Badges for Lifelong Learning
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Badges for Lifelong Learning
Supported by the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative
Curated by HASTAC
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No Joy in Badgeville - 4 reasons why

No Joy in Badgeville - 4 reasons why | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it
Badges, as trumpeted by Mozilla in January 2011, were destined to change the world. They were to empower anyone with the ability to acknowledge the accomplishments of another. Maybe, someday, they ...
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I want a badge! | Mission: Curiosity

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Response to Doug Belshaw's talk on Open Badges (hint: first use ever of "bun fight" to describe badges for learning). Really well done article on the writer's assumptions and subsequent curiosity about how badges actually work. 

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Badges Beware: 80% Of Gamification Apps Will End Up Being Losers, Says Gartner | TechCrunch

Badges Beware: 80% Of Gamification Apps Will End Up Being Losers, Says Gartner | TechCrunch | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

After hype cometh the fall. Gamification — the catch-all term for rewards, incentives and loyalty services — has become averypopularway to get users engaged in an increasingly noisy world of apps and online life. But Gartner says in a new study that many of the apps using the technique are becoming noise in themselves: by 2014, 80% of all gamified apps will fail to do what they’ve set out to do, the analyst house predicts.

 

So what’s the problem? According to Gartner research VP Brian Burke, who has been looking at gamification techniques with Brian Blau, it boils down to bad design: companies/developers get fixated on bells and whistles like points and badges, while not creating meaningful enough motivations and objectives. Without the latter, the former become meaningless.

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Badges! Two: Why Data Is Never Enough | Academe Blog

Badges! Two: Why Data Is Never Enough | Academe Blog | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Yesterday, I posted on the ‘digital badges’ that some think may point the way toward an alternative form of educational certification. I don’t think that’s a good idea, but I didn’t really explain why (saying I would later get to why that’s not the same as a college degree). This morning, I saw a link on Diane Ravitch’s blog to an article by Esther Quintero, a sociologist who writes for the Albert Shanker Institute’s Shanker Blog. Entitled “The Data-Driven Education Movement,” it explains why data alone is insufficient for educational analysis.

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Badges: The Skeptical Evangelist | A Thaumaturgical Compendium | Alex Halavais

Badges: The Skeptical Evangelist | A Thaumaturgical Compendium | Alex Halavais | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Are there dangers inherent to the very idea of badges? I think there are. I’ve written a bit about them in a recent article on the genealogy of badges. But just as I can find Herb Schiller’s work on the role of computer technology in cultural hegemony compelling, but still entertain its emancipatory possibilities, I can acknowledge that badges have a long and unfortunate past, and still recognize in them a potential tool for disrupting the currently dominant patterns of assessment in institutionalized settings, and building bridges between informal and formal learning environments.

 
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Gaining Some Perspective on Badges for Lifelong Learning | Doug Belshaw

Gaining Some Perspective on Badges for Lifelong Learning | Doug Belshaw | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

One thing I’ve always been interested in is how to shift the power dynamic within classrooms towards learners in a positive way. Changing (or at least providing additional) ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding is one way to do that.

 

The trouble is that people fall into the trap of becoming either advocates or naysayers from a very early point. We all like to have a ‘position’ on major developments in our field, so it’s a brave soul who is willing to suspend judgement

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Badges for Learning: Threading the Needle Between Skepticism and Evangelism | DMLcentral

Badges for Learning: Threading the Needle Between Skepticism and Evangelism | DMLcentral | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

There has been much ado the past week or so about whether badges can offer a viable means for assessing learning. It has been boisterous on both sides. Badge evangelists such as the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure (with which those of us at the DML Competition in Badges for Lifelong Learning work closely) and Cathy Davidson (with whom I co-founded HASTAC) have laid out a vision for how badging might work to reveal, recognize, and reward learning and learning pathways. But there are also skeptics in the room. Mitch Resnick has laid down the challenge to badges for learning. It is good to have serious and thoughtful skeptics to keep the evangelistas honest. Similarly, Henry Jenkins has popped the balloon of a too quic

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Badges?!? Do We Need Any Stinking Badges?!?? | TedCurran.net

Badges?!? Do We Need Any Stinking Badges?!?? | TedCurran.net | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Everything I’ve heard is that badges are designed to take the place of the diploma– but a diploma is just a way for an educational institution to confer its reputation upon an individual who has successfully proven mastery of content. The whole system is based on faith that the institution knows what mastery looks like, and it has done due diligence to ensure that its graduates have mastered the skills.

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for the love of learning: Are badges an alternative for grading?

When I share with others that I abolished grading from my classroom years ago, I often get two reactions. The first looks something like stunned bewilderment; for these people, they can't even begin to conceive how school could function without grading. They might even go so far as to feel that I am not doing my job. The second reaction is one of interest, followed quickly by uncertainty for what would act as an alternative to grading.

 

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Ruminate | Open Badge Brouhaha

Ruminate | Open Badge Brouhaha | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

I am surprised that those who so often rail against the standardized recognition of the institution in the form of diplomas and certificates are immediately hostile toward what I see as essentially a blank space in which to experiment with something that is far more flexible in terms of recognizing a learner’s achievement and skill. I’m surprised that so many who self-identify as part of groups that have (or might as well have) badges or t-shirts or some other emblem of their membership would object to a project that is effectively capturing the same spirit.

 

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Badges – the Good, the Meh, and the Ugly

Badges – the Good, the Meh, and the Ugly | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Badges recognize that meaningful learning can happen in units smaller than a 750 minute credit hour. The backpack concept makes it easier for learners to aggregate credentials (I am under no illusion that badges are not credentials written small). The replacement of A-B-C-D-F with badge or no badge (now everything is pass-fail, in essence) may reduce relentless sorting pressure.

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digital digs: Welcome to Badge World

Perhaps one might find the notion of open badges appealing. Open meaning what? Anyone can open their own diploma mill, err I mean badge-selling operation? Of course not. Badges would have to be accredited by someone. Not sure who, but I doubt getting that accreditation will be free. How could it be? What open means is market-driven. Badges will have monetary value. People want them as a route toward getting jobs. They will pay for them the same way they pay now for college credits. When we look at all the free, DIY learning that is out there now, it's free precisely because it hasn't been commodified.

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Valary Oleinik's curator insight, March 6, 2014 1:08 PM

Gamification and badging may be all the rage these days but it is useful to looking at the "dark" side of badging. Why are we really doing it. What will it really accomplish. I think it is new and novel right now and maybe hasn't really found its way, but it is trying to solve some issues that we need a solution for. How do we record our accomplishments past higher education? We list memberships and awards on resumes but don't always have a way to show that we have the skills and motivation to move our careers and lives in new directions.

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Badges Blog

Badges Blog | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it
DML Competition's insight:

This post is a nice articulation by Richard Dando about the big question: what is the real value in badges from a learner perspective?

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What if Badges Replaced Grades? - Online Universities.com

What if Badges Replaced Grades? - Online Universities.com | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it
The common understanding is that if students work hard in school they earn
DML Competition's insight:

While much of the attention in education reform discussions is devoted to gamification or game-based learning, is it possible that there is one element that might be the lynch pin to major educational change? What if we just scrap the entire concept of grades and replace them with one gaming element – badges?


Badges vs Grades


While there is some legitimate criticism of the random application of limited gamification elements in traditional educational settings, perhaps this is one possible exception to that rule. Considering a switch from traditional letter or percentage grades to badges signifying achievement could open up many possibilities for a more fine-grained tracking of student progress, address some of the criticism regarding schools not teaching concrete skills, and motivating students to learn. Here’s why.

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Badges!

Badges! | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

I learned a great deal as a Boy Scout, but I never got anywhere with it. I just couldn’t manage to retain the cards with the lists of things I had to do to progress or to earn merit badges. I did everything for a dozen or so, but I really wasn’t interested in the paperwork or, frankly, even in the badges. I wanted to do things for themselves, not for such paltry rewards.

Though I never succeeded in the hierarchy of Scouting, the things I learned without attaining certification have stood me well. I have the skills; who needs the badges?

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Will Open Badges work?

Will Open Badges work? | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

I recently tweeted about the Open Badges project from Mozilla. I did now some things about the project already, as I knew that Hans de Zwart had already written about it. I, however, had not yet read the white paper. To me, it’s clear what the project is all about. What I miss in the white paper is some sort of assessment of the difficulties and/or risks involved.


The tweets that started this dialogue were:

 

(1) @ it’s just that ‘we’ don’t even know how to conform to open standards regarding h/w, why then learning goals?


(2) @ and as any #gamification course will point out: won’t #openbadges become a goal in itself?


(3) @ and then, if everyone starts to use #openbadges, how then will we prevent everyone using them?


(4) @ and if they are ‘controlled’ who will decide on them, and won’t this create a bureaucratic hazard?


@ So that’s why. Any documents addressing these issues?

 

Point (1) has a lot to do with all those open standards that are failing because of many reasons. Lets take the recent endeavours for ePub3. I’ve been following the stuff that @fakebaldur has written and tweeted about this, and I can almost understand why Apple did their own iBooks. So this begs the question whether, if we already have difficulty in agreeing on technical standards, something more ‘soft’ like learning goals can be used for an open standard that everyone agrees on, let alone the distribution of them.
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Pretty Sure Badges Aren’t the Answer to Our Motivation Problem | Andrea Zellner

As I’ve outlined in this space before, I am somewhat of a badge skeptic. At first it was a general uneasiness, then I started thinking about motivational theory and what it might predict about the use of badges as they’ve been operationalized in various ways by the Khan Academy, among others. As I started thinking through motivational issues, I kept bumping up to the fact that both research and theory suggested that on the whole, there is a very real risk to intrinsic motivation when badges are used in learning.


Via Karen LaBonte
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How to Earn Your Skeptic "Badge" | Henry Jenkins

How to Earn Your Skeptic "Badge" | Henry Jenkins | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Experiment with badges but really experiment -- that is, try to figure out if these mechanisms really do what you hope they will do and be particularly attentive to the ways that they have unintentional consequences and damage the very activities you are seeking to recognize.

 

Also seed other kinds of research and experimentation which looks more closely at other mechanisms for promoting and appraising participation, including those which may already be in place within such communities of practice.

 

Be aware that the process of badging is going to make things more comfortable to those who are comfortable with getting recognition from adults and may make things less comfortable for those who have not yet fully bought into the values of the current educational system.

 

And above all, if you are embracing badges, make sure you are doing so because you agree with the core premises, because it's the right thing to do for your group, and not because someone is offering a bucket of money to those who are willing to "give it a try."

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Still a Badge Skeptic | Mitch Resnick via HASTAC.org

Still a Badge Skeptic | Mitch Resnick via HASTAC.org | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

In a recent blog post, Cathy Davidson described her evolution from a badge skeptic to badge evangelist. Indeed, it seems that almost everyone is now a badge evangelist. Go to any conference about learning and education, and you’ll be surrounded by discussions about the transformative potential of badges.

 

So why do I remain a badge skeptic? I have great respect for Cathy and many other badge enthusiasts. And I certainly appreciate the value of badges as credentials. It is often useful to have an external indicator of what you’ve achieved and accomplished, so that others can understand what you’re capable of.

 

The problem, for me, lies in the role of badges as motivators.

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Digital Badges – Do we need them?

Digital badges have the ability to assist in recognizing non-formal and informal learning. I don’t think that anybody is really disputing this. The issue that people have is that organizations will just hand out badges without ensuring that learners really met a criteria. Cathy Davidson addressed a similar issue in today’s post concerning the start of multiple choice tests. ” How do I know my child is a “top student” when the person determining that excellence is herself not “top”?”

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Toolness | Achievement and Playfulness

What might the analog be for Web literacy badges? How about achievements for things like…

*not closing an HTML tag?
*writing a CSS rule that never gets applied to a page because it’s overridden by other rules?
*falling for a harmless phishing scam?
*having your behavior tracked by the same company across 30 different websites?
*putting a security vulnerability in your code?
*making a web page that’s perfectly legible to blind people, but incoherent to those with vision?

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Of Bitcoin and Badges. | dougbelshaw.com/blog

Of Bitcoin and Badges. | dougbelshaw.com/blog | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency system that does away with the need for state-level control of the monetary system. It’s run into some issues but I think it’s promising, even if just as an alternative idea. Badges, or more particularly Mozilla’s Open Badges infrastructure and the result of the DML Badges competition, are (to me) even more interesting. Using badges to support lifelong learning sounds straightforward but it’s actually a fairly nuanced idea that takes some investigation to understand fully. The problem with both Badges and Bitcoin is that adherents get carried away with the rhetoric, talking of their new system ‘destroying’ or ‘revolutionising’ an existing one. Many present it as either/or. On the other hand, critics are never satisfied unless a rigorous, comprehensive alternative to the status quo is presented in toto.*

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“Credentialized badge” is an oxymoron?

If you look for a theory of action of the competition (and of Mozilla’s open badges), it appears to run off the added motivation virtual badges and other “in the moment” awards give many videogame players. If nominal recognition works in games and in many areas of life, this implied theory of action runs, why not formalize it with a structure for recognizing such achievements, let people earn them, demonstrate them in other contexts? … and then they become credentials, as Kevin Carey proposed in May.

 

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About Mozilla Badges

About Mozilla Badges | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

I believe that Mozilla’s Badges has the potential to be an important development. At a minimum, it could provide a way to accredit (recognize is perhaps a better term) non-formal or informal learning activities. But I have so many questions about this project, starting with ‘why?’ and ‘who?’. The why stems from the contradiction between informal learning and assessment (however it is done). Isn’t the point of informal learning is that it IS informal and it’s the informal learner herself who makes her own assessment of its value? (I suppose there’s nothing to stop learners issuing their own badges, of course)

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