About Georgia Southern University:

Georgia Southern University (GSU) is a public university located in Statesboro, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1906, it is part of the University System of Georgia and is the largest center of higher education in the southern half of Georgia offering 117 academic majors in a comprehensive array of baccalaureate degrees and master's and doctoral programs. GSU is the fifth largest university in the University System of Georgia, with enrollment reaching upwards of 20,574 students. Georgia Southern is classified as a Doctoral and Research University (2006) by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and as a comprehensive university by the University System of Georgia.

Overview:

Tom Koballa
College of Education
Georgia Southern University


tkoballa@georgiasouthern.edu
no links to badging system yet

The system will address professional learning needs of Georgia public school teachers. Modules are being designed around 10 areas (e.g., assessment, differentiated instruction, etc.) addressed in the new Georgia teacher evaluation system. Georgia Southern University is partnering with 1st District RESA (Regional Education Service Agency) and south Georgia school systems to build module content and test the effectiveness of the modules. Modules will be presented to allow for individual use and use by Professional Learning Communities.

Setting:

Georgia Southern University is partnering with 1st District RESA (Regional Education Service Agency) and South Georgia school systems to build module content and test the effectiveness of the modules. Georgia will transition from the metric of Professional Learning Units (reflecting time of participation, that is, seat time) to an undetermined metric to assess the impact of teacher professional learning. Hopefully, the new metric will be digital badges.

Learning Recognized:

Each module will include a summative assessment task. Evidence of learning will be generated through participation in the summative learning task and captured for examination by others. The teacher who generates the evidence may allow it to be viewed by supervisors, principals, and/or prospective employers.

Evidence:

Evidence of teacher learning will be linked to each badge. The evidence may include video clips of teaching, lesson plans, other forms of teacher work, and student work (if permission is granted). Evidence will reflect the normal work of teachers (e.g., plans, assessments, lesson materials, etc.), not contrived or outside of lived experiences of teachers.

Assessments:

Each module will include a summative assessment task. The task will reflect the actual work of teachers. Formative assessments may include reflections, communications with other teachers, elements of the summative assessment task, etc.

Challenges:

We are generating content for the badging system. Faculty want to engage in material construction that diverges from the intended focus of individual modules. Making convergence a positive aspect of the project is a challenge. Other challenges include those related to technology--choosing appropriate LMS, etc--and working through university structures (e.g., registrar, IT office) that do not recognize digital badging as a viable option for evidence of student learning.

Next Steps:

Short term--develop content and deal with technology and campus-based structures that are currently impediments.

Long term--school system buy-in and recognition of digital badging (in some form) as metric for teacher professional learning in Georgia.