What are Badges?


Badges are seen as a way to grant certification for informal learning in the form of micro-credits. A key aspect of gamification is to build in easy to reach incentives, and badges are an simple way to bring that idea to learning. The concept behind badging draws on longstanding ways learning has been documented in other settings, such as the personal skills and achievement when a Boy or Girl Scout earns a merit badge. The approach is being used in learning environments like the Khan Academy, with promising results. People watch videos on specific subjects and earn new badges by doing so. Mozilla has published an open specification for badging — the Open Badge Initiative (OBI) — that enables providers and users alike to easily display their achievements on the web. Badges can be used as a way to incorporate some of the advantages of game mechanics as participants work through various levels or stages to achieve credentials. While badges are not by any means pervasive in education systems, they appeal to many educators because they are considered to be more authentic signs of knowledge comprehension and skill acquisition than standard tests, grades, or course credits.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Badges allow students choice and opens the doorway to a number of the domains that are mentioned in this report: mobile learning, learning analytics, and online learning. We started a badge program last year. Did not fail completely but students have not bought-in. We in the process of exploring how to create 'the cool effect'. Stackoverflow is an interesting site which I believe can have a powerful impact on learning--mobile and online--if we changed its content to a subject area we teach. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Sep 2, 2013
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on STEM+ education?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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