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Workforce Readiness

Education Design Lab Launches Skills Learning Platform

Education Design Lab, an organization that works with colleges and universities in developing skills badge programs, has launched a new platform that helps institutions deliver training and assessment on eight "most in-demand skills" and to make the learning "visible." As part of developing or expanding a micro-credentialing program, vsbl (pronounced "visible") helps schools give students real-world experience in workplace-based scenarios.

The skills covered encompass:

  • Collaboration;
  • Creative problem-solving;
  • Critical thinking;
  • Empathy;
  • Initiative;
  • Intercultural fluency;
  • Oral communication; and
  • Resilience.

The lessons encourage students to learn, practice and reflect on the skills in the context of a given course or program; demonstrate their skills in practice sessions; and demonstrate the skill with a facilitator, who can award a digital badge for sharing on résumés and in social profiles.

The platform can be hosted in the institution's learning management system or on vsbl itself and used within an existing course shell or training module through a Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) connection.

Faculty or facilitators can track student progress in an analytics dashboard, and the Lab offers facilitator training to certify their ability to assess student skills.

The program comes in three "models" or versions:

  • As a free toolkit, that provides "do-it-yourself resources" for using the Lab's microcredentials, an edition that doesn't include assessments or rubrics;
  • As plug-and-play, with modules that connect into the school's LMS; and
  • As a hosted edition.

Over the last year 13 institutional organizations have tested the program, including Hope College, the University of Maine System and the University of South Florida.

In a video testimonial, Dale Austin, Hope's associate dean for the Career Development Center, said his college was "impressed with the intercultural fluency content of vsbl, its range, its user friendliness — really a best-in-class content that is effective in addressing intercultural fluency dimensions for our students so that they can be prepared to effectively work in a diverse world."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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