Badges, Badges, Badges

Here is my response to the readings from Barry Fishman’s class –

Badges can be a great way to entice and motivate people, as seen with the Boy Scouts and various websites. But it is also a double-edged sword, since it can cause jealousy and people to lose their motivation. When a child sees a peer being rewarded while he/she is not, they may see it as his/her failure rather than the other student’s success. This is why grades are given to students in private. The solution of having the child choose if the badge is visible will be undone by peer-pressure. Students will be coerced into sharing their badges or be seen as failing.

This system of badges works in a voluntary environment, like the Boy Scouts and Mozilla, but would not be as successful in a scholastic and work setting. Imagine going to work one day and finding out your co-worker, whom you know slacks off, receives a badge that you have been working towards and you have do not get that recognition? This will be just as bad as being passed over for a promotion, but without the formal designation.

But if properly designed, badges can allow people to view their growth through approval in a tangible way. Knowing someone recognizes your hard work and success will motivate many people and most likely entice them to work harder. But this is already done in a work setting, by titles and pay, and a scholastic setting, with grades.

The argument that badges are credentials not assessment fails, since you receive the badge after being assessed in that subject. The badge would mean nothing if it just means you spent time doing something, without any growth.

This raises the question of how to properly leverage badges for motivation for students and workers. Perhaps this involves keeping badges private and used for major accomplishments, similar to diplomas, but in more of a focused nature. Or using it as a system for peoples to self-assess their skills. The key to a successful implementation rests in the ability to not alienate others and enhance the interest in a specific subject/s.

(346 words)


Can badges be used without causing jealousy?
Should badges be used as the only system to assess an individual’s success or effort?
Should badges be comparable to grades or diplomas, or stand-alone?
How can we ensure the badges do not become diluted and inundate schools and the workplace with unneeded and unhelpful information?
How do we ensure the badges actually correspond to real skills?
Will badges replace certifications?

I have been studying wrong!!!

Who knew?!? Apparently I have been studying wrong my entire life. I never realized it until this weeks reading for my Cognition and Learning class. Highlighting is not very effective. Visualizing is moderately effective. But the most effective seems to be self-testing. You should test yourself on everything you read.

Also, note taking is a whole other problem. It can be distracting, but also helpful. Kevin recommended the Cornell method. I wondered if you can combine the Cornell method with the current uses of presentations. Would it be helpful to receive the presentation before hand, printed with an area for notes on each page, areas for keywords, and a summary space at the bottom?

Finally, I wish I learned this years ago! This should be taught early on. But at what age should children learn these skills? If we ingrain this in students at a young age, it is more likely to remain with them throughout their academic career. Perhaps the readings children are given should be made to prepare them to use good study methods. Pages with spaces for students to write notes, keywords, summaries, questions, and answers. No more “Do not write in your books.” Now it should be the battle cry of all teachers. “Cover your books in notes!”

A New Start

I haven’t posted anything here for a while. I guess maybe now is as good a time as any.

I guess I will start with some of my work from classes. Maybe some reading reactions or thoughts on projects I am working on.

Or maybe just some of my crazy ideas.

GDC – A week of games, networking, and fun!

Its been almost a week since GDC ended, and I still haven’t had a chance to sit down and write some thoughts on it.  So here, without further ado are my personal thoughts on the amazing event.

And if you are interested in working in the game industry, it’s a great place to meet people in the industry and get involved.

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