Badgestack and Longwood U combine forces to offer students a head start on what they need to know to succeed in today's work force.
Can it get much more innovative and community-focused than this? Longwood University in Virginia has worked with one-of-a-kind learning platform creator BadgeStack to offer a MOOC designed to help High School students learn about career readiness. The non-credit course, “5 Skills You Need to Succeed: What Employers Want You To Know”, is a free online offering that teaches interpersonal communications skills, presentation techniques, critical thinking and more of the skills needed to land a job and succeed in the workplace.
About The Course
Over 2800 students registered for the first run of this 10 week offering, and about 1200 of them started it. There has been very little drop off so far and they're about 7 weeks through the course. While the largest percentage of participants are regionally located, the course has students dispersed across the globe, from 12 different countries. Check out these maps of participant locations:
The course consists of 5 modules, each two weeks in length, as follows:
- Weeks 1 & 2: Projecting the Best You – Communication and Presentation Skills
- Weeks 3 & 4: Playing Well With Others (the Interpersonal)
- Weeks 5 & 6: Internalizing the Habits of Successful People (the Intrapersonal)
- Weeks 7 & 8: Training Your Brain to Make Great Choices (Critical Thinking)
- Weeks 9 & 10: Navigating the Path to put Your Best Professional Foot Forward
Dr. Nicholas Langlie is Director of Planning, Innovation, and Implementation for the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Longwood. He explained how Longwood is “establishing a new paradigm for learning in education … we have created an interactive online course that incorporates gaming elements to increase engagement and foster retention.”
The course is structured with clear deliverables to help ensure a robust learning experience that provides exposure to skills that will give any career seeker a leg up. For example, in Week 9 students have to record an “elevator pitch” to sell themselves to a prospective employer. This hands-on exercise helps students understand the importance of focusing on the key points they want to convey to interviewers, and gain experience in valuable interviewing skills.
BadgeStack played a vital role in the development and delivery of this course. BadgeStack is, “an innovative system with a game-like approach that assesses skills, recognizes learner achievement, sparks community, and excites learners of all ages.” Jonathan Finkelstein, director of the BadgeStack project stated that, “this MOOC is an example of why we created BadgeStack. Dr. Langlie created a visionary program that will have a real impact on students working to improve their life and work-readiness skills. We are eager to see the progress of Dr. Langlie’s important program.”
Virgina DOE Gets Onboard
The Virginia Department of Education has embraced this project, promoting it on the front page of their web site for a while and putting together enthusiastic promotional materials like these:
EmergingEdTech congratulates Longwood University and BadgeStack on partnering on this innovative project and encourages educators everywhere to check out this course and be inspired by the efforts of forward thinking administrators like Dr. Langlie and the entrepreneurs at BadgeStack. Learn more about the course at http://determinedfuture.com.
The course will run again in January, so if you know of high school students who might wish to partake in this valuable free career skills course opportunity, please pass this article on to other administrators and teachers and help to get the word out!
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