Lessons Learned

We learned a few things along the way …

Badging is Useful

Overall, badging was a success. It is worth considering for use in higher education. Not all students will buy-in to badging. However, if badging engages difficult to reach students and ultimately promotes their success it is worth further exploration.

 

KISS (Keep it Simple Silly)

A simpler point system is recommended instead of having certain badges worth a specific reward (unless pedagogically logical). In addition to giving students choice, it is easier for the educator to reward based on a points system. While color codes helped for counting points, adding the point value directly on the badge (maybe in the corner) would assist in

 

Provide a Map / Constellation.

The gamification map is recommended for clear communication of what badges can be earned. Students have access to a version of this inside Moodle, but it does not organize the badges by type (if you are using different types). Grouping badges will help students make sense of the badging system. If you have levels of badging a visual is also recommended.

 

Include the Point Value on the Badge

In the future, while using a point system, in addition to colour coding the badges we plan to include the point value of the badge on the badge to minimize confusion.

Example of a badge with the point value on it.

Example of a badge with the point value on it.

Due Dates

While some badges had due dates, more due dates are recommended. Earning badges all at once at the end of the term was overwhelming for students. Moreover, discussions with students about the value of earning badges after their coursework was done where needed.  For example, earning badges that were intended to help them review for an exam after the exam was over defeats the purpose of the badge (particularly when they should be studying for other exams). We recommend staggering due dates for earning badges throughout the term in a way that makes pedagogical sense for the intended purpose of the badges.

geralt / Pixabay

 

Make a Friend (or More)

Educators new to badging are encouraged to become good friends with their learning management support team. A collaborative approach to badging across courses also improves buy-in. Laura and Katherine adopted a collaborative information-sharing approach, which prevented one instructor from making the same mistakes (badging a crossword) as the other one. 

 

Sandbox Recommended

Before badging with a live class test new activities in Moodle with a friend. Technical issues were frustrating for both students and educators. The crossword, in particular, was repeatedly mentioned as a problematic badge.

 

Plugin Needed!

Moodle needs a plugin for easy tracking of badges earned and rewards. In the absence of this system, instructors need to check individual student profiles to verify badges earned. Then, a Google spreadsheet was used to track badges awarded. Open badging with BadgeOS and Credly is easier for rewarding badges but harder to set up. I have been told our Moodle team has requested a review of a plugin to allow for a list view of the badges students have earned in a course.

 

geralt / Pixabay

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. 
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