Digital Badging in CANVAS
Synthesising course content, readings and experiences
‘Badging’ is the awarding of a digital badge that represents an accomplishment, interest or affiliation (Gibson, Ostashewski, Flintoff, Grant, & Knight, 2013). Such badges are awarded and stored online, and may contain metadata to clarify the context and criteria of the awarded badge. Badging is generally argued to be a considerable motivator in learning (Gibson et al., 2015; Mah, 2016), not only in the formal educational environment but particularly in the gamification movement (Nah, Zeng, Telaprolu, Ayyappa, & Eschenbrenner, 2014; Glover, 2013). Current issues with digital badging systems suggest limitations in adapting to the needs of both tauira and teachers.
The driving forces behind this study were two-fold. Firstly, as digital badging is used increasingly in schools world-wide as a motivator for learning in both primary and secondary school contexts, how might the use of digital badges be modelled in teacher education courses; and secondly, are digital badges of similar value to tauira in the tertiary space? The third driver was to explore ways to engage both undergraduate and postgraduate tauira in meaningful synthesis of their course readings, course content and teaching experience.
This study developed and trialled the incorporation of an existing ‘badging’ platform, Badgr, into tasks delivered through CANVAS in the context of teacher education. The primary aims of the study were: to determine how motivated tertiary tauira were by digital badges; to establish a digital badging process that was both engaging for tauira and manageable for the lecturer; and to design online tasks that scaffolded tauira through their synthesis of course readings, content and experience. The badged tasks were administered via the Discussion and Quizzes features within CANVAS, with all tauira submissions being moderated by the lecturer before any badges were awarded. An overview of the structure, key elements, findings and implications of the trialled approach will be presented.