What are Badges/Micro Credits?

Badges are seen as a way to grant certification for informal learning in the form of micro-credits. Initially on hearing the term badges, most people will think of incentivizing learner activities .Badges can indeed be a simple way to bring that kind of gamification into learning but badges are so much more.- joyceseitzinger joyceseitzinger Feb 6, 2014 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 Infrastructure - joyceseitzinger joyceseitzinger Feb 6, 2014 (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?

  • These can de-link accreditation from formal structures to provide accreditation in non-traditional ways - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 6, 2014 - dirk dirk Feb 10, 2014 - michael.coughlan michael.coughlan Feb 16, 2014
  • The concept of any organization, entity or individual to be able to award a recognition of learning achievement or skills is a direct challenge to the organizations that have traditionally had that right exclusively: schools, TAFEs, universities and training providers.
  • - kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 8, 2014I think that badges are going to become an increasing component of the suite of mechanisms by which we acknowledge achievement. In particular, I see that they can add value in terms of acknowledging professional development for our staff, they can also serve as a means of recognising particular aspects of student performance that might not be so easily integrated within the context of the curriculum, for example the acquisition of generic graduate attributes. Though, I would add here that such attributes are better served with integration within curriculum and assessment of that curriculum, badges might enable their specific identification. This could be important for employers.
  • There is a requirement that Higher Education institutions make a shift from time-served degrees to competence-based models. Badges or micro credentials can help to facilitate this shift and will provide necessary evidence of competence for the future job markt. - dirk dirk Feb 10, 2014 - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • In an increasingly competitive training market there may be scope for an individual or enterprise to describe the set of skills/competencies required and for training providers to tender to design a program that addresses these needs. The onus is on the provider then to look closely at real workplace needs and how these align to qualifications as a carrot. THe shift, I think, needs to be from providers designing badged courses and throwing them out there, to a learner-focused model - robyn.jay robyn.jay Feb 15, 2014 - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • Useful to think about how open badges can be used to credential skills such as digital and information literacy and other information learning - ktairi ktairi Feb 18, 2014
  • In research education badges could be used to make the informal learning which is part of the PhD process more legible - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014
  • One thing that HE hasn't been great at is identifying Learning Outcomes at a sub-unit level and crating that - Badges are a solution to that issue. - david.cummings david.cummings Feb 20, 2014
  • Many higher education courses, particularly in VET, have increasing requirements towards students proving competency, and badges could provide a solution - if properly defined, structured, benchmarked and assessed. And therein lies the problem. - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014

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

  • I think that while the strong links to gamification are there, seeing badges as more a form of universal micro-credit that also happen to have some built-in gamification elements is the best view to take - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 6, 2014
  • add your response here- kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 8, 2014I think that there will be an issue with determining how such badges (or micro-credits) might articulate into more recognised qualifications such as degrees.
  • The integration and acceptance of badges in Higher Education will require new benchmarks. This opens up new business models for accreditation agencies etc. - dirk dirk Feb 10, 2014
  • Open access to badge system and global acceptance of different badging systems adds complexity to this emerging technology - dirk dirk Feb 10, 2014
  • I agree that there are strong links with gamification here and that there needs to be some clear definitions in the edu community about what open badging is and how it can be applied. - ktairi ktairi Feb 18, 2014
  • I'm interested in user acceptance - will people take up badges that do not have strongly known 'brands' associated with them (like we have seen in conventional higher education)? Will we see 'status anxiety' in the way people take up and use badges in the future? - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014

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

  • Potential to increase engagement in learning. Collecting badges potential to increase motivation. - ktairi ktairi Feb 18, 2014
  • These can de-link accreditation from formal structures to provide accreditation in non-traditional ways - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 6, 2014 - dirk dirk Feb 10, 2014
  • potential for Graphic Design and IT students to collaborate to produce an institution's badges - michael.coughlan michael.coughlan Feb 16, 2014
  • For research education there is potential to make a richer learning landscape for our students. For a long time the thesis has been the sole focus of reseach education. Although associated learning actvities are very common there has been little in the way of formal recognition for the development of these skills. It's a difficult task because PhD students are very diverse these days and have different needs. Badges allow the development of pedagogies which respect difference - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014- joanne.woodrow joanne.woodrow Feb 23, 2014
  • If future gazing, then the idea of shareable badge pathways, as coined by Carla Cassili at Mozilla, is very interesting https://carlacasilli.wordpress.com/category/badge-pathways/
    . As people learn, their badges form a visible pathway. If badges all adhere to an common language (as with the Mozilla OBI) then that data will allow us to begin detecting patterns in people's learning pathways. - j.seitzinger j.seitzinger Feb 23, 2014
  • Impact could be comprehensive in VET in terms of assessing, recording and reporting on competencies.

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

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