This year the Innovation Center is excited to announce the launch of our badging system. At the beginning of the summer a team of individuals from the Innovation Center polled our project team leaders to identify the key skills gaps that our student designers had when initially joining their respective teams. The common consensus was that our incoming student designers needed additional work in three key areas: Communication, Team Work, and Design Thinking. After receiving the information, the team drilled down into what specific tangible outcomes would assist students in their transition to our teams. The result was the development of three individual badges that students have the opportunity to complete in order to become employed by the Innovation Center. Each of these learning opportunities would take no longer than 2 hours to complete and would allow them the opportunity to achieve introductory skills in the given areas. Our plans are to expand these badge opportunities to be more content/division specific, allowing students to skill up in an area of their choice. Below is an outline of the three badges we are currently offering.
The Communication Badge focuses on three key components: digital etiquette, in person communication, and pitches. When students are finished, they have a foundational understanding of the different modalities of in person communication, how to communicate formally using email, and how to deliver a pitch about themselves and their role at the Innovation Center.
Teamwork helps students develop soft skills that are often not taught in traditional academic subjects, yet these skills are crucial when working in any industry and being effective in developing projects and working for different organizations. This badge is the first step to help students learn about how important inclusivity, teamwork, effectively collaborating, and asking for clarification are in working on a team.
In the Design Thinking Badge, students have the opportunity to work on one of several real world business problems. Students are walked through all 5 stages (Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test and Feedback) of the Design Thinking process as they work to create a formidable solution for their “client.”