Designing digital badges for a college course

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  • DESIGNING DIGITAL BADGES FOR A COLLEGE COURSE AECT 2016 LAS VEGAS, NV

    Dr. Vanessa Dennen Professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies, Florida State University vdennen@fsu.edu @vdennen Jiyae Bong Doctoral Candidate in Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies, Florida State University jb11ab@my.fsu.edu

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  • OVERVIEW

    Designing digital badges for a college course:

    Six different types of badges developed in an undergraduate course on Educational Technology and awarded through a different process

    Topics covered

    Course

    Design and development process for badges

    Implementation of badges

    Evaluation focusing on learner attitudes and motivation

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  • DIGITAL BADGES

    Digital badges have been adopted in higher education contexts as an alternate form of acknowledgement and assessment

    The use of digital badges in higher education settings has potential at multiple levels. Course level: monitoring individual progress and providing feedback

    Program level: supporting the development of competencies across classroom and extracurricular experiences

    University level: initiating intra-university collaboration among disciplines

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  • ABOUT THE COURSE

    Undergraduate educational technology course

    3 credit hours, Spring 2016

    Offered to pre-service teachers

    Multiple sections of the course

    A team of instructors following a common syllabus and course design

    Teaching strategies: readings & lectures, discussions, demonstrations

    Assessments: problem-based projects, skill-based practical tests, and reflective blogs.

    Hosting system: Blackboard Learning Management System (built-in badging system)

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  • PROJECT RATIONALE AND INITIAL DESIGN

    Badges were introduced to this course to motivate students in three ways:

    Complete all assignments even small ones thoroughly and on time

    Be actively engaged in the class community, helping and providing feedback to each other

    Engage in independent, extracurricular learning related to the course topic

    The first iteration of the badge system was designed and implemented in Spring 2015.

    The system continued to be refined based on feedback from students and instructors.

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  • BADGE DESIGN PROCESS

    Analysis (exploration of

    context)

    Determining types of badges

    (e.g., recognition of milestone achievement,

    excellence,)

    Establishing performance objectives

    (types of learning)

    Selecting or designing learning activities

    Identifying types of evidence & planning

    assessments

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  • SIX TYPES OF DIGITAL BADGES FOR THE COURSE -DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION-

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  • 1. EXCELLENCE IN COURSEWORK BADGES

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  • 2. BEST IN SHOW BADGES

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  • 3. GOLD STAR BADGES

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    Gold Star badges were awarded at their instructors discretion for outstanding performance on an assignment in any capacity throughout the semester.

    There were no specific guidelines for earning this badge. Their instructor told the recipients specifically what they did to earn it.

    A total of 8 assignments were selected for this type of badge.

  • 4. EXCELLENCE BADGES

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    Excellence badges were awarded to the students who show the best performance on the selected assignments (Gold Star badges).

    Students who earned Gold Star badges could only choose if they want to share their work and participate in the process to earn the Excellence badge.

    Instructors provided feedback on their Gold Star work and students could revise before submitting to the Excellence badge committee (all course instructors).

    The committee chose the best one to award the Excellence Badge.

    The recipients' work was shared with the other students and used as an example for future classes.

  • 5. GOOD CITIZEN BADGES

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  • 6. INDEPENDENT LEARNING BADGES

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  • BADGES EARNED (ACROSS ALL 6 SECTIONS)

    Excellence: 20-39 per area

    Best in Show: 3-5 per assignment

    Gold Star: 2-21 per assignment More on creative assignments

    Excellence: 0-1 per assignment

    Good Citizen: 14 Tech Helper; 16 Community Builder

    Independent Learning: 66, 64

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  • EVALUATION FOCUSING ON LEARNER ATTITUDES AND MOTIVATION

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    Survey Participants: n=59 N=49, 83.1%: Education major N=52, 88.1%: First or second year in school N=55, 93.2%: Female N=55, 93.2%: not familiar with the concept of digital badges N=56, 94.9%: no digital badges earned in any context

  • SURVEY RESULTS PART I FOCUSING ON LEARNER ATTITUDES AND MOTIVATION

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    Attitudes towards the use of digital badges

  • ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE USE OF DIGITAL BADGES

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    Overall, the reactions towards the badges were mixed. Badges are a great way to reward someone on a project they worked really hard on. (Student

    A)

    It would probably be more useful for younger children who need rewards for their work other than a grade. (Student B)

  • ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE USE OF DIGITAL BADGES (N=59)

    A subset of students had positive attitudes toward badges Personally meaningful (47.5%)

    Motivational (33.7%)

    Generate pride (56.0%)

    Increase satisfaction in coursework (55.9%)

    Some students reported they would undertake actions for badges: Devote more time to work (44.1%)

    More likely to complete work (20.3%)

    Do extra work (16.9%)

    Others are a balance of neutral and disagreement with the positive attitudes / extra actions

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  • SURVEY RESULTS PART II FOCUSING ON LEARNER ATTITUDES AND MOTIVATION

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    Attitudes towards the use of each type of badges

  • EXCELLENCE IN COURSEWORK BADGES

    Incentive for 30.5% of students to complete work at a high level and submit it on time

    25.6% students reported being unaware of these badges

    39% felt they were redundant with the grades they already earn

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  • SUBJECTIVE BADGES: BEST IN SHOW, GOLD STAR, EXCELLENCE

    Honor to receive

    59.7% - Best in Show (peer award)

    59.7% - Gold Star (instructor award)

    64.9% - Excellence (competitive across instructors)

    Motivated to excel

    38.8% - Best in Show

    33.2% - Gold Star

    37.8% - Excellence

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  • GOOD CITIZEN BADGES

    Honor to earn: 67.4%

    Motivated to be helpful and/or interact with classmates: 28.6%

    Nominating classmates is a good way to recognize them for their contribution: 81.7%

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  • INDEPENDENT LEARNING BADGES

    Pushed to do something new: 63.1%

    Actually learned something new: 70.1%

    Enjoyable to complete: 38.9%

    Difficult to decide what to do: 43.8%

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  • DISCUSSION

    Our badge system worked as an add-on to the current grading system.

    The badge systems could be differently designed and used with diverse approaches within the particular context.

    The badge system can also be used to solve instructional issues based on different instructors intentions, within the particular context.

    Practical issues we had:

    New workload associated with badges.

    Cultural change from a course-based system to an integrated course and competency-based system.

    Traditional assessment system can conflict with the badge system.

    A more thorough facilitation was needed.

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  • CONCLUSION

    Badges may only motivate 30-40% of learners

    Many people feel ambivalent toward badges

    The presence of optional badges does not harm students who are not motivated by them

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  • THANK YOU! ANY QUESTIONS?

    Contact:

    Vanessa Dennen - vdennen@fsu.edu - @vdennen

    Jiyae Bong jb11ab@my.fsu.edu

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