I am intrigued by the partnership with industry in this presentation to fill the skills-gap of students. Did you know IBM started out making cheese or meat slicers … they must have had some important pivots to get to where they are today.

Digital literacy or digital literacy skills training is being done in partnership between IBM and educational institutions. How do we keep up with changes in technology? That is a good question. I think partnering with industry has potential … as long as the implications for doing that are considered. What if students graduate knowing only how to use IBM products – will they get jobs? Do we want the IBM thing to replace the credential that the College offers?

The IBM badges have two levels to show a student’s ability in the micro-credential. They talked about the role of industry being to identify what skills students need. Education then needs to prepare students to have those skills.

Here is an example of what the website looks like. They showed how students can look at what kinds of jobs are available now based on the skills they are looking at.

I did find it interesting that grades were assigned for earning badges. I do find it problematic to force badging based on my context (nursing). However, students are quite motivated by grades. The weighting in this context of badging is much higher than I have used in the past.

I like the idea of trying to get students to focus their badging efforts. Good questions were raised. I have more questions than answers from this session.

Here is the main one: Not every employer is using IBM tools. That was a great consideration that they talked about. They teach foundational concepts not just a specific tool.

Categories: TESS2019


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit http://nursekillam.com/.


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