focus on professional identity development. (Mehta, Hull, Young, & Stoller, 2013)

  • Focus on Experiential and Service Learning

Experiential and service learning opportunities through clinical courses are a core part of the nursing curriculum. Linck (2014) However, there are not visual representations to identify what achievements and skills have been met in these experiential learning opportunities. Service learning opportunities, volunteer work, campus projects, preceptorships, experiential learning opportunities, and course work could be recognized using digital badges. Digital badges can further demonstrate student achievement in the integration of knowledge to practice in service learning.

  • International Affairs and Multicultural Engagement

Students working toward the development of a multicultural perspective, on campus, or though international course work can be recognized for their work. Across programs, students who are interested can identify how other digital badges are attained, further blending knowledge between students and faculty campus wide.

Background and Significance

A digital badge is a validated indicator of an accomplishment, skill, or competency associated with learning provided in a online format (HASTAC, 2015). Digital badges are visual representations of skills, experiences, or competencies that may be achieved during the learner's educational journey, which may offer a deeper understanding of the student's individual progress and skill, in addition to the attainment of a degree (Tally, 2012). Digital badges may be a way to provide evidence of real-life skills, individual expertise, and representations of learning experiences, which may not be reflected by a degree alone (Gibson, Ostashewski, Flintoff, Grant, & Knight, 2013).

Much like badges or medals earned in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or gaming, digital badges are earned for completing the required activities. Digital badges have encoded metadata to include data for the badges earned. Each badge should include the name of the recipient, the institution awarding the badge, the endorser of the badge, what was required to earn the badge, and evidence of completion of the required criteria.

The California State University Channel Islands Nursing Program could pilot digital badges to evaluate the significance, impact, and potential for the use of digital badges across campus. Digital badges could also be considered for faculty development and/or training.

Desired Outcomes

  • Identification of digital badges applicable in the nursing program
  • Investigation of the potential for the use of digital badges for student centered learning
  • Students will explain the impact of the integration of digital badges.
  • Students will demonstrate the use of digital badges within course curriculum
  • Students and faculty will reflect upon and critique their experiences integrating digital badges for high impact educational practices.
  • Faculty will explore, evaluate, and direct educational activities to best meet student learning needs to be a successful nursing graduate.

Outcomes Assessment

Outcomes will be measured with a variety of data to gain a better perspective about the project overall. This includes:

  • Student feedback and perceptions survey
  • Student frequency of use of digital badges
  • Digital badges developed and implemented
  • Faculty feedback and perceptions survey
  • Feedback from IT staff regarding the development and implementation of digital badges

Project Timeline

November 13

Project approval

November 13 - January 31

Meet with IT to discuss best plan for implementation of digital badges, including investigation of use at other universities, and literature review of the impact of digital badges in higher education.

December 1 - January 31

Purchase technology and plan for student assistant for Spring 2016

December 1 - January 31

Development of digital badges with coordination with nursing faculty and nursing program director

January 15 - January 31

Student assistant training


Faculty training


Introduction of digital badges to nursing students


Faculty feedback - survey


Student feedback - survey

May - June

Project summary and evaluation of outcomes; Final reports


Problem solving, integration of use, and faculty input through subcommittee of Curriculum Committee (Emerging Teaching in Technology Committee); Collaboration with IT for support; Continued evaluation of outcomes that are longer term measurements.

Funding Requested and Budget Justification

Total project requested amount: $10,415

$495 for Techology: Costs for a Pro Credly account ($495/year) and Mozilla Backpack account (Free) for the development of digital badges.

$2080-3120 for student assistant. Student assistant support would allow for the development and design of the badges. (10-15 hours per week x 16 weeks at $13/hr)

$1825 for faculty training stipend and materials (estimated daily rate for faculty consultation daily rate $265 x 5 faculty for one day; $500 for faculty training materials). Future training would be supported by the concept "train the trainer".

$3975 for project director Faculty Jaime Hannans would be responsible for investigation, collaboration, development, and delivery of digital badges. Estimated faculty consultation daily rate $265 x 15 days over the academic year for: a) investigation of current use of digital badges, literature review, connecting with experts using digital badges, b) best practice and use for implementation in nursing curriculum, c) faculty development program, d) investigation of interest from other programs on campus, e) survey development and delivery for outcome measurement, and f) project summary, evaluations, and final reports for the project.

$1000 for conference presenting Funds to potentially present findings and implementation at educational technology or nursing conference.


Office: Solano Hall 1172

Phone: 805-437-3308



I have been teaching in the Nursing program at CSU Channel Islands since January 2009, becoming tenure track faculty August 2013. I completed my PhD at University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a focus on Nursing Education. My dissertation research focused on reflective learning and clinical decision making for nursing students during clinical post conferences.

After being part of the fourth cohort for the Blended Learning, my interests in technology skyrocketed, leading to further development of the use of digital tools in the classroom, lab, and blended courses. The simulation lab has been another area of growth and interest in my career at CI. I have been integrating CI Keys in my courses the last year, and have been awarded the Teaching and Learning Innovations Faculty Fellowship for 2016. I became interested in digital badges after meeting with nursing faculty from Purdue who are using digital badges.

Powered by Learn More
Follow This Page + Follow This Page + Following This Page
Follow This Page
Get notified by email when this page has new information!
* We'll only use this to notify you regarding this page
Follow This Page
Get notified by email when this page has new information!
* You'll be able to stop following at any time.
You're following this page!
We'll email you when this page has new information. You can stop following at any time.
You're following this page!
We'll email you when this page has new information.