Badges are frequently seen around the web, often as a by-product of gamification.
Khan Academy, Coursera, Code School. You name it, they’ve badged it. However, not all badges are created equal. For badges to retain value, they must be verifiable and portable. Unfortunately that’s not the case with many of the mainstream websites issuing badges. It’s pretty easy to fake them, or claim others badges as your own.
We’re starting to see some portability (see: LinkedIn and Coursera for example) but it’s also tricky to know what a learner had to do to earn them, beyond completing ‘some course’. Fortunately, these issues have already been addressed by the Open Badge specification.
Open Badges specify that badges be open, portable, and evidence-based. By ‘looking inside’ an Open Badge, we get to see a range of data that tells us who issued the badge, why they issued it and to whom. All of this meta-data is stored alongside the actual badge graphic.
The Anatomy of an Open Badge (from http://classhack.com/post/45364649211/open-badge-anatomy-updated CC BY-SA 2.0; used with permission).
Open Badges: Real World Examples
Understanding the technical process of creating a badge in Curatr is one thing, but actually determining what Badges you wish to award and why can often be a trickier process..... hopefully this article can go some way towards making that decision making process easier.
We'll use the following structure to outline some of the Badges that we have awarded, along with any additional contextual information.
Badge Name > Criteria for awarding > Additional Information
For many clients, the most obvious Badge to start with is:
- Your First Comment - Make one comment in any Curatr course.
Once you've gained confidence in the process, you might wish to progress to award some badges for obvious actions such as completing or contributing...
- Podcast Pro > complete the Podcast Pro level in the Elearning Beyond The Next Button course > this approach was also taken for the completion of every level.
- Engagement > Achieve 50 comments in a specific course > this could also be awarded for making the comments across any Curatr courses.
- Sales Enabler > Complete the 48hrs to Better Sales Training course.
Don't forget that Curatr allows people to vote on one anothers (hopefully) valuable comments, so why not try these:
- Quality Contributor > Receive 50 votes from other participants in a specific course > this could also be awarded for receiving votes across any Curatr courses.
- Quality Appreciator > Give 50 votes to other participants in a specific course > this could also be awarded for giving votes across any Curatr courses.
You can even tie together multiple criteria to award a Badge
- Social Master > Complete the Exploring Social Learning course AND make 50 comments AND give 10 votes > this is an example of multiple criteria being required to receive a Badge.
Upping your game:
In one course we were exploring the subject of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a topic that has a lot of arguments for and against. We wanted to highlight both sides of this discussion in a Curatr level, so this is what we did:
- Curated 3 pieces of content for and 3 against AI.
- Once we'd added these into the AI level in Curatr we tagged each of these objects with the tag Opinion Balancer.
- We created a badge called Opinion Balancer and set the criteria so that it was only awarded when people had viewed 6 pieces of content (3 for + 3 against) that were tagged Opinion Balancer.
- Opinion Balancer > View 6 objects tagged 'Opinion Balancer' > this approach could be used for other subjects in which you want participants to consider differing views and perspectives.