In a recent blog post by Trent Batson on The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning’s (AAEEBL) website, an interesting topic about centralization and democratization of education emerged from the use of information technology. Either side of the issue, whether to centralize and control technology or to allow students to have control over their own learning in higher education, was compared to identify both the profitability of centralizing control of technology and/or the efficiency of giving control over to students to enhance learning.
To assess either side of the issue, Batson talks about the use of badges in online learning scenarios as a way “challenge how grading is done”, while creating a system of “micro-credentialing”.
Batson includes several potential values that come as a result of using badges:
- Provides more information (metadata) about why a student deserved to receive a particular badge. The abstract idea behind the letter grade and its system leaves a lot for people to wonder why the student deserved that grade. The badge allows for much more illustration as to why the student deserved a specific commendation.
- Provides a “micro-credential” that qualifies students for specific skills and learning experiences that can be used by external entities, such as hiring personnel, for employment purposes. Badges, instead of the traditional diploma, can help to express a student’s certification and proficiency with a specific area of study, potentially adding more relevant detail into a student’s qualifications than a traditional diploma would.
- Provides evidence of a student’s skill or recognition of an ability in a specific college course.
- Provides “peer-granted recognition”, where collaborators in a group, who know each other very well over the course of a project, can give each other badges depending on the success, hard work, and/or value a group member provided in the course/project.
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