Professional Development

Digital Badging Feature for Districts Added to Performance Matters Teacher PD

To help school districts streamline their micro-credential programs, Performance Matters, an adaptive learning platform used by more than 1 million educators and 11 million students worldwide, has rolled out a badging feature to its teacher PD solution.

While micro-credentialing is often championed as a way to make K–12 professional development more personalized, it can be somewhat time-consuming for educators who are tasked with tracking and managing their digital badges.

The feature, available in Performance Matters’ Professional Development Management solution, enables school districts to define, create, manage and issue badges for teacher PD, a company representative said. In the platform, administrators have a view of all ongoing digital badges, along with their current status (for example: needs action or approval). They can choose to automatically or manually issue badges to teachers upon the completion of specified PD coursework.

Furthermore, Performance Matters' digital badges follow the Open Badges technical specification, a framework developed by Mozilla, the MacArthur Foundation, the IMS Global Learning Consortium and others that defines what digital badges should look like for issuers and earners across digital ecosystems. Therefore, the digital badges can be exported to Open Badges Backpacks, or to social platforms.

Micro-credentials in Action

Last fall, West Aurora School District 129 in Aurora, IL launched a districtwide micro-credentialing program to recognize educators who exhibit strong leadership.

The program focuses on five targeted areas in which educators can earn a credential: instructional practice, technology, whole child, instructional purpose, induction and assessment. So far, the program has seen 731 participants and logged more than 800 hours of professional development.

“Our biggest challenge, however, was that it required a lot of manual work to track which teachers were taking which courses, and who had completed a micro-credential and who hadn’t,” said Brent Raby, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for West Aurora, in a prepared statement. “Performance Matters Badging will streamline this process, which will save us time and make our program more transparent. Plus, because the Performance Matters system is so flexible, it can grow with us as our micro-credentialing program grows.”

To learn more about the badging feature, visit the Performance Matters site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].