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Community Member

Badgr ... is it working for you?


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.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 15.36.57.png

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?

Thanks

Craig

60 Replies
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Community Member

I'm also wondering if Badgr is going to work in my classroom this semester.  It looks like it has great possibilities, and I would love to use it with my students.  It was working reasonably well for me earlier this summer.  However, I'm having multiple issues this week:

  1. In two of my courses, the Badges tab was previously working but now shows only a 500 error.  I emailed help@badgr.io a couple of days ago.  A ticket was created for me, but there's been no other response.
  2. I was able to add the Badgr app to a past course to do some more testing, and I'm not receiving the error there.  However, I'm not able to get some of my badges to issue to students, despite trying the troubleshooting tip provided here: I didn't get a badge I was expecting - Badgr Support - Confluence.  The problem badges have not been issued to any students at all, but other badges seem to be working accurately based on module completion requirements.

Class starts on Wednesday, so if there's not a fix for this, I need to try something else asap.  Any suggestions? ottonomy@gmail.comjward@instructure.com

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An update:

No progress was made by the start of term, so I switched to Canvabadges at the last minute.  This was a mistake--the badges did not issue to students with any kind of consistency.  I did appreciate the variety of options for completion requirements, but students randomly received badges they didn't earn and didn't receive the ones they did.

Badgr support responded after about 2 weeks, and they fixed the bug causing the error message.  I switched back to Badgr with high hopes.

Another issue has arisen since then.  I've added new (published, with requirements) modules to my course, but they don't appear in the Objectives tab, so I'm not able to assign badges to them.  Once again waiting for support from Badgr.

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Claire, I am scouting around trying to get some information. I set up CanvaBadges in a course, but am unable to get it to render upon a module (or even an assignment) completion. How does CB know if the user has completed a module? It seems to award when you click into the Badge page. Do you have any expertise on linking CB with the completion of an assignment?

tina

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Scott, to your last point, I can really only comment with specificity related to Badgr:

In Badgr, progress is reflected in badges only when users check on them, but that still means teachers and students get a real-time view of progress through the badges whenever they look. We're going to add on to that early next year with some extra options for tracking your badges that will be more deeply embedded with the course material. I expect this is pretty similar to CanvaBadges just because of the way LTI apps can connect to Canvas and how the course progress APIs function. In the Badgr team, we're interested in talking to Instructure further about optimizing communication between the applications to allow us to have a tighter connection between module/assignment completion and badge award (and improvements to notifications, etc). But we can't just turn on the firehose of checking every course frequently for new module completions, because the amount of API traffic it would generate at present would cost Instructure and Badgr quite a lot of money, and we probably wouldn't be able to offer a free tier of service any longer.

There are some interesting possibilities with LTIv2 to add additional services and interaction between an LTI tool consumer and tool provider. See LTI v2: An Introduction | IMS Global Learning Consortium for an overview of the change in philosophy between LTI v1 and v2. One might be the possibility of introducing additional messaging options beyond the ones sketched out in the existing v2.0 Messaging Framework | IMS Global Learning Consortium.​ At Badgr, we're looking for institutions to partner with in order to try out the different baby steps from here to some amazing future capabilities. Over the coming year, our Badgr Pro partners (who are signed up for our really inexpensive paid addition to the basic features) will get to try out a bunch of new functionality and access a bunch of analytics about how badges are being used in their communities.

I'll keep monitoring this thread to be able to answer questions. If there are other questions you see on this forum about Badgr that I don't get to, feel free to point the posters towards our help email help@badgr.io, and we'll get back to them as quick as possible. Cheers!

Nate Otto

Director, Open Badges, Concentric Sky

concentricsky.com

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@Claire , I tried Badgr in a course I developed for faculty (571 participants). I set it up to allow the user to complete a module by stating they had finished. So it doesn't have points, is a completion 'grade' although there isn't a grade as such, and the user completes by inserting a statement in the text box.

I got this to work with Canvabadge, and unlike your situation, the modules were available when I uploaded Badgr. (As a point of reference, the modules were built prior to connecting the Badgr pieces to the course). BUT, the system doesn't work. The badges are not rendered upon completion of the module.

Like you, I have contacted Badgr help. They were 'johnny on the spot' when I was implementing the APP; with this question I have waited a full day thus far. Sure hope it doesn't lag on and on.

jward@instructure.com

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Community Member

Hi, Tina. Just checked and replied to your support request to indicate possible issues for why a badge would not be automatically awarding within a course. This Badgr support page has some more detail about possible issues that could result in a badge not being awarded when expected.

We have a small team, and a lot of our effort is dedicated to developing new features and improvements, so we get to requests as soon as possible, but sometimes it's not instant. Some of our clients take advantage of our paid Badgr Pro option which includes a guarantee of 24h support response time.

Thanks, and do keep replying to the support thread you sent in if you have further issues.

Nate Otto

Director, Open Badges, Concentric Sky

concentricsky.com

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Community Member

 Hello craigring@rooksheath.harrow.sch.uk and Gideon.Williams@britishschool.nl

I wish I read this post earlier Smiley Happy

I just posted a message to jward@instructure.com here:

Badging Platforms for Canvas

Badging Platforms for Canvas 

Earlier this week, I recommended Badgr to my ITS Director Catherine Clowes

https://badgr.io/issuer

 

Also shared this Webinar: Webinar: Open Badges in Canvas with Badgr 

 

(Link to archive: Open Badges In Canvas With Canvas Premier Partner Badgr)

"Digital badges can recognize diverse achievements in Canvas courses, going beyond the simple metrics found in degrees and transcripts to provide a rich picture of a student's learning journey. Badgr integrates with Canvas via LTI to automatically issue Open Badges to students as they complete course modules. This session gives an overview of open digital badges, showing participants how to set them up in a Canvas course and how students can use them to represent their achievements across a lifelong learning journey."

  

Great video on how to add to Badgr to Canvas (seems simple enough):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBryNU0iiXU

 

However, she hasn't heard back from the Badgr admin (yet) to have our Canvas domain permissions set up by Badgr. 

And it all sounded so easy :smileylaugh:

Nate notto@concentricsky.comand khammond@concentricsky.com

I do appreciate your comments above...

FYI - we are boarding school of 520 students - and we are looking at badges for academic courses but also co-curricular possibilities with our residential life experience.

If you posted above, I appreciate your latest thoughts and experiences.

 

What is the best bet in 2017 (and the relative near future) for badging?

 

We are looking to pilot badges this spring, but running out of (spring break) time, and not sure what the best bet is with badging.

Best,

 

Kevin 

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Hi kobrien@thehill.org‌,

Thanks for your message. We'd be happy to integrate your Canvas instance with Badgr! I am not sure how cclowes@thehill.org‌ tried to reach us, but I can pre-authorize you today if you wish. Feel free to send me your Canvas URL here or log your integration request at help@badgr.io and I'll hook you up.  -Kim

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I clicked a link to an email address  to send the URL to on a help page about issuing and Canvas

How do I request to use Badgr on my Canvas server? - Badgr Support - Confluence 

However, I can't find a sent email for this. We were having trouble with our email that day so I bet it got lost during that time. Thanks for your interest and help!

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I forgot to add I requested help via the helpdesk yesterday so I think the authorization is in the works - I had a bit of trouble finding this email address until I found the support area via google.  It would be great to have a link to this support area linked to the main My Badges page.

Just in case it will help to get this done faster our domain is academy.instructure.com

Again, thanks!