Teachers Explore Badges for Mastery and Feedback


1.19.12 | The Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition last week announced the 16 Stage One winners of the Teacher Mastery and Feedback Badge Competition. Entrants were tasked with coming up with a badge system for mastery of certain skills, like giving feedback to students or teaching in digital or online learning environments.


The idea of a badge system for assessment or accreditation in the digital age can be hard to get one’s head around, as Heather Chaplin wrote about here. But as I spent some time browsing through the first stage of winning proposals on the competition’s website this week, I found some concrete and exciting examples of badge systems designed to recognize educators who learn from experts and from each other.

A partnership between KQED and PBS LearningMedia proposes creating a badge system to encourage teachers of students in grades 4-12 to develop media-rich science inquiry projects to help them integrate new media technologies and literacies into their own teaching.

Working as part of a cohort, participants would complete a series of activities to help learn to create media and media-centered science lessons plans. The badge system would rely heavily on peer review and require teachers to asses the work of other educators.

There are also proposed badge systems for training in history, game based-learning environments, computer science, and to help meet the on-the-job training needs of community educators who teach in after-school settings.

Educators at Bank Street College of Education have proposed developing an online community of practice for early childhood and special education teachers. Participants can earn “Bank Street Badges,” meant to inspire teachers to bring innovative teaching methods into their own classrooms and schools.

Their proposed site would encourage educators to “acknowledge their own learning and/or their contributions to the learning of others.” Teachers on the Bank Street site would be able to create and share documents, case studies and classroom scenarios. Bank Street staff would create rubrics and use existing standards to measure both participation in the online community as well as deep knowledge of early childhood education and teaching effectiveness.

Some examples of badges they might offer: Digital Citizenship Badge, Math Manipulatives Expert Badge, and Storyteller Team Badge. Badges for participation in the online community might include a Feedback Maven Badge or a Case Study Supporter Badge.

For Stage Two of the competition, applicants are asked to further develop their proposals and ensure they are fully operable with Mozilla’s Open Badge Infrastructure. The winning proposals will be awarded funding for development.

You can read the full list of Stage One winners online here. Read more about badges for lifelong learning and the Digital Media and Learning Competition at Spotlight.

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