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21st Century Skills Badging Challenge Cohort Convening Highlights Opportunities within the University and Beyond

This March, the Education Design Lab’s school partners on the 21st Century Skills Badging Challenge gathered for the 2016-17 Cohort Convening–the culminating event of the year. Bringing together university teams from across the country, it was a celebration of 6 months of research and pilot design. Participants, in the midst of student pilots, were eager to share their unique badge earning models, insights, and challenges and engage with other cohort members.

The group tackled crucial questions, such as the rigor and portability of 21st century skills badges–and collectively addressed the future of the challenge. Could 21st century skills badges help inform the next gen resume? How might the badge earning process be used to reimagine the university experience?

Cohort members share and discuss their badge earning models. The processes presented ranged from seminar-style sessions to hybrid programs to a corporate training model.

The work of the cohort features a wide range of badge earning processes—from seminar-style sessions to hybrid programs to a corporate training model (featuring the badging process as a way to extend a conference). The diverse perspectives in the room sparked creative ideas for a path forward. While “reimagining the university,” participants identified opportunities within departments such as Alumni Engagement and Residential Life. Career Services, in particular, stood out as a viable environment that could benefit from 21st century skills badges.

The Lab team looks forward to refining prototypes like “Career Services 2.0” and moving the collaborative work of the Cohort Convening into the next phase of development.