• Developing badge eco-systems to support engagement in class-based and online learning

      Bryson, David; Hadi, Munib; Petronzi, Dominic; University of Derby (International Academy of Technology, Education and Development, 2016-11)
      Abstract Background Badges enable academic and non-academic learners to collect and display their achievements and to enhance their training and qualification repertoire. To support engagement in class-based and online modules we have introduced badge ecosystems backed up by University quality assurance procedures. This paper presents two case studies which exemplify the application of badges at the University of Derby and the possibilities for future developments of badge ecosystems. Class-based: Forensic anthropology/Osteology A sequence of badges in the Forensic Anthropology module was implemented to support students as they develop their understanding of osteology and anatomy. In this context, the implementation of badges relies on the use of learning outcomes that support learning and the assessment of practical knowledge as well as student’s ability to observe key features in the subject. Online MOOCs The University of Derby (UoD) have incorporated badges in a series of MOOCs that include: “Bridging the Dementia Divide: Supporting People Living with Dementia (2015); Digital.Me: Managing your Digital Self (2015); Operations Management (2016); a re-run of Supporting People Living with Dementia (2016) and Autism, Asperger’s and ADHD (2016). Throughout these, badges were used to reward degrees of completion and have an association with a favourable average completion rate across four of the MOOCs. The use of badges at the University has been led by academics staff and the Innovation Hub as part of a Badges Working Group. The innovative approaches to badges and badge ecosystems have been supported by the development of a University infrastructure for badge development including: • Schema to back-up micro-credentialing • Quality assurance processes and • University badge server The UoD Working Badges Group and Quality Assurance The use of digital badges supported by the University’s quality framework means that we are rewarding meaningful learning, have increased badge credibility with our own badge server for issuing badges. In this way we have assured the integrity of the badges not just being University of Derby by branding but through the University as the issuing organization. Conclusion The UoD has incorporated badges to provide recognition for the learning, achievements and contributions of our class-based and MOOC learners, and the credibility of our badges will increase further as we move towards further implementation by academics and departments through the use of the badge framework. This could allow our digital credentials to be used by partners and other educational institutions and will act as an incentive for the UoD to continue its focus on badge development, quality and credibility.