About the DPD Project

The Design Principles Documentation Project is tracking how the badge systems developed across ~30 winners of the 2012 MacArthur/HASTAC Digital Media & Learning (DML) grant competition. We followed each project’s intended practices to see how they were enacted and formalized for continued operation after the grant period. We are focusing on four types of badge system functions: recognizing, assessing, motivating, and studying learning. We’ve described general design principles in each category that can be remixed into new contexts.
 This page is under construction. Keep checking back!
This webpage is under construction, to be completed early summer 2014. Our initial draft reports are available for download (PDF), including the first 5 of 30 case studies on DML winners’ badge systems.
The main purpose of our project is to highlight the practical wisdom gained by the project teams as they designed, implemented, and formalized the practices that make up their badge systems. For each project, we aim to publish a deep dive into the practices and principles they used in each stage. We will also highlight the important lessons learned and challenges confronted in a series of topical case studies.
Digital badges have a lot of potential to recognize achievement in learning.
They are a credential backed up with verifiable metadata that “contain detailed claims about learning, links to evidence of learning, and they’re shareable over the web.” -Dan Hickey, DPD Project principal investigator
Badge systems are the collection of badge definitions, associated learning opportunities, assessments, technology, and supporting practices that fulfill all the necessary functions for an organization to credential learning or accomplishments with open badges. There are a lot of moving parts, and they all impact one another. The DPD Project hopes to describe much of this interaction between practices and their associated challenges so badge system designers can make intentional choices about how to recognize learning with digital badges.
You can sign up to receive updates on our project and to get a copy of our final reports and system building resources this summer.
See also:
  • DML competition
  • Team (forthcoming)
    • Daniel T. Hickey, lead investigator
    • Nate Otto, project Coordinator
    • Rebecca Itow, Assessment
    • Cathy Tran, Motivation
    • Katerina Schenke, Motivation
    • Christine Chow, Recognition
One comment on “About the DPD Project
  1. Peter Harris says:

    I have enjoyed learning from your great work but wonder whether there has been a final report?

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Mozilla Open Badges
Digital Badges are web-enabled credentials of learning or accomplishment. -Erin Knight, director of the Badge Alliance
Badges contain detailed claims about learning, links to actual evidence of learning, and they're shareable over the web. -Dan Hickey, DPD Project Lead Investigator
To me, digital badges represent the bridge between formal learning & informal structures. -Alex Halavais, DML research competition winner
Open Badges can help people tell a verifiable story about their accomplishments. -Nate Otto, DPD Project coordinator
Regardless of where you start, it’s more than likely you’ll end up somewhere other than your intended destination. That’s okay. Systems are living things, and your badge system needs to be flexible. You must embrace a bit of chaos in its design. -Carla Casilli, Director of Design + Practice at the Badge Alliance