I have been using badges linked to staff CPD for a while now and it is great seeing how excited staff can get about receiving badges. It has given us an insight into how well it will work with students.
I am excited about the following:
1. The layout of badges both in course and in profile. It looks like one of those 'collect them all' sticker books and provides a real incentive for everyone to try and complete everything.
2. It easily lets you link badges to a Module.
3. Tracking of badge completion looks great
4. The leaderboard is fantastic! (if it loads)
However, there have been some issues. The issues that really ruin all of the four points above.
1. Random badges appearing in staff profiles... it's a bit of a mystery as to where they have come from.
2. Slow loading. Reallllly slow loading (if it loads at all). With only 170 people working in it, I am nervous about moving it to full school.
3. Administrator roles not receiving badges. We have various administrator roles and they all complete CPD too, but there have been issues with how they see badges.
4. Not being able to link to Outcomes or Assignments. I understand that this will come in the future though.
5. Whilst leading an INSET with 20 people the other day. Over half could not even access Badgr or it froze.
6. The badge creator being very limited and not allowing you add text to badges.
7. There has been a lack of support from Badgr, with emails often bouncing back.
I am desperate to find a badge issuing LTI that works fully and is reliable enough to launch full school. I like Canvabadges, but even with that there were some issues with how it was giving badges automatically, or not.
Is anyone having similar issues with Badgr? Have you found a way of solving the issues? Would you recommend using a different badge issuer?
This post is just in time for me. We are going to start exploring with badges in the coming months. One of the K12 sessions at the conference last week discussed badging platforms. They chose to go with canvabadges, but the badgr reps at the vendor area said that canvabadges is no longer going to maintain development of their platform. So is badgr the ideal platform in terms of integrating with canvas (and perhaps pushing out to linkedin)?
Nate from Badgr here. You're right about that (for now). We will be adding this capability self-serve to the platform as soon as we can in the coming 3 months. For now, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any request to edit or change selected issuers.
Director, Open Badges, Concentric Sky
Nate from Badgr here. We are trying to make Badgr the simplest integration of badges and Canvas, and we're developing rapidly over the coming months. We just announced premium (paid) analytics features for schools who would like extra insight into their badging across Canvas, and we are able to keep the product free for base usage up to 10,000 students.
We'd be happy to find time to talk and give you and other stakeholders in your program a personalized demo and Q&A in the coming weeks. Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com to find a time if you're interested.
Director, Open Badges, Concentric Sky
I just started using Badgr this morning as an alternative for CanvaBadges: I was looking for a much more sophisticated automatic awarding system. However, I am already stuck - I have made myself an issuer, designed my first badge, but I cannot assign it to the module I wish, nor make adjustments to the award requirements. I think it may be my novice skills, but now I'm wondering if Badgr is simply less intuitive and granulated than CB.
N.B. I am perfectly happy to be corrected on my use of 'granulated'; I keep seeing words like this on discussions and I thought I knew it to mean sophisticated specifications alterable by user/admin, but I had three hours sleep trying (unsuccessfully) to get Windows 10 upgrade on two brand new laptops before the deadline, so brain fuzziness may be causing improper vocab choices and bad app usage...
I can do a Skype with you to go through it? It takes a bit of practice at first but once you see it working you will be fine. Can be free tomorrow if you give me a time that works for you.
This is an excellent video - Issuing Open Badges In Canvas With Badgr - YouTube and this gives you some ideas about criteria - Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.
A lot of the issues have been resolved. I haven't yet found a perfect badge system. There are brilliant things that each of them do, but then can't do something else.
I love Badgr. We have been using it for a year with staff CPD and it has a great userface both in user profiles and in each course. Think 'collect them all' sticker books... Or even more relevant Pokemon Go. Students can see the available badges and both what they have collected, and what is missing. Then go one step further and share these to Twitter and other systems if they want to show off their accomplishments.
Staff have turned into excited children and a big buzz of excitement starts in training sessions when they start comparing how many badges they have. It could be a great way to engage staff as well as students.
There is also a leaderboard function and the ability to export an overview of who has earned badges. It is all very, very easy to set up and navigate.
The cons which I hope to see some development with:
Badges can only be linked to completion of Module requirements and only one badge per module. This limits the ability to fully gamify the system. You can't have a different badge for students obtaining different levels like bronze, silver, gold. We wanted to set up a certain badge for people who attended a session and a more significant badge for the person who ran the session, but currently we can't do this. It's not a big deal, but definitely something that would improve the system a lot. Especially if linked to outcome completion like Canvasbadges as you could create specific missions for badges instead.
The system 'in-house' badge designer is also quite limited, but not a big issue as you can just upload a screen cap of a badge made in any other system or any PNG pic/file.
Overall, I really like Badgr, but I am hoping any future enhancements will not purely be for premium subscription users, otherwise we may have to look around again.
I hope that gives you a bit more info on our experiences anyway.
Craig, thank you for this insight. Like any technology, it is daunting to scope and evaluate the market. So many promises, so many "the other companies don't come close to offering XYZ". Badgr seems really promising.
I'd be happy to find time to chat about getting Badgr set up specifically for your uses. In the existing featureset of the integration, completion requirements are always directly tied to module completion. So to edit completion requirements, you use a Canvas course's built-in module completion requirements editing screen. There you can set prerequisite modules as well as a number of rules on the actions students must take on specific content, assignments, discussions, and quizzes that add up to module completion. We will add more types of completion-triggering events in the future, but for now, we've found ways to serve almost every use case we've come across through Canvas's module completion system.
If you were at InstructureCon last month, you may have seen mention in a keynote of Mastery Pathways, which will power up the module completion system even more with a richer way of defining possible completion paths through a module. We're excited to be tied into the module completion system, because it keeps getting better like this. But, if you're having trouble getting module completion to match up with the objective you want to recognize with a badge, we'd be happy to talk to see if we can get you dialed in a little better. firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd specifically like to follow up on "cannot assign it to the module I wish". If there's anything not working with your install, we'll aim to fix that right away.
And for folks watching this thread, stay tuned this week for some updates, providing a bit of a graphical refresh to the app as well as a new option to activate a Badgr Pro pilot to gain analytics at the course, account & sub-account level.
Director, Open Badges, Concentric Sky