Innovating with Digital Badges in Assessment: A Case Study Using Digital Badges in an Undergraduate University Module.

Crystal Fulton

Abstract


Digital methods of learning are increasingly common in university education, and digital badges offer a new and evolving way of motivating and rewarding students’ learning achievement. The major learning outcome for undergraduate students on the second-year module, Social Media and Computing, was to develop a range of digital literacy competencies that will support their full social participation as digital citizens. To that end, assessment encompassed learning not only about new social technologies, but also about critical evaluation and social application of these technologies and concepts, such as digital ethics and privacy, to solve information problems in students’ academic work and future careers.

 

Each digital badge was aligned with assessment learning outcomes.  In particular, two methods of badging were trialled over a two-year period: an external open badge, recognising completion of particular skills acquisition that students could display via their LinkedIn accounts in support of their CVs; and an internal digital badge, matched to prescribed university achievement levels through the university’s learning management system (LMS), Blackboard.  This project was conducted, in part, alongside a university level pilot scheme around digital badging, which provided support for digital badge creation and technical integration.

 

This paper examines the implementation of the trial badging project with undergraduate students, including a comparison of different badging approaches and outcomes. Based on student reactions to badging and staff administrative and teaching roll out of badging for this module, suggestions around badging practices and strategies to enhance learning through assessment are offered.


Keywords


Assessment, digital badging, digital citizenship, digital literacy, higher education.

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