Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Doreen Piano

Second Advisor

Sarah DeBacher

Third Advisor

Jennifer Jackson


College students seek degrees to obtain employment in their field of interest, however, as the 21st century progresses, employers are often requiring specific skills in addition to degrees and transcripts. As students graduate with their Associates, Bachelors, and Graduate degrees, they plan to present these degrees as sufficient evidence of their qualifications. However, there is recent criticism of college degrees as evidence of qualifications. A beneficial alternative for students would be digital badges. A digital badge is a visual representation that signifies a specific achievement with detailed metadata attached. Digital badges in first-year writing courses would benefit students as they develop specific writing and critical thinking skills as prompted by the curriculum. First-year writing digital badges can include: researching, synthesizing, writing process, constructing authority, etc. as deemed appropriate by the instructor. Ultimately, students will display their badges on their resumes, CVs, or any other document verifying their achievements.


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