Here are the ideas about badges that we have expressed in the badge discussion forum and also in our PiratePad chat of May 15. (Have I missed any?)
Rebecca: My feeling is that for this course the badge system should be kept very simple. I like the idea of each learner producing four artifacts, one for each of the four main topics of the course. I guess my question is, is the badge awarded for completion or for "demonstrating understanding of the topic." My preference would be to see a badge awarded for completion, with the learning artifacts linked to the badge.
Monica: do people agree about the preference for course completion badges linked to artifacts? I mean, people have already been producing great artifacts, and so this approach would simply have people keep doing what they've been doing, with no extra time demands. We're already at WK 5 so some may already have all four artifacts!
Joe: I'm hesitant about the "badge" idea in general. I think there are other ways to acknowledge, assess, and accredit learning that feel more organic, and like less of a competition. For example, profile pages could show the number of forum posts and the percentage of these that have been "voted up" or "starred". In addition to forum posts, users could point to external work (e.g. blog posts) that they want to have as part of their portfolios, and these could be commented on or "starred" by other users… I think it's good to look at the facts (how much does someone contribute? How useful are these contributions to peers?), and insofar as badges do that - and help people meet their own goals in the process - they're definitely cool. From this point of view, a "badge" is just an analytic - a cold hard fact.
Nate (from PiratePad chat May 15): I think we should at least have one badge, the course-completion badge. I don't think we have to have it dependent on sub-badges… applying for the badge is almost an afterthought if you have some blog posts (or distributed whatever) you can link to as evidence… a badge is the accreditation we get for the work we did, not the work itself, as I understand it. I want a little link to put on my website to a badge I "earned". Note: Some of us agreed with this on May 15.
So above we have 4 ideas on how badges could work. Joe likes the idea of starring posts and this is an idea that we haven’t discussed yet. Others mention linking artifacts to badges, or one single badge awarded at the end. It could be 4 posts, one on each topic. Many of us have made strong posts on one or more topics already.
I’d like to suggest that we make a kind of portfolio of our own (or everyone’s all together?) posts that we think contribute well to our understanding of the topic. We could all acknowledge the contributions made, and agree that these posts qualify for posts counted towards the final course completion badge. Do we want one final course completion badge with 4 (or more) artifacts linked to it? It seems like that is the common ground of the ideas expressed above. Joe’s idea about starring posts is also interesting and worthy of discussion. It might be too late for this course to start starring posts tho. And some of our main posts are external, in blogs. No one would be able to star them.
What do you think? I think we should discuss this here and try to come to a decision together. The main question seems to be if we get a course completion badge (just for completing the course?) or if we need 4 artifacts in order to get the final course completion badge. Please tell me if I have understood this correctly. I think that we need to decide this soon as we only have a few weeks left.
Thanks for your help!