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?

  • Badges provide a possible mechanism for supporting qualification-like activities without diluting or compromising the value formal qualifications have. They introduce a mechanism that can be used to manage a variety of activities that complement or support formal education. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 10, 2015
  • While formal education will take some time to find a place for badges and micro-credit, their effectiveness if backed by the necessary rigour may just help education breakout of the testing/ summate assessment trap. - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 22, 2015
  • - kevin.ashford-rowe kevin.ashford-rowe Feb 25, 2015 I think that badging (as micro creditialing) also offers us great opportunity in terms of academic teacher professional development, particularly as we can identify individual component parts of what good practice looks like and acknowledge it on the way.
  • Students who are constantly moving would benefit from micro credentialing of courses. These students would include incarcerated students, defence force personnel, elite athletes. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015

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

  • Badges as micro-credentials are well aligned to the use of MOOCs and similar initiatives working with populations who are not interested in larger formal qualifications. Examples include alumni as well as people in employment interested in participating in an educational community. They have a strong community focus in education with examples such as the use by Educause to reward member involvement in community activities http://www.educause.edu/badging - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 10, 2015
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • Has the potential to bring some of the effectiveness of informal learning into the realm of formal learning - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 22, 2015
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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