Best Practice: Inspire Students With Badges

Boy scout badges, girl scout badges, and gold stars often come to mind when thinking of inspiring our students to help them acquire knowledge and to grow. The use of badges in the educational arena have a related role, as several of these prizes are presented to young students in primary schools (Ash, 2012).

As a tool for inspiration, they can be included in your institution’s courses with the use of an objectively simple procedure that pays attention to reduced cost, both to you as an individual or to an institution.

REASONS FOR USING BADGES IN THE CLASSROOM

The reasons for using badges in the teaching space vary. First, badges acknowledge and reward students’ hard work in reference to their competence, completed tasks, and skills.

Second, they afford better opportunities for teamwork among students, as they both inspire and encourage one another, as well as compete against one another to earn diverse badges in the teaching space.

Finally, badges may help teachers identify the weaknesses and strengths of students, and therefore areas for improvement. They can be attached to a specific grade or assignment, or used casually as an inspirational tool to get students to carry out tasks more promptly.

BENEFITS OF BADGES FOR STUDENTS

In addition to inspiring students to improve different talents and abilities, both as individuals and as a group (Carey, 2012), the following are additional benefits:

· Augment a portfolio by providing proof of an accomplished task and knowledge that has been acquired by completing such a task.

· Emphasize education on definite objectives, which can help increase the excellence of tasks as students review and resubmit their work via an open badging structure.

· Foster in-depth learning of course material, as the badges are attributed solely to content.

· Fashion practical ways for learners to learn, and if they choose, to share their knowledge in a variety of forums accessible to the public, for instance through the class website, class blog, class wiki, Mozilla’s open badging platform, or any other tool.

· Introduce fun-filled activities to the classroom, as this will entice students to compete against one another as well to create a healthy relationship amongst them. Check out Rocket Badge for awesome inspirational badges.

HOW TO START USING BADGES IN THE CLASSROOM

· Find out if there is an existing type of badging technology active and its mode of operation. Be sure to note if there is a preference for technology in your institution or if there are templates to be used. In the case of non-existent or inadequate templates available, consider Mozilla’s Open Badge platform. This resource can provide the majority of free resources you will need to get started.

· Define your reason and mode of execution. Start by finding out from associates and other participants about positive students’ attitudes in the classroom, including the behavior and habits of those with the highest and lowest grades, and how to inspire them. Which events and courses are best suited for badging? Which students are best suited for badging?

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