A civil engineering lecturer at Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Galway-Mayo has won a prestigious award for creating and developing a suite of Digital Open Badges.
Dr Wayne Gibbons won the Association for Learning Technology Learning Technologist of the Year 2022 award for creating badges to keep students motivated throughout their studies and increase their employability.
He is the first Irish academic to be awarded this international accolade.
The award recognises the positive impact Dr Gibbon’s doctoral study has had on the learning and teaching experience in ATU Galway-Mayo.
He investigated best practice for designing and implementing digital open badges into a module through engaging with students, lecturing staff, institute management and an employer over a three-year research period.
Dr Gibbon’s research finds that since they were implemented into the curriculum digital badges have resulted in an increase in motivation, engagement, confidence, peer learning, attendance and enhanced links to employability.
“The badges are a great way to recognise and reward the types of attitudes and behaviours that are not captured in an exam or a numerical grade,” he said.
“This can include traits such a teamwork, mentoring, attitude to self-improvement and commitment to learning. These are traits that employers are keen to know about, but which can be difficult to provide evidence for.
“The badges are a mechanism for providing this evidence for the students. This allows them to tell the full story about their experience, not just their grades.”