10 March 2016

Appreciation - With a Badge

48/366 - Thumb Appreciation Day via photopin (license)

In a  previous post I reflected about how creativity does not happen in a vacuum. Appreciation too, does not exist with learning and a context. Badges in education may be a motivating element in classrooms and a form of qualitative appreciation which so is often left out of assessment  and student evaluations. 

Kapp draws our attention to how : 

"1) Badging is good for indicating non-linear knowledge acquisition. Leveling tends to build upon the previous skills.

2) Badging can serve two purposes. One is to micro-credential a person. This means that the badge certifies that someone can do what they need to do. It is a validation and verification of actual knowledge. The other is simply a recognition that the person took part in a certain activity or attended a certain event (more as a simple recognition)."

In addition to the above, one can also consider the role of badges for qualitative learning - for the learning opportunities that so often emerge unplanned and unsuspected in classrooms,  and how learners can be rewarded for taking the initiative. Learning is not only achieving high scores and being able to perform well in exams. Learning in classrooms includes so much more, from learning how to keep a learning space clean and tidy for the next group of students, to learning how to work within teams and cooperate actively. It is meeting agreed deadlines to following instructions. It is showing empathy and peer support. All these and more, are so often forgotten when a teacher has only testing and summative evaluation as approaches to assessment.

For All Rubrics is a free tool which educators can use to design and award their own badges and rubrics. There is also a help centre where educators can browse on questions they may have when setting up and sharing their rubrics and creating their own personalised badges for their students.

For those who prefer creating on a mobile device, there are also the mobile apps. Other features include a library and an analysis section.

Although I myself tend to use the badge feature already offered in Edmodo,  For All Rubrics makes it really simple to create specific badges for one's context.

For those who already use Edmodo, For All Rubrics  students can access their badges and feedback on their work (based on the rubric given) between the two tools.

A digital badge is an item which reflects students participation, development and achievements. It also reflects appreciation for positive and constructive behaviour in classrooms. It is something that makes students proud and encourages them to continue doing better.

Whether it is merely sprinkles of stardust to brighten up a dull day, or a badge for reading accomplishments, awarding learners a badge is a token of acknowledgement of their efforts and participation within a learning group. 

Badges, as appreciation and acknowledgement,   have their place within corridors of learning.

Further Suggestions:

Open Badge Academy 

Thinking about Badges and Learning

Clipping the Art

Awarding Achievements

Running through Rubrics

Digital Me

How Open Badges Could Change Teaching and Assessment

Digital Delights for Learners - Badges

Digital Delights - Open Badges

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