About The Global Studies Diploma (GSD)
The Global Studies Diploma aims to give students a well rounded knowledge of the world around them. The main goal is to help students make a difference in their community through action, exercising choice and monitoring the effects of the difference. This will provide a bridge between learning and leadership. This can help the student develop useful skills for the future and looks great on resumes! Students will earn a certificate of completion and a chord for graduation day upon completion!
How are today's students truly developing the Twenty-First Century skills needed to succeed when most hold what could best be described as an abysmal worldview? Evidence of the need to prepare students for the global future can be found in the results of World Savvy's Global Competency Survey, which covers "Knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors and demonstrates the degree of global competency we could expect the average American high school graduate to possess." World Savvy Results.
The Global Scholars Diploma (GSD) program was developed by the GlobalEd Network of Central Ohio, which is led by the Columbus Council on World Affairs in partnership with the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio. Supporters include the Longview Foundation and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.
The World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio (WAC-NWO) was invited to collaborate with the central Ohio organizations in implementing a pilot program of what the GSD might look like. Students who participate in the program will experience a set of education and community activities and experiences that will yield an enhanced worldview. This distinction will serve as evidence that these Global Scholars are prepared to participate further in University studies or enter as careers prepared with the 21st Century skills needed to succeed in the globalized world.
The program is based on a standardized set of Global Competencies. These were created as part of the Council for Chief State School Officers' EdSteps Project in partnership with the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning; and they are defined as the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to understand and act creatively and with innovation on issues of global significance.
The World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio has developed a version of the program referred to as the "Global Studies Diploma" to distinguish it from other versions developed in other parts of Ohio. There is a synthesis in this program that goes beyond typical classroom learning. Students participating will acquire the ability to intuitively identify the interrelated connections between the activities in the various competencies, the result being students who develop a much more rounded worldview than those not participating.
One main goal of the GSD is to help students develop the characteristics of "agency". Simply put, this means making a difference-- through action, exercising choice -- and monitoring the effects of the difference. Agency provides a bridge between learning and leadership. Students will appear before a final review board to explain how their worldview has been affected by their work on the Global Studies Diploma.
Northwest Ohio Global Studies Diploma
In August 2014, three local school districts in Northwest Ohio agreed to implement a GSD program for high schools students. A partnership was forged between the World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio, the districts, and Bowling Green State University's International Democratic Education Institute (IDEI). The main responsibility for each group, respectively, will be design, implementation, and assessment of the GSD, though it is expected there will be a collaboration among the groups in all areas. Students participating in the GSD program will complete activities in all four of the following concentrations. Evidence of student participation, achievement and reflection will be placed in an online portfolio.
Global Studies Diploma Assessment: Digital Badges- Mozilla OBI
Students will be assessed through a relatively new system known as "Digital Badging". While the idea of badges is not new ( organizations like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America and 4-H have been using them for generations), they have only recently been evolving as an assessment system for life-long learning. With support from innovators, such as The MacArthur Foundation, The Smithsonian Institution, and developed by tech leaders like Mozilla, digital badging has started to gain a foothold as a next-generation assessment option.
Digital Badging was chosen for its many advantages for students. A digital badge is a validation of learning with a link to evidence and criteria of the experience. There is a potential for credit provided for doing valuable, marketable learning outside of school. This system will engage students and motivate them to acquire, demonstrate, document and display their mastery of competencies. A standard process will validate skills, accomplishments, experiences, qualities and even interests. Hopefully, the standardized process will assure the badges are recognized as valid. The whole system allows students to have the autonomy to choose much of what they work on, the freedom to set their own pace, yet the validity to make it valuable in the real world.
The Mozilla Foundation recently unveiled version 1.0 of its "Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI)". This provides technical specifications to help provide validation, consistency, and portability. The intention is for badge systems to "Speak a common language" and be inter-operative within various digital badging systems. There is now community and tech support for those using the system. The World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio will become an issue of badges, and we are currently "onboarding" to comply with standards.
The intent of this assessment system is to recognize life-long learning beyond just seat -time and to recognize the mastery of global competencies. We are working with other local institutions to assure these credentials will be recognized. For more information on Digital Badging click the links here ------ Open Badges and Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Digital Badging In The Classroom.