Wk 3-Assessment, badges, and more


One use for digital portolios is as a way to show mastery of certain knowledge and skills. In many circumstances, portfolios might provide a more authentic and useful tool than traditional certifications or degrees, because of the link to actual work products or artifacts.

Another tool that could be useful in this regard is badges. Watch this video that explains how badges might work.

Here is more about badges.

Imagine a portfolio that is linked to badges. What would this look like? Who might issue the badges? Would they be meaningful to others trying to assess your knowledge and skills? What might this look like for students?

Here is one vision:

Mozilla open badges sketch

[Credit: Mozilla]

Here are some additional readings you might explore:

Option 1 - What do you think about badges? How might they be better or worse than other types of credentials? How might you use badges in your own educational context?

Option 2 - Think through how badges relate to assessment. You might read this post for one perspective. How might badges and/or portfolios be used as a substitute for or in conjunction with other types of credentials or assessments?

Option 3 - What are the policy challenges with shifting away from more traditional measures of mastery (degrees, certificates, ec.) and toward more authentic ones (badges, portfolios, etc.)? Where might we find groups that are willing to experiment in this regard? What would the benefits be? How might we move this along?

Task Discussion


  • Bob A   3 augustus 2012 17:27

    Badges are just an online twist on CEU (Continuing Education Unit) with all of the same concerns about value and standards. The big difference, CEU was established for use with face-to-face training/courses while Badges are trying to establish itself in the online world.

    Just thinking out loud.

  • karen   3 augustus 2012 18:12
    Reageer op:   Bob A   3 augustus 2012 17:27

    Interesting thoughts. I have worked with group that issue CEUs for online work. Not sure badges offer anything particularly "new" in this regard.

    I think, though, that CEUs are often awarded on the basis of "seat hours," while badges (when they are done right...in my opinion) are awarded on the basis of real work (evidence). That seems like an improvement.

    One of my concerns with badges is that different people are using them very differently. Some are backed up by evidence, while others are really just "stickers" given for participation (or less). That seems confusing.

    Also, I'm not sure how many formal agencies (school districts, states, etc.) recognize badges as being useful. I suppose that's a long term process.

    Anyway thanks for your thoughts.

  • Liz Renshaw   4 augustus 2012 00:19
    Reageer op:   Bob A   3 augustus 2012 17:27

    I really like the concept of badges for the online and informal world of learning.  So in principle- a great idea- but lots of implementation issues. I'm seeing lots of players coming into the badge 'spaces'  and some of the challenges I'm seeing so far are

    1. duplication of badges for basically the same achievements.

    2. badges awarded for very  very small tasks

    3. courses indicating participants will receive a badge and then this not happening

    4. badges not linking to 'digital backpack'

    I guess, it's stay tuned for the next developments....

  • karen   26 juli 2012 12:58

    Option 1 - What do you think about badges? How might they be better or worse than other types of credentials? How might you use badges in your own educational context?

    I have to say that I'm not a big fan of badges. The word is used to mean so many different things from trivial "stickers" that signify nothing to more meaningful credentials backed up by "real work." I guess it depends on who issues the badge and what is behind it. As an employer, though, by the time I investigated this, I would just as soon look at the work and make my own judgement. I suppose if over time certain badge issues and badges gained currency, they could be valuable, but it's a long term process.

    Option 2 - Think through how badges relate to assessment. You might read this post for one perspective. How might badges and/or portfolios be used as a substitute for or in conjunction with other types of credentials or assessments?

    I understand that badges are not INTENDED to be assessment, but I see many taking them in that direction. And there are so many problems right now with assessment and credentials that I'm not sure badges don't just muddy the waters more (and may fall victim to the same problems).

    On the other hand, I am excited about the use of REAL WORK, such as that found in portfolios, as a way to issue credentials. If badges could advance that objective, great! It will take some smart policy work to make this happen, I think.

    Option 3 - What are the policy challenges with shifting away from more traditional measures of mastery (degrees, certificates, ec.) and toward more authentic ones (badges, portfolios, etc.)? Where might we find groups that are willing to experiment in this regard? What would the benefits be? How might we move this along?

    I think the potential benefits of this are huge. Unfortuantely, the power structures are very invested in traditional measures. How to move this along? Lots of hard policy work. I'm not sure where to start. Does anyone know anyone interested or inclined toward this in the U.S. K-12 space? My gut feeling is that it may be more fruitful to start at a grassroots level with one or two districts, but it probably needs to be worked top down and bottom up to effect meaningful change.

  • Liz Renshaw   22 juli 2012 03:36

    Option 1 - What do you think about badges? How might they be better or worse than other types of credentials? How might you use badges in your own educational context?

    Im pretty excited by the potential of badges. So many adult literacy and language learners have very rich life experiences. Just think about the survival skills you must have if you reach adulthood, with limited literacy/language skills and have raised a family, been a refugee, suffered from trauma and survived, etc yet we dont currently have any system that can identify and acknowledge these fantastic informal learning skills. So for me badges offer that opportunity to recognise skills, expertise and expertise that falls outside the traditional academic skill areas.

     

    I'd love to use badges and I'd use them to recognise skill subsets. It's tough for learners not to get any formal recognition until they complete a whole course.... there is nothing to show formally for their study.So badges could really provide concrete evidence of students achieving a whole suite of subset skills that would eventually build to a course.

    What do you think? Do badges have a place in any of your work areas? enlightened