Digital badges serve as a form of formative assessment to guide learning over time and help instructors address what needs to be taught. Digital badges are unique because the badge offers clear metadata that shows when the earner received the badge, who offered the badge, and skill criteria, and it is accessible over time (Mozilla, n.d). The digital badge offers the ability to acknowledge and recognize what can be accomplished beyond typical grades or assessments. The current body of research on digital badges in elementary schools has not been explored, nor has digital badging been explored as it pertains foundational reading skills. While the idea of grades and assessments to guide learning is not new, digital badges are a new trend to address learning for the 21st-century student. In subjects such as reading, math, or science, the digital badge may be used to help students visualize their path toward mastery. This creates opportunity-based learning in which students work toward mastery and the door to achievement remains open.
The aim of my study is to understand how digital badges can be used in primary education to improve intrinsic motivation by constructing comprehensive digital badging surveys and teacher interviews. Digital natives need tools that resonate with the way students learn to read while addressing the unique needs of being immersed in a digital culture. Digital badges capture these learning skills over a student's academic career. A digital badge is a tool that bridges the way students find information to how they are assessed. Digital badges serve as visual guideposts toward motivating one to reach their end goal and engage deeply with consumers of technologically driven times. Participants will understand how digital badging can create student-centered learning. Participants will create a badge that enables scaffolded learning that can be used in their classroom or for their own children. Participants will gain an understanding of why change in assessment and learning is critical to digital natives, and the badge is a tool on the market to remedy this.
Topic Area(s): Badging & Alternative Credentialing
Amy Cooper received her Bachelor of Arts from University of Minnesota. She earned her master's degree in K−6 education/Language Arts from the University of Minnesota. She is a doctoral candidate in Professional Leadership Inquiry and Transformation at Concordia University-Portland, Oregon. Her dissertation seeks to understand how digital badges positively impact intrinsic motivation.