What did not go well?

It surprised me how much I felt like a child with this badging system. We are university students and should be treated as such. This system did not motivate my learning on account of this. I felt like an elementary school student and felt belittled because of this system.

~ First Year Student


Avoid Manual Badges!

A labor-intensive process for awarding badges is discouraged as it creates a layer of unneeded complexity for the educator. Tracking completion and entering badges can become onerous. We recommend limiting the number of manually awarded badges to ones that are necessary. High A, Lab Master, and Clinical Star are recommended as they have a high perceived value. 



Concerns about the clarity of the badging system were noted only by the first group of students (fourth-year). Below are comments from the students:

Badging in the first year courses was explained in class on more than one occasion, which promoted clarification of the system. Also, the points system for badging decreased complexity.


No Complicated Rewards Systems

The fourth-year rewards system was complex. A point-based system was simpler for students and the professor. It also increases fairness when students are unable to earn certain badges.


After just a week or two, I was personally not interested in participating in the badging system

~ Fourth Year Student


Not Motivating

Badges did not motivate learning for all students (nor did we expect it to). Also, students felt badging had to be relevant. Some badges did motivate student achievement. A lack of completion of some badges may be related to perceived value or the time required.

BSN 1007 Did a badge motivate learning

BSN 1007 Did a badge motivate learning


To me, it was more effort/complicated than it was helpful or engaging. I felt motivated without the badging



It was “time consuming” for the student to complete and “creates an atmosphere of competition and unfair advantages for students who have fewer responsibilities and more time to complete extra activities.” One student indicated that they liked
None of it – it was time-consuming and did not help me learn the material. It was an unorganized method that caused frustration. It felt like I was part of an experiment with badging, and it was an awful system that had good intentions, but did not follow through with its purpose.
How long it took to get some badges and the difficulty level was too high for earning 1 point in some cases

geralt / Pixabay


For some “it created stress and competition and that you needed to earn them as an insurance policy to pass the course.” Added stress is not conducive to student success.

Technical Issues

Students did not like “the fact that badging was unorganized and often involved technical difficulties.” Several innovative activities (like the sudoku and crossword) resulted in technical issues.


Some students disliked APA badging (while others loved it).
There were some students who thought that there were not enough achievable badges
If you are going to use the badges as mark boosters please make enough to get 30 points and are so hard. I understand you want to challenge us and make us think but most of your sudoku and crosswords were crazy hard.



One student reported that they completed work for another student to earn badges in one course. Group rewards for badges is a likely contributing factor. It is difficult to completely avoid cheating in a badging system.


Note: Data for this analysis were extracted from official student feedback results collected at midterm, course evaluations done via anonymous google forms after the course was completed, unsolicited anecdotal evidence collected throughout the term, and teacher self-reflection. Ethics deemed this work quality improvement and therefore did not need formal ethical approval.