Thoughts on badging

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Give badging a try


I attended  @mlattke ​'s Earn Your Merit Badge session and had some good chats with the Badgr vendors while at InstructureCon.  Michelle is in K-12 while I am in HE, yet I still felt like I came away from the session with some interesting ideas and thoughts regarding badging.  As a precursor, I'll mention that if we establish some sort of badging system, we will call it microcredentialing and focus on the professional development aspects.  Each culture is different, and from what I have gathered in the discussions with my faculty and leadership, the concept of badging seems infantile to our cerebral and distinguished professors.  :smileysilly:

There are many options for platforms, such as Mozilla backpack, Canvasbadges, Badgr, Credly, etc.  They all have benefits and drawbacks, and really there is no one-size-fits all at this point.  You just need to evaluate the needs and expectations of your institution and find the best solution.  (Boo! right? Just tell me which one to use!)

Badges are a good way to demonstrate achievement based on evidence.  Don't use badges as a motivational tool.  It may motivate some people, but largely it is recognition for achieving a set of defined outcomes.  There are a few approaches you can use:

Independent badge: Do action X and receive a badge

Dependent badges: Do action X and then action Y and you will receive a badge

Leveled: As you complete tasks, you graduate from the bronze level badge to the silver and gold level badges.

The Canvas community functions in some of these ways.  We earn points for participating in the community.  Sometimes in addition to points we meet certain criteria and get a badge.  And we have our rankings where we can know how we stand against other community members.  As of this writing we have three level 6 community members:


The leaderboards can provide both a sense of accomplishment as well as a spirit of competition (what tricks does  @kona ​​ have to take back the lead from stefaniesanders​?).  Ideally the badges should be meaningful and fun.  You may even consider acquiring physical badges, such as laptop stickers.  ​


It seems like badging platforms have become simple to use and administer, and there are many options available to integrate into Canvas or export to LinkedIn.  It is definitely an option worth exploring.