#SUNYCIT: Exploring Digital Badging for Metaliteracy, Sustainability and Student Engagement

#SUNYCIT: Exploring Digital Badging for Metaliteracy, Sustainability and Student Engagement

The University of Albany team of Trudi Jacobson, Kelsey O’Brien, Doug Sweet, and Mary Ellen Mallia gave a highly informative presentation on how they are using digital badging to support academic and student affairs initiatives. Presently, they have 70 different involvement markers.

Digital Badging

They began the presentation by defining what a digital badge is and how it could be used to recognize formal classroom activities, work skills, and individual knowledge.

They are using it for pathways to success.


For part of the student badging experience, they are using a site called Myinvolvement.org which is powered by CollegiateLink. With the program, students can record their involvement using a smartphone or computer. They would record their involvement:

  • attending orientation
  • welcome ceremony
  • academic events
  • programming events
  • athletic events
  • student organization events

They have developed an ecosystem around:

  • academics
  • career
  • intercultural
  • athletic
  • civic
  • wellness
  • purple & gold

More information can be found on their get involved page.

Building badges

When building badges, they focused on developing the criteria for the badge as well as making the badge look good.

After building the badge, they initially began by awarding badges retroactively to students who had already met the criteria.

Student Affairs Badges

Here are some of the badges the University of Albany is awarding:

Badges for Merit – These badges also push out a press release to local papers

  • Dean’s List
  • President’s List
  • Residence Assistant

Career badge – Recognition for advancement in career development.

Example of Career Badges

Example of Career Badges

They are also issuing badges for student leadership training, leadership roles, etc.

Sustainability Badges

Students can earn different badges for meritorious effort in sustainability. These badges are based on knowledge, experience, and co-curricular activity in sustainability. Some of the criteria include attaining a B+ or better grade in two or more sustainability-focused courses. Attending major campus events also count towards the badge.

Earning Badges

To earn a badge, students apply for the badge. Individual offices will review the submission to ensure all criteria has been met.

Once earned, students have the choice to share the badge with others. FERPA rules do apply.

Metaliteracy Badge

One of the intents of the metaliteracy badge was to increase the ability to work in a digital age. The badges focus on four domains:

  • metacognitive
  • affective
  • cognitive
  • behavioral

The framework is based on the book, Metaliteracy in Practice.

Badging Constellation

The badging constellation is built upon layers. Quests stack to earn challenge badges. Challenge badges stack to earn content badges. Finally, content badges stack to earn the master badge. There are four master badges:

  • Producer and Collaborator
  • Master Evaluator
  • Digital Citizen
  • Empowered Learner

Most of the quests are based on reflective exercises that the library team reviews. Additionally, these quests or activities can be used within academic classes for a grade or extra credit. Instructors can choose activities to use and localize them to the specific class. Librarians work with the interested instructor.

Each quest has an introduction followed by a video. The quest also includes the actual assignment criteria.

In one class, 35% of the grade was based on digital badging activities.

Future Activities

The University of Albany is working on developing a set of digital badging constellations around augmented reality as well as improved health literacy skills.

This was a very informative presentation. I was fascinated with the number of badges already created and the diversity of the badges.

If you want to learn more about this presentation, please drop by the TEI Synergy Center.

Additional Reading

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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