Taking Youth PM Learning to the Next Level with Digital Badging


21 September 2017

Written by Alice McDermott

Published inPM for Social Good

Topics Youth

PMIEF Digital Student Badge

PMIEF digital badges look like the image above, but link back to the critical information needed for student learning to be quickly verified

Digital badges are a quickly growing tool used in the field of education that allow recipients to document their competence in a manner that is easily shared and verified.  Since many students are being introduced to and receiving instruction in project management in both the traditional classroom and out of school learning experiences, badging is an ideal fit for them to evidence this learning. 

The PMIEF Project Management Fundamentals digital badge is designed for students aged 12-19 and allows students who have learned these valuable skills through an out of school program, such as scouting or a competition team, or as part of another course to show that their learning meets a standard backed by PMIEF. Students can share their badges on LinkedIn profiles, digital portfolios, on resumes, and in many other ways, and the person with whom the badge is shared can easily verify who issued the badge and criteria for earning it. 

PMIEF’s badging initiative was officially launched during the 2016, and thus far, hundreds of students have successfully earned digital badges. Among these students were a number of participants from Destination Imagination (DI), an educational nonprofit that focuses on using STEM and the arts to teach K-12 youth the creative process through collaborative problem solving challenges with a focus on ultimate learner ownership.

Destination Imagination partnered with PMIEF to build project management frameworks into their existing participant guide, the Destination Imagination Road Map. These project management frameworks were designed to help teams better see how to effectively take their challenges from ideas to reality. When PMIEF began offering the no-cost Project Management Fundamentals digital badge, DI saw an opportunity to help their students showcase this highly sought after skill, with the backing of a trusted third party.

For Destination Imagination, the impact of badging has been significant. Despite the fact that their project management learning did not take place in a formal classroom setting, DI participants were highly successful.  Says Kris Beisel, Director of Educational Alliances and Training at Destination Imagination, “it was very empowering for students to see how much they had learned from their participation in DI, and to have that knowledge validated.” In formalizing their project management knowledge in preparation for badging, participants realized that they had truly developed important skills. 

An additional benefit for Destination Imagination is that they have been able to use the testing data provided from the badge assessment to gain a deeper understanding of what participants know, and in what areas they could use more support. They have used this data, in combination with feedback gathered from team managers, to update the project management materials that will be available to participants this year to better support teams. 

Outside of Destination Imagination, other teachers and youth leaders who have decided to offer the PMIEF Project Management Fundamentals digital badge to their students. They have observed an increase in student engagement when students learned they will have the opportunity to earn this recognition from a well-known organization like PMIEF. Additionally, the introduction of this badging opportunity has brought another level of meaning to classroom project learning for students.

We are thrilled to see so many students earning their Project Management Fundamentals digital badges, and look forward to seeing even more students participate in the badging program this year!

If you are a classroom teacher or involved in a youth organization and you think the students you work with might benefit from digital badging, get started by visiting our Student Badging page and downloading the Student Badging Toolkit for more information.