Are badges useful in education?: it depends upon the type of badge and expertise of learner
Educational Badges are touted as an alternative assessment that can increase learner motivation. We considered two distinct models for educational badges; merit badges and videogame achievements. To begin unpacking the relationship between badges and motivation, we conducted a study using badges within an intelligent-tutor system for teaching applied mathematics to middle-school students. Our findings indicate that badge earning could be driven by learner motivations and that systems with badges could have a positive effect on critical learner motivations. However, badge acquisition patterns were different across learners with different levels of prior knowledge. Different badge types also affected different learners motivation. Additionally, we believe that our findings are compatible with the research finding that extrinsic motivators have a negative influence on learning. The implication for educational badge designers is that they must consider the ability and motivations of learners when choosing what badges to include in their curricula. We believe our findings exist as one piece of the large research base needed to understand educational badges.
keywordsBadges Alternative assessment Motivation Intelligent tutors
- Abramovich, S., Higashi, R., Hunkele, T., Schunn, C., & Shoop, R. (2011). An Achievement System to Increase Achievement Motivation. Paper presented at the games learning society 7.0, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
- Clark, R. E., Howard, K., & Early, S. (2006). Motivational challenges experienced in highly complex learning environments. In J. Elen & R. E. Clark (Eds.), Handling complexity in learning environments: Theory and research (pp. 27–43). Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Davidson CN (2011). Could badges for lifelong learning be our tipping point? Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://hastac.org/blogs/cathy-davidson/2011/11/14/could-badges-lifelong-learning-be-our-tipping-point.
- Dochy, F., Segers, M., & Buehl, M. M. (1999). The relation between assessment practices and outcomes of studies: The case of research on prior knowledge. Review of Educational Research, 69(2), 145–186.Google Scholar
- Elliot, A. J., Cury, F., Fryer, J. W., & Huguet, P. (2006). Achievement goals, self-handicapping, and performance attainment: A mediational analysis. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 28, 344–361.Google Scholar
- Midgley, C., Maehr, M. L., Hruda, L. Z., Anderman, E., Anderman, L., Freeman, K. E., et al. (2000). Manual for the patterns of adaptive learning scales (PALS). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
- Peer 2 Peer University, & Mozilla Foundation. (2011). An open badge system framework. Retrieved July 14, 2011, from http://dmlcentral.net/resources/4440.
- Shepard, L. A. (2000). The role of assessment in a learning culture. Educational Researcher, 29(7), 4–14.Google Scholar
- Silk, E. M., Higashi, R., Shoop, R., & Schunn, C. D. (2010). Designing technology activities that teach mathematics. The Technology Teacher, 69(4), 21–27.Google Scholar
- Stiggins, R. J. (2002). Assessment crisis: The absence of assessment for learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 83(10), 758–765.Google Scholar
- Stiggins, R. J. (2005). From formative assessment to assessment for learning: A path to success in standards-based schools. The Phi Delta Kappan, 87(4), 324–328.Google Scholar
- Weaver R & Junker B (2004). Model specification for cognitive assessment of proportional reasoning: Department of Statistics Technical Report.Google Scholar