Badges in Online Learning

A recent comment from Debbie mentioned badges. So it seems a good time to initiate a discussion of Badges in online learning, higher education, and the workplace.

If you’re not familiar with badges they are essentially the same thing as we earned in Scouts – a tangible reward for achieving specific tasks. In online learning they are an attempt to grant credit (formal or informal) for achievements. The long-term hope is that students earning badges at one institution or in online courses or life experiences will be able to translate those badges into credit at another institution.

Read 7 Things You Should Know About Badges from Educause.

The main grantor of badges is currently Mozilla’s Open Badge site. It seems an unusual stretch for a browser company to take, but that may be my limitation.

There is also at least one commercial badge site, so I anticipate more will appear or have already arrived. That means there will be multiple badge systems that have to coordinated – possibly defeating the purpose for badges.

From an employer’s perspective badges may be an added method for scanning and screening candidates. Simply by adding your earned badges to your resume or social profile, you may go to the top of the list.

Do you think badges will “catch on”? Are you already using them in your courses? Are you seeing them applied in other courses? Share your thoughts and experiences with badges below:

Posted in Teach Online MOOC
One comment on “Badges in Online Learning
  1. Sue Bedard says:

    I am very interested in adding badges to our program. We have thought about awarding at certain points of completion for their final project. We are also creating some structure for determining concepts utilized and then award a badge for skills gained. We might even investigate levels of skills and add difficulty to the badges in that fashion. I think this is an exciting concept.

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