Badges at the
formal/informal interface:
badge use, functioning and
learners attitudes in two
open online course
Simon Cro...
Overview
• Review of function and role of badges
• Focus of research – two MOOCs: Open Learning Design
(OLDS) MOOC Course ...
Definition
‘Digital credential that represents skills,
interests and achievements earned by an
individual through specific...
Context
‘High potential’ impact
Foster 2013, Sharples et al. 2012

Life Long Learning Competition
Goligoski 2012, Hickey 2...
Assessment structures
Cormier & Siemens 2010, Rodriguez 2012

Achievement and reward
Currency or capital
Privileged inform...
The Potential of Badges
•
•
•
•
•
•

Accredit and evidence learning
Strengthening student motivation
Promoting deeper lear...
Function of Badges
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Recognise learning
Assessment of learning
Motivating learning
Evaluation & tra...
Role of Badges
Role of the
Earner
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Role of the
Issuer

Solution to motivation issue
Evidence generator
Con...
Roles
Formative

Summative

Badge
Attainment

Badge
Display

Intrinsic
Motivation

Extrinsic
Motivation
Open Learning Design Studio MOOC
•
•
•

9 Badges
Facilitator / Peer approved
Learning Design and OER

Open Education MOOC ...
Achievement

Endeavour
and
Progress

Practice

http://www.olds.ac.uk/blog/olds-moocbadgingstrategy
220
30
OLDS MOOC evaluation Report:
http://oro.open.ac.uk/37836/
70
• Badges gained
OU group:
Open learners:

0
18
10

1-3
22 (2/15/5)
20 (2/8/10)
70

Demographics:
29 Female / 12 Male
• Badges gained
Did you find 0 badges a positive
the 1-3
addition to the course?
OU group:
18 22 (2/15/5)
Non-OU group: 10...
Open Learning Design Studio MOOC
• 9 Badges
66 Pre-course Surveys
• 22Facilitator / Peer approved
Post-course Surveys
• 50...
Recognition of learning
42% (16) talked about the badge providing ‘evidence’ or
‘recognition’ of effort, or achievement, o...
A sense of fun
‘They make me smile! Which is a good thing – learning
should be fun and I think this was a fun element of t...
Guiding progress
Judging progress as a ‘Learning Outcome type guide’

‘I did not have the time or motivation to do every a...
Personal Achievement
‘It’s a symbolic and personal reward of my efforts… even I
don’t show the badges to anybody (I haven’...
Communal learning
Peer validation ‘was great *idea+… I got as much out of
validating others badge applications as getting ...
Identity
‘It’s like being in a club’

‘I am proud of them because I liked the course’
Relative Value
‘I’m not sure yet if I’ll really use them *externally+’

‘I debated whether or not to do the activities to ...
Issues
• Recognise value: ‘misleading impression of knowledge’
• Pressure to Participate: feeling ‘inadequate’ for not app...
Conclusion
‘I still don’t understand well why,
but badges were a good motivator
for me’

Contact
Simon Cross
Institute of ...
Badges at the formal/informal interface: badge use, functioning and learners attitudes in two open online course (Cross & ...
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Badges at the formal/informal interface: badge use, functioning and learners attitudes in two open online course (Cross & Galley)

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This presentation delivered on 17 December 2013 at the Open University E-Learning Community Event reported on the learners use of and attitudes towards badges in two ‘massive’ open online courses delivered by the Open University in 2013; one as part of JISC funded research project and the other as part of a taught postgraduate course. It will review the range of functions that badges can serve including consideration of psychological, sociological, cultural and reputational functions and using this to make a distinction between possible formative and summative roles. Data from end of courses surveys and user posts on the course site and social media will be used to examine what value participants ascribed to badges. Whilst the majority of respondents felt the opportunity to earn badges contributed positively to the course, some remained sceptical or concerned about their role and impact.
Lead presenter: http://iet.open.ac.uk/people/s.j.cross

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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Badges at the formal/informal interface: badge use, functioning and learners attitudes in two open online course (Cross & Galley)

  1. 1. Badges at the formal/informal interface: badge use, functioning and learners attitudes in two open online course Simon Cross and Rebecca Galley Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University 17 December 2013 eLearning Community event
  2. 2. Overview • Review of function and role of badges • Focus of research – two MOOCs: Open Learning Design (OLDS) MOOC Course (early 2013) and Open Education MOOC Course (early 2013) • Badges used • Participant views
  3. 3. Definition ‘Digital credential that represents skills, interests and achievements earned by an individual through specific projects, programmes, courses or other activities’ (Mozilla 2013) ‘A badge is visual public symbol that communicates to others a particular quality, achievement or affiliation possessed by the owner. It is one of a variety of ways that such recognition can take a material form’
  4. 4. Context ‘High potential’ impact Foster 2013, Sharples et al. 2012 Life Long Learning Competition Goligoski 2012, Hickey 2013 School and HE studies Abramovich et al. 2013, Randall et al. 2013, Glover 2013
  5. 5. Assessment structures Cormier & Siemens 2010, Rodriguez 2012 Achievement and reward Currency or capital Privileged information or access New material opportunities Collectables Trophies
  6. 6. The Potential of Badges • • • • • • Accredit and evidence learning Strengthening student motivation Promoting deeper learning experiences Reaching informal/non-traditional learners Helping student better value achievements Recognising competency-based learning
  7. 7. Function of Badges • • • • • • • • • • • • Recognise learning Assessment of learning Motivating learning Evaluation & tracking of progress Goal setting Status Instruction to norms Reputation Group identity Tool of resistance or domination Symbols of exclusivity Souvenirs
  8. 8. Role of Badges Role of the Earner • • • • • • • • Role of the Issuer Solution to motivation issue Evidence generator Constructive alignment process Low cost / low effort option Saves time assessing prior learning Booster issuer image or profile Ties issuer to earner Retain authority and status
  9. 9. Roles Formative Summative Badge Attainment Badge Display Intrinsic Motivation Extrinsic Motivation
  10. 10. Open Learning Design Studio MOOC • • • 9 Badges Facilitator / Peer approved Learning Design and OER Open Education MOOC (H817) • • • 3 Badges Facilitator approved MOOCs and OER
  11. 11. Achievement Endeavour and Progress Practice http://www.olds.ac.uk/blog/olds-moocbadgingstrategy
  12. 12. 220 30
  13. 13. OLDS MOOC evaluation Report: http://oro.open.ac.uk/37836/
  14. 14. 70
  15. 15. • Badges gained OU group: Open learners: 0 18 10 1-3 22 (2/15/5) 20 (2/8/10) 70 Demographics: 29 Female / 12 Male
  16. 16. • Badges gained Did you find 0 badges a positive the 1-3 addition to the course? OU group: 18 22 (2/15/5) Non-OU group: 10 20 (2/8/10) Open Learners 19 Yes Demographics: 7 29 Female / 12 Male No Ages: 11 (35-44), 172 Not sure (45-54), 10 (55-64), 1 (64+) 70
  17. 17. Open Learning Design Studio MOOC • 9 Badges 66 Pre-course Surveys • 22Facilitator / Peer approved Post-course Surveys • 500+ Twitter Design and OER Learning Posts 31 Feedback Forms Open Education MOOC (H817) • 3 Badges 128 Pre-course Surveys • 65Facilitator approved Post-course Surveys • MOOCs and OER
  18. 18. Recognition of learning 42% (16) talked about the badge providing ‘evidence’ or ‘recognition’ of effort, or achievement, or importance of having something to ‘show’ ‘I can put them on my profile to show I have done this learning. It’s good for my PLN and good for my learners to see’
  19. 19. A sense of fun ‘They make me smile! Which is a good thing – learning should be fun and I think this was a fun element of the course’ ‘Earned my Week 1 Badge from #oldsmooc! Unexpectedly pleased to have a reward for effort! What fun and motivates
  20. 20. Guiding progress Judging progress as a ‘Learning Outcome type guide’ ‘I did not have the time or motivation to do every activity, but wanted to set specific action goals for my myself and I liked the idea of badges. They were new for me and a way to motivate myself through the completion of the course.’
  21. 21. Personal Achievement ‘It’s a symbolic and personal reward of my efforts… even I don’t show the badges to anybody (I haven’t so far), I feel satisfied to have gained them. It’s my auto-congratulation…’
  22. 22. Communal learning Peer validation ‘was great *idea+… I got as much out of validating others badge applications as getting my own badges’ ‘Hi Folks, Just applied 4 my #oldsmooc collaborator badge, Could you do the honours?’
  23. 23. Identity ‘It’s like being in a club’ ‘I am proud of them because I liked the course’
  24. 24. Relative Value ‘I’m not sure yet if I’ll really use them *externally+’ ‘I debated whether or not to do the activities to get them, and then whether or not to apply… I decided that they might be useful as evidence of professional development … I don’t know if anyone in my institution will care, but in case they do, I have the badges.’
  25. 25. Issues • Recognise value: ‘misleading impression of knowledge’ • Pressure to Participate: feeling ‘inadequate’ for not applying for them • Validation process: abuse of system • Professional interest: wanting to ‘experience it for myself’ • Patronising: I don’t need someone else’s approval • Time and technical challenge to applying
  26. 26. Conclusion ‘I still don’t understand well why, but badges were a good motivator for me’ Contact Simon Cross Institute of Educational Technology The Open University simon.j.cross@open.ac.uk
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