Blackboard is the Virtual Learning Environment in place in NUI Galway and is widely used throughout the university, in all departments. The Teaching and Learning Centre run a bi-annual Blackboard training ‘festival’, to educate staff about Blackboard’s new features, effective usage of the VLE and best practice guidelines.
At the winter 2015 Blackboard festival, digital badges were issued to attendees, based on their attendance and participation at workshop sessions. The purpose of the badges was twofold, firstly to introduce the idea of badges to academic staff (sessions on the badging tool within Blackboard were run as part of the festival), and secondly to recognise their commitment to continuous personal development.
The badges were issued to attendees via the Open Badge Factory website, and following on from the issuing, a number of staff became interested in issuing badges to students within their own teaching.