Boise State University and the Lab prototype suite of 21st century skills badges

Last week, the Lab traveled to beautiful Boise State University to kick off our year-long engagement integrating three of our 21st Century Skills Badges (Catalyst, Collaboration, Resilience) into the student experience for all Community and Environmental Health majors. The 2-day, interactive design sprint with 30+ energetic faculty, staff, students and employers explored the “what is” and “what if” phases of design and included a big-picture look at the curricular and co-curricular landscape at Boise State University to see where authentic practice and assessment of the skills are already taking place, understanding the critical stakeholders using Empathy Mapping, and eventually developing napkin pitches–early ideas about how this could be done at Boise State (e.g., an immersive, project-based experience to bring a sustainable food truck to campus).

The second day culminated with fun prototyping and role playing activities wherein groups comprised of students, faculty, career services, and community partners got up and acted out scenarios in the badge earning processes they created.  Over the coming months, the Lab will continue its work with the forward thinkers at Boise State to create a replicable model of how to be more transparent about the skills students are developing, intentionally build and practice the skills in authentic ways (e.g., using the community at large as “co-educators”) and design badge earning journeys that are transformative for students and exciting to employers.