Experience The Energy

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Why Badges Work Better Than Grades

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“What are badges?   Think back to when you were a girl scout or a boy scout.  You can get merit badges (I just checked!) in just about anything from Citizenship of the World to Graphic Arts to Scuba Diving (http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/Merit… or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merit_badge_%28Boy_Scouts_of_America%29).   There’s a lot of them and they are cute too.   And they all have certain stuctural features in common. ”

“Badge is a recognized visual (physical or virtual) device or ornament or (heaven forbid!) piece of jewelry that typically designates in its design the symbol, insignia, colors, or name of the organization conferring it.”


“There is some equally visual symbolic representation of the knowledge, skill, goal, or feat for which the badge denotes mastery, accomplishment, service, or authority (such as when taking an oath to become a fire fighter).  “


“The badge has to be accepted by a larger community as a legitimization of that which it represents. It stands in as the end result of a longer, hidden institutional process.   A badge is a means of identification with the issuing organization, a conferal of some kind of status (as having met the requirements of that organization or of being employed by them). “

“The badge has to not just credentialize or certify learning but should also motivate it.  By organizing a set of skills and interestsinto an actual, definable, measurable skill capable of assessment and judgment, badges inspire students to greater mastery.  A hobby becomes definable as an intellectual, creative asset, something to be tended, improved, honed, perfected, advanced, and innovated.   As with a game challenge, attainment becomes the floor not the end point, it becomes a step on a way towards even greater mastery.  The badge inspires a certain form of learning by naming it and honoring it.

By Cathy Davidson on Mar 21, 2011, 09:49 AM

via http://www.hastac.org/blogs/cathy-davidson/why-badges-work-better-grades

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Written by Christiane

April 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Badges

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