The needs of program participants continue to evolve and educational trends shift to meet the demands of the modern student. At Academic Programs International (API), we are committed to incorporating high-impact educational practices into our program models. We believe that persistent dedication to educational innovation allows us to better engage this generation of students.
We know our students/participants seek competency and skill-based learning opportunities. There has been published research and anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of the gamification of student learning. To build upon this trend, and expand upon the learning management systems (LMS) already in place to support student learning, the API Learning and Engagement Digital Badge Program was born in August 2016. Through this innovative new program, API seeks to promote goals central to our work as a field with our program participants: intercultural learning, purposeful community engagement, professional skill and career development, global leadership, and mindful travel.
The API Learning and Engagement Digital Badge Program allows API to engage participants in the important work of aligning WHAT they do with WHY they do it — promoting skill development and reflection with each learning opportunity (e.g., conducting cultural research during the pre-departure phase, participating in a cultural event on-site, committing to a volunteer activity.) Participants in the API Learning and Engagement Digital Badge Program will earn portable, digital badges for use on résumés, e-portfolios, LinkedIn profiles, personal branding, and websites. By clicking on the electronic badge icons, viewers will be linked to a detailed explanation of the learning goals behind each badge and the intentional activities the participant completed to earn it.
The API Learning and Engagement Digital Badge Program is wide-ranging, allowing participants the opportunity to participate and earn learning badges before, during, and after their education abroad experience. We value the significant learning that happens during each phase of the participant’s experience and have worked to select badge activities that support this specialized learning.
To learn more about this initiative, visit apiabroad.com/badges