Exploring Digital Badging

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Transcript of Exploring Digital Badging

Competency Badges in the Academy

Exploring Digital Badging The What, Why and Some of the HowKelsey OBrien and Trudi JacobsonCLRC WorkshopApril 19, 2016


Have youEarned a badge?

Created a badge?


Learning ObjectivesAt the end of this session, participants will be able to:

Share information about the background, value, and issues connected to digital badging in higher educationContribute to an assessment of the potential value of digital badging in their work situationsDemonstrate knowledge of resources that provide additional information about digital badging

Agenda:Overview of badgesExplore a badging systemBreakCreate a badge

TrudiPoll what kinds of libraries are people coming from?3

Traditional badges

Image Source: Badges! By Nancy White, CC-BY-NC-SA

Merit badgesSkepticism, especially in higher ed, but gaining traction in academia and other educational institutions4

Digital badgesImage Source: https://credly.com/badge-builder

Credly is a popular badge issuing platform and badge repository/backpackAnyone can use free account to create and issue badges and add required metadataVisit Credly page to see more examples from a variety of organizations.5

What is a digital badge?A record of achievementAcknowledgement of an accomplishmentIndication of a proven a skill or abilityEvidence of learningVerification of competencyValidation of non-traditional skills or experiences

Non-traditional experiences (e.g. volunteer work) and competencies (e.g. teamwork, critical thinking, leadership)All of these definitions go along with the traditional idea of a badge as a reward, acknowledgement of a job well done - which has value in itself. What distinguishes a digital badge from traditional badge is that it is hyperlinked with valuable metadata: evidence, verification, validation of skills.6

Image Source: Open Badges Anatomy by Kyle Bowen, CC BY-SA 3.0

KelseyKyle Bowen: Director of ed tech services as Penn state7

Mozilla Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI)Established in 2012 with support from the MacArthur FoundationMetadata is baked into the badge imageOpen Badges initiative now being led by Badge Alliance

Trend largely initiated with Mozilla Foundation Open Badges project (2011) - sought to create a standard - envisioned badges as a tool for opening up education and recognizing informal learning that was already taking placeOpen digital badges include information about the learning experience that is portableMake learning visible and verifiableOBI technology infrastructure is open for others to use third party tools like Credly make it easy to create badges with this criteria8

Example of badge components


Badges in Games and AppsFourSquareUnTappdCall of DutyGemCraftAudibleFitness apps (Preva, Fitocracy)

Image Source: Ben Risinger, CC BY 2.0

Digital badges are becoming commonplace as a way to recognize achievementsSocial aspect, connecting with friends, bragging rights, perks and rewards for loyal customers, way to show your expertise (e.g. "brew master," "historian" "far far away" world traveller,)Gamification adding gaming elements to common activities10

Badges in the Workplace and Professional OrganizationsDigital Promise professional development for teachersYALSA professional development for librariansMicrosoft Educator NetworkBadges for Vets veteran employmentIBM training for IT professionalsEducause

Professional development, Training programs - credentials being used by hiring employers to easily identify discreet skills or competenciesVeterans - may not have workplace experience, badge helps articulate relevant workplace skills gained from their military experienceGoes further than item listed on a resume - evidence, validation - More complete credential11

Badges in Public Libraries and Communities

Loveland Public Library summer reading programChicago City of Learning city-wide initiative in which the Chicago Public Library participatesDetroit Digital Adventure another city-wide program with library participation. Connected learning for all ages

Loveland, Colorado PL: badges for reading for a certain number of minutes, attending library and community events - point system rewarded with a free book once enough points are accumulated

City-wide programs participating organizations in the community (e.g. libraries, museums, art centers)Goal: to break down barriers between in-school and out of school learning recognize and validate all different kinds of learning discover local resources12

Badges in Higher EdPenn State PurdueUC DavisSeton Hall UniversityUniversity Campus Suffolk Michigan State UniversitySource:


Links to all badging systems if youd like to explore further

Best use of badges in education is not as a replacement of traditional grades, but as a way to enhance recognition and documentation of a students learning experience students learn in many ways, often outside of the classroom, picking and choosing what they want to learn a lot of these experiences are not reflected on a transcript. Bullet points on a resume do not tell the full story.

Digital badges are a reflection of the way students are learning now. Effort to match credentials with learning trends. Empowering for individuals to choose the achievements that they want to showcase, and to have verifiable metadata to back it up.13

The Metaliteracy Badges


Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners (Mackey and Jacobson, 2014).

Metaliteracy expands the scope of traditional information skills (determine, access, locate, understand, produce, and use information) to include the collaborative production and sharing of information in participatory digital environments (collaborate, participate, produce, and share) (p. 1).


16Figure developed by Mackey, Jacobson and Roger LiperaMackey and Jacobson (2014) Metaliteracy: ReinventingInformation Literacy toEmpower Learners

Tom: behavioral (what students should be able to do upon successful completion of learning activitiesskills, competencies), cognitive (what students should know upon successful completion of learning activitiescomprehension, organization, application, evaluation), affective (changes in learners emotions or attitudes through engagement with learning activities), and metacognitive (what learners think about their own thinkinga reflective understanding of how and why they learn, what they do and do not know, their preconceptions, and how to continue to learn).

Understands the process of creating and sharing informationRecognizes gaps in knowledgeSeeks new knowledge to adjust to challenging situationsAdapts to changing technologiesContinuously self-reflectsDemonstrates empowerment through interaction, communication, and presentationReflects on production and participation


Design ProcessStep 1: Create constellations aligned with learning objectivesStep 2: Design badge graphicsStep 3: Create content (e.g. quests and assessments)

*These steps often overlap

KelseyTrudi can mention more about design process, graphics, etc.17

Step 1: Create Constellations

Align with metaliteracy learning objectives

Badge names = title that students can claim once they have mastered the concepts

Graphics designed by tech specialist at the library. Now you can use Credly badge builder.

The Metaliteracy learning objectives were used as the foundation for the design of the badging system, which includes four digital badges.

Set of constellations = galaxy. Continues to evolve.

Top level badges = where we want to end up indication of mastery backwards design

While some badges are standalone, we created a full badging ecosystem

Achievements along the way

Different types of badges

Badge overload diminishes value


Master Evaluator Badge

Might complete a series (e.g. search strategizing quests and capstone) or jump aroundFlexibility - complete pieces or the larger whole19

Producer & Collaborator Badge

Scaffolding: Planning out learning activities from introductory and building to advanced concepts. Activities start out more practical and basic, meet the students where they are (e.g. Messaging). As they progress the activities become more reflective, metacognitive and synthesizing.

Constellations represent a flexible learning model: There is some flexibility with the path that students take (have to start at bottom but can jump around and focus on particular areas, pick a few lower level activities or pursue a higher level activity). Room for mistakes - students can resubmit. Rather than failing and giving up, instructors provide feedback for how they can improve. Dont move on until they are ready. We have assigned the entire Master evaluator badge for Info Lit courses, but instructors can also pick and choose standalone quests and challenges.


Digital Citizen Badge


Empowered Learner Badge



WordpressBadgeOS pluginLearnDash pluginCredlyhttps://credly.com/u/metaliteracy)


plugins/add-ons - third party toolsWordpress and basic version of BadgeOS and Credly are freeLD was necessary for us to manage student work needed LMS features. May want to start with an LMS if you are planning on managing a lot of student work, open ended reviews, etc.Credly - badge issuer, badge backpack/repository (antoher example: Mozilla Backpack)23

ImplementationsECPY204U: Principles of Career and Life PlanningUUNI 110: Wr