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Badges for Lifelong Learning
Supported by the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative
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Digital Badges Threaten Colleges' Monopoly on Credentials - US News and World Report

If digital badges gain employers' respect, colleges and universities will face significant competition, writes Kevin Carey, policy director of Education Sector. "Traditional colleges and universities use their present monopoly on the credentialing franchise to extract increasingly large sums of money from students," writes Carey. That will change—if badges prove their validity as credentials.

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Badges as Goals: Achievement Goal Theory

Badges as Goals: Achievement Goal Theory | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Using achievement goal theory to predict the ways in which these divergent orientations towards learning might impact a learner’s motivation within a badge system can be useful. Badge systems are certainly patterned after similar systems within digital games, where these goal orientations have resulted in the negative outcomes associated with performance goal orientations. Studies that have examined gamers’ motivations have found a negative impact on mood when players adopted a performance goal orientation towards the game, valuing achievements over other aspects of game play (Ryan, Rigby, & Przybylski, 2006). Additionally, there are contextual factors that interact with these individual student orientations.

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Badges as gold stars: The Behavioral View of Motivation and Learning

Badges as gold stars: The Behavioral View of Motivation and Learning | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

[L]et’s consider that badges here are operationalized as a reward system instead of an assessment system. For the purposes of this exercise, I’m going to rely on existing learning sites with badge systems that I’ve seen in use, namely the Khan Academy, which is largely an automatic reward system based on levels of interaction with the site’s content, such as viewing tutorials or taking quizzes.

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Institution, Know Thyself! How Members Can Decide What Counts #dmlbadges | HASTAC

Institution, Know Thyself! How Members Can Decide What Counts #dmlbadges | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The activity of inventing a badging system means thinking through credentials and credit in a new way that, in and of itself (even if one decides not to adopt such a system), affords us a rare opportunity, as a collective, to think together about what we think counts and how we count what everyone contributes to the learning experience.

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Unpacking Badges for Lifelong Learning | HASTAC

Unpacking Badges for Lifelong Learning | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

In the past week since Badges for Lifelong Learning launched, people have written critical, constructive, and positive things about badges, but I haven't come across anything that really unpacks what badges are. I've read that badges are like credentials, related in ways to diplomas and degrees. Grades are sort of like badges, but worse. Badges can function like currency. The word badge tends to elicit memories of Boy Scouts for guys. Badges are shorthand for skills achieved, and can convey rank and reputation. Badges can be completely silly and extremely serious. Gaming is having a good run with badges, and that bugs some people. People like to collect badges. Marketers are getting drunk on badges and should probably chill. Is there some core definition or badge-ness to explain what makes badges unique?

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We Do, In Fact, Need Some (Non-Stinking) Badges | Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education

We Do, In Fact, Need Some (Non-Stinking) Badges | Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The utility and propriety of systems that revolve around open education resources and open credentials is obviously going to vary a lot depending on the field in question. Journalism, for example, has a wary relationship with higher education in part because journalists don’t need academic credentials to prove their value in the marketplace. Their work is their credential...In other fields it will be more important to have a credentialing process in place.

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The Quiet Revolution in Open Learning - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Quiet Revolution in Open Learning - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The latest and most sophisticated open educational resources have tests embedded within them because assessment is a fundamental element of learning. Feedback-based, assessment-driven "cognitive tutors" developed by learning scientists at Carnegie Mellon are woven into science, engineering, and philosophy courses produced by the university's Open Learning Initiative.

...These disparate elements are beginning to form an entire ecosystem for teaching and crediting human knowledge and skill, one that exists entirely outside the traditional colleges and universities that use their present monopoly on the credentialing franchise to extract increasingly large sums of money from students.

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'Badges' Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas - College 2.0 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

'Badges' Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas - College 2.0 - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Far from replacing university degrees, [Preetha Ram's] goal is to fill a gap by recognizing soft skills that traditional grades and diplomas often miss. Students who help out other students in face-to-face study groups have no way to show the effort they invested there, she contends. "We all know that teaching someone is the best way to deepen your understanding of the concept," she argues. And she says that crafting a clear answer to explain tough material to a peer is a the kind of soft skill that employers say they increasingly value.

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Digital Badges May Highlight Job Seekers’ Skills

Digital Badges May Highlight Job Seekers’ Skills | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

“The badges are another way to tell the story of who you are and what you know,” Dr. Yowell said.

“What people are learning in school is often not connected to the world of work,” she said. “Badges can fill that gap. They can be a kind of glue to connect informal and formal learning in and out of school.” If valued, they might also inspire students to accomplish new tasks.

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Credentials, the Next Generation

Credentials, the Next Generation | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The “digital badge” aims to provide a platform for lifelong learners to present their story. “We really believe,” Ms. Yowell said, “that we’re launching a national conversation about what skills matter and how those skills get assessed.”

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Forget the College Degree: Earn Digital Badges Instead - CBS MoneyWatch.com

Forget the College Degree: Earn Digital Badges Instead - CBS MoneyWatch.com | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The digital badgeconcept is an intriguing attempt to allow Americans to show what they know without relying on degrees. It can also be a boost for Americans with college degrees who want to change jobs, but don’t have the requisite degree to back up what they know or have learned informally.

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Think Different? Not on College Campuses

Think Different? Not on College Campuses | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

What if higher ed lost its grip on the credential business? Perhaps then administrators and professors would be forced to think that there is more than one way to provide a college education.

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Why Badges? Why Not? | HASTAC

Why Badges? Why Not? | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Our current, standardized systems of credentialing are very rigid and often restrictive. Badges allow groups of people—organizations and institutions--to decide what counts for them and how they want to give credit. Every contribution isn’t measured by ABCD. If you contribute, you can have a record of that contribution. That’s the beauty of digital badge systems or eportfolios such as Top Coders where you can actually click on the badge and see all the specific contributions or skills of a person that were recognized by peers in the form of a badge. A badge is a visual symbol. In the best online badging systems, that emblem then opens up a full array of contribution.

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Why Badges Work Better Than Grades | HASTAC

Why Badges Work Better Than Grades | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

What are badges? First, a badge is a recognized visual (physical or virtual) device or ornament or (heaven forbid!) piece of jewelry that typically designates in its design the symbol, insignia, colors, or name of the organization conferring it. That's important. That is, the very design of the badge acknolwedges the issuing body or community that has, collectively, agreed upon what counts as the minimum requirement for the badge.

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