Frequently Asked Questions

about ETE10 and digital badging

ETE10 is aligned with the mission statement of Utah State University "by fostering the principle that academics comes first" and to the mission of Empowering Teaching Excellence program "to elevate and promote our culture of teaching excellence" here at USU. This voluntary program sponsored by Academic and Instructional Services (AIS) is designed for tenure track and non-tenure-track faculty, lecturers, clinical faculty, professional practice faculty, adjunct instructors, and graduate instructors.

The program is designed to encourage continual professional development in the area of teaching and learning for our USU educators. Participants in the ETE 10 program earn digital badges, or micro-credentials, designed in a three-tiered framework based on documentation of teaching improvement activities, and can earn three culminating certificates. These certificates can be used as evidence of one's teaching improvement and dedication to student success.

Digital badges document skills and learning that you have completed. As they are awarded by the Office of Empowered Teaching Excellence at Utah State University, you can use them to show progress in professional development on teaching and learning.

There are many reasons why professional development in learning and teaching is important at USU. Professional development for instructors can improve the quality of instruction, leading to increase in student success. Student-centered learning is a cornerstone of USU's mission.

Aside from fostering a culture of teaching excellence, earning badges show adequate progress toward your professional development. While your department and field of study can offer development opportunities directly related to your research interests, ETE provides programs directly focused on faculty development for teaching and learning to help you learn how to best instruct your students.

Any instructor at USU can participate in ETE10’s digital badging program. That includes graduate instructors, UTFs, staff who run trainings, lecturers, professors, and any other faculty whose job description includes instruction. Different pathways have been developed to support instructors with different levels of teaching experience. During your ‘Plan your Teaching Excellence Pathway’ meeting with ETE staff, you will discuss the best options for your particular set of skills and role statement.

To earn badges, you log into the ETE10 Canvas course. From there, you can browse the variety of badges that are available and choose the ones that align with your interests and pathway. There are three tiers of badges: engage, implement, and contribute.

For engage badges, you have to participate in a teaching-related event or workshop and submit a reflection about the experience to the ETE10 assignment for that badge.
At the implement tier, you take what you have learned during the professional development activity and implement a change to your teaching practice. You must show evidence of the changes you've made, show the outcomes/results from those changes on your students, and reflect on the process.
With contribute tier badges, you give back to the teaching and learning community. You can do this by presenting, writing an article, or peer-reviewing classes, and so forth.

You submit all evidence of your engagement, implementation, and contribution through the ETE10 Canvas course. Once you have submitted all the required materials, and have met the criteria outlined for that badge, your submission will be reviewed by ETE. You then either be awarded the badge, so contacted for further material.

As you earn badges in the ETE10 program, the Canvas course through which evidence is submitted and badges are awarded, those badges will automatically appear in your "Pathway" toward your certification. The badges and types of badges (engage, implement, contribute) you need depend on which certification you’re attempting to earn.

Currently, there are three certificate options.

  • Explore College Teaching Certificate (designed for graduate students): 5 engage
  • Teaching Scholar Certificate: 6 engage, 3 implement, and 1 contribute
  • Master Scholar Certificate (completion of teaching scholar certificate is a prerequisite for this certificate): 4 engage, 3 implement, and 3 contribute

The time it takes to earn a badge varies widely depending upon which badge you’re attempting. Some engage badges require only that you watch or read a particular resource and write a reflection. These badges could be completed in as little as a few hours. Other badges, especially the implement and contribute badges, generally take longer to earn. Implement badges require you to make a tangible change in your teaching and track the results of that change. For some, this might mean implementing a course change at the beginning of a semester and tracking student progress throughout the semester. In this case, the badge would take a number of months of observation to earn. In other cases, instructors make a change to one assignment, in which case the results could be observed over the course of a few days or weeks.

Certificates also vary in the time they take to earn. Depending on an instructor's role statement and the time they can spend working on certification greatly impacts the time they take to complete. While badges are awarded at any time during the year, certificates are only awarded at the ETE Conference in August and all badges must be submitted by August 1st to be considered for that year's certificates.

Each badge is a visual representation of the progress you've achieved through instructor development opportunities. Badges can be accumulated into certifications or stand-alone. It is possible to attach your badges and certifications to your LinkedIn and social media accounts, add them to your T&P dossier, or add them as a line or section of your C.V. What you do with your badges depends on your current and future professional goals and interests. Talk to a member of the ETE office for more information about how to use your badges in the way that’s most useful for your professional development.

What you learn will depend on your personal goals and on which badges you participate in. All of our badges are related to the scholarship of teaching and learning, so no matter which badges you work toward, you will be learning skills that can help improve your teaching practice and the experience of the students in your course. Beyond those general learning objectives, you can focus your learning by choosing one of the five tracks on your way to earning your Teaching Scholar Certificate.

Tracks were developed by ETE as areas of emphasis on the pathway to earning the Teaching Scholar Certificate. These tracks focus on specific goals and objectives instructors have for their professional development in teaching. When you sign-up for a track emphasis, you will have required badges you need to complete and designated prompts within each badge to help you stay focused on your goals. The five tracks you can choose from are:
1) digital-age teaching
2) diversity mentorship and inclusive teaching
3) evidence-based learning
4) explore college teaching (for graduate students only)

5) foundations of college teaching

The best way to choose your pathways is by talking with an ETE faculty member during a “Plan your Teaching Excellence Pathway” meeting. This meeting is the first step toward getting started, and it earns you your first badge!

You can enroll in ETE10 by clicking here. Once you've accepted your invitation to the ETE Canvas course, you will be contacted by an ETE staff member.

Please contact the Office of Empower Teaching Excellence: or 435-797-4950.