The Wayne State University Marshal’s Office celebrated the exceptional work of his Academy of Academic Leadership Fellows earlier this month, including Zsa-Zsa Booker, Ph.D., School of Medicine staff member, Learning Skills Specialist in the Office of Learning and Teaching.
The academy is an intensive one-year leadership development experience, with fellows leading a team to develop and implement a project for the benefit of the WSU community as a whole.
“The program inspired and challenged me to find ways to improve my own skills and abilities, which I hope will help strengthen my leadership skills. I learned, for the second time, the laws of attraction and the importance of doing my best to attract the right opportunities, ”said Dr. Booker.
Her project, a digital badge initiative in medical education that she piloted in 2019, was a form of micro-accreditation that served as a digital representation of an achievement. To facilitate the success of students in medical school and as lifelong learners that year, the school required students in the 2023 class to participate in advanced learning strategies for doctors-in-training, or ALS, during the first two weeks of school. This was part of a campus-wide campaign to introduce digital badges to the Wayne State University community.
Students had the opportunity to earn digital badges as leaders in various sections of the ESL course including clinical skills, problem-based learning, self-regulated learning, and the mentoring program. More than a third of first-year medical students were recognized for earning the ALS digital badge that year. They can add achievement to their portfolios and final letters of recommendation at the end of their undergraduate medical education career.
The assessments included a formative quiz, a concept map and a final creative project displayed in the Scott Hall cafeteria. A one-year longitudinal program with additional sessions ran until May 2020.
“Now that the program is over, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about leadership, specifically, better people skills that make better leaders. Each month in the program there were meetings where we focused on our individual projects and certain aspects of leadership such as active listening, empathy and team development. These sessions really opened my eyes to a personal development that I had not considered before. I feel better prepared to lead knowing things I can improve about myself, ”said Dr. Booker.
The Digital Badge in Medical Education program continues to be an initiative that Dr Booker is passionate about.
“I hope the Office of Learning and Teaching can embrace the curriculum and eventually the entire medical school can one day use the curriculum as a way to encourage deep learning and professional growth.” among its students, ”she added.