December 3, 2018

Micro-credential and Digital Badging Project Garners SUNY Funding

Image of Professor Mahar and two colleagues
Left to right are: Professor Donna Mahar, Eva Williams, principal of Van Duyn Elementary School, Syracuse, N.Y., and Professor Patricia Isaac. Mahar and Isaac “Trauma and Literacy” to Van Duyn’s teachers, with the goal of improving support for teachers and performance of students.

SUNY’s systemwide TeachNY Implementation Fund has selected the college’s Associate Professor Donna Mahar’s project, “Digital Badges, Micro-credentialing, and Cross-level Collaboration in a Virtual Teaching Laboratory," for funding.

Through virtual laboratories, Mahar’s project will provide high-quality professional development for primary and secondary pre- and in-service teachers and the resulting micro-credentials and digital badges.

The micro-credentials and digital badges will be based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Five Core Proposition and align with what in-service teachers must meet to achieve NBPTS certification.

The micro-credentials and digital badges will represent and document what teachers know and are able to do, regardless of their years of service in the profession.

The micro-credentials and digital badges earned by an in-service teacher could be applied to professional development credit within their school district.

Learning in a virtual lab would take place online, where teachers would participate together live at the same time and/or where the online learning would take place at a time suitable for the individual teacher.

Online discussions and learning would center around videos produced by the NBPTS.

In- and pre-service teachers would then need to demonstrate mastery of the teaching strategy they viewed and discussed by submitting lesson plans, materials, video clips of their teaching and a commentary.

In the case of pre-service teachers, their work would be reviewed by clinical course instructors.

Mahar plans to use the $15,000 grant to work with the college’s instructional designers to create a prototype of the virtual lab. In addition, she plans to meet with representatives from the Syracuse City and Watervilet City school districts to ensure collaboration among all stakeholders when designing the micro-credentials and badges.

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