What are Badges/Micro Credits?

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?

  • Its important for students , teachers to both receive rewards and recognition for their effort, badges linked to real life rewarding schemes, loyalty programs , companies, society and governments should also support schools work and give more important to knowledge at the society.- abdulrahman.hasan abdulrahman.hasan Nov 6, 2015 I think this technology has the ability to really flip education if done correctly (especially in primary/middle). Basically, students would be receiving "Facebook likes" distributed on systems (Moodle, Wordpress, etc.,) from teachers for recognition. I can't think of many other ways to motivate students for this e-generation. But implementing it can be a bear (see below for challenges)- patrick.mcmahon patrick.mcmahon Nov 8, 2015
  • Badges have excellent potential as an informal means of recognising teacher technical proficiency in schools. There are many information and communications technologies to master as a teacher in an international school setting and badges provide an efficient and fun way of evidencing skills and knowledge. - aaron.metz aaron.metz Nov 9, 2015
  • Badging has found real traction in gamification of student learning at primary and secondary levels, PHSE/TOK/IBCore classes and more recently in teacher professional learning. With small achieveable outcomes and incremental growth, learning can easily be scaffolded, assessed, and personalized. - matt.harris matt.harris Nov 13, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • School need to map the skills they would like to recognise and a considerable time is needed to design custom badges to match your institution. - aaron.metz aaron.metz Nov 9, 2015 From experience, it has been very difficult to get staff and students on board. And also, our school does not have one platform, but many competing platforms which splinter grouos. - patrick.mcmahon patrick.mcmahon Nov 9, 2015
  • How can the badges/micro credits be displayed or housed especially for younger students? Blogs are an obvious platform but not every teacher or student has one. And with the transient population among international school students and teachers, how could digital badges/micro credit be 'transferred' to a new school? - dbeabout dbeabout Nov 10, 2015
  • Who decides what is 'badge-worthy'? How are the requirements to earn a badge decided? - dbeabout dbeabout Nov 10, 2015
  • I have been hearing about the transition from micro-badging to micro-volunteering (just heard today in fact) where students or teachers earn badges for small tasks that benefit a great organization or good. So, instead of self promotion it is organization growth. - matt.harris matt.harris Nov 13, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • - aaron.metz aaron.metz Nov 9, 2015 There is potential for badges to be used to throughout the school community. They could be used to highlight master of the following;
    • fire drill and evacuation procedures
    • email and social media etiquette
    • student information and grading system
    • use of printers, scanners etc...
  • - patrick.mcmahon patrick.mcmahon Nov 9, 2015 Anything a certificate was used for in the past.
  • students could develop their own badge system to complement goals set in conjunction with personalized learning plans. - dbeabout dbeabout Nov 10, 2015
  • I would like to see it a means of goal setting and portfolio development for teachers and secondary students. If they could use OBI tied to their evaluation system or college entrance it would be a great way to show breadth and depth of skill and accomplishment beyond standard training systems. - matt.harris matt.harris Nov 13, 2015

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

  • In Saudi Jawdah the school built a small software called quality bank , each students receives a card with a bar code, the teacher can award up to 40 points a week, for many aspects , from being on time to good behavior, it has made an impact and created competition between students to achieve and receive awards. I can supply some images and info about this in more detailed if required - abdulrahman.hasan abdulrahman.hasan Nov 6, 2015
  • We have integrated Badges into the Moodle Learning Platform at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong to recognise active learning by teachers on professional learning days. - aaron.metz aaron.metz Nov 9, 2015
  • At British School of Jakarta, we are working on our badging system for teacher professional learning and tying it goal assessment and faculty appraisal. Have just started using it as part of our revamp of teaching the IB DP core, where we no longer do CAS, TOK, PHSE, or EE as standalone classes. - matt.harris matt.harris Nov 13, 2015

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