On Monday, March 26, 2015, Chris & Heather are presenting on an digital badges with their paper An Online Badging System Supporting Educators’ STEM Learning at Workshop on Open Badges in Education in Poughkeepsie, New York, USA. Download the paper here: Gamrat_Zimmerman_2015_OBIE_Workshop_Long_Paper [pdf].
In our paper, we investigate how a digital badging system was used as part of an informal, not-for-credit professional development project. Teacher Learning Journeys was designed for personalized science learning for educators in K-12 schools, museums, universities, and teaching colleges through employing two levels of micro-credentials: lower achievement digital stamps and higher achievement digital badges. We conducted a qualitative collective case study centered on 36 teachers; the primary data were records from learners’ interactions within the digital badge system; secondary data came from a survey at the end of the experience and two interviews with 11 focal teachers. Our findings suggest the following design principles: (a) two levels of assessment can support personalized learning, (b) mastery of learning can be demonstrated and assessed through reflective logs, (c) collaboration during and after badging activities can provide value to the learners, and (d) establishment of relevance of badging experiences can support the application of content outside the badging system.