Use peer assessment:

m8Integrate peer assessment to engage learners and foster further learning. The social factor of assessing and being assessed by peers may be motivating.

For more ways of how badge systems have utilized different forms of assessment, please see the following pages: computer assessment, expert assessment, self assessment.

Cooper-Hewitt DesignPrep Badges

Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt and National Design Museum and technology partner LearningTimes proposed to build the DesignPrep badge system (which at the beginning was called Design Exchange). Their program is a digital badge system that has been integrated into Cooper-Hewitt’s DesignPrep program, which engages underserved high school students in New York City in design activities. The program provides youth the opportunity to develop design, collaboration, and presentation skills through participating in activities focused around fashion, architecture, and 3D design.

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Design for America (DFA): A Badge Community for Innovation

Design for America (DFA) is an interdisciplinary network of university students and community members. The project aims to create local and social impact by using the needs of the community members to guide design and interaction within the system. This Human Centered Design (HCD) approach allows the project to have a broad focus on design, while creating learning opportunities that meet specific needs of users within that broader domain. Students in the program have developed designs to conserve energy, reduce the potential of acquiring infections in hospitals, and promote reading literacy, among other topics. Founded at Northwestern University in 2009, Design for America has since expanded to other universities across the country. Currently, several studios of student teams are located nationwide, operating as extracurricular programs.

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MOUSE Wins!

MOUSE offers opportunities for youth to develop skills and dispositions that can translate into the workplace and apply across professional settings. The program trains youth to join teams of help desk experts who provide technology support during the school day. This offers an environment that mirrors the workplace and enables students to gain practical experience. In school, youth receive the opportunity to lead in the field of technology, cultivating skills, and strengthening identities as valued contributors in technology-driven environments, in preparation for the careers and workplace that they would eventually enter. MOUSE explains that their “goal has always been to capture the milestones that emerge along the way as points of reflection (and as wayfinding devices) that empower the user to pursue pathways forward and demonstrate their expertise in learning and professional contexts where not enough of their experiences are being counted” (HASTAC MOUSE Q&A). By introducing youth to communities of practice, MOUSE enables them to gain exposure and develop their skills and teamwork in an age-appropriate professional work setting. The program extends students’ experience after school by connecting them with a peer community with shared interestsy support during the school day. This offers an environment that mirrors the workplace and enables students to gain practical experience.

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PASA Pathways for Lifelong Learning

The Providence After School Alliance (PASA) partners with after school and extracurricular programs to offer quality learning experiences to middle and high school students. In their DML Proposal, PASA described their mission “to expand and improve quality afterschool, summer, and other expanded learning opportunities for the youth of Providence by organizing a sustainable public/private system that contributes to student success and serves as a national model” (Stage 1 DML Proposal). Specifically, PASA supports the operations and infrastructure of the local AfterZone network of organizations that administer learning experiences to middle school student and a similar network of organizations offering programs to high schoolers that includes a social and discovery-based website called The Hub.

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Recognizing Learning across Contexts: SA&FS

Badges allow recognition of learning that occurs across contexts, but this presents challenges for assessment. This case study details how UC Davis’ Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems program is designing an assessment system to match the ambitious goal of recognizing learning that students build up over many experiences in different contexts.

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Sweet Water AQUAPONS

Sweet Water AQUAPONS is an online platform where students gain digital badges as they learn the skills needed in aquaponics. The Sweet Water Foundation (SWF) developed AQUAPONS to provide self-directed learning opportunities to future sustainable agriculture practitioners and expand the field of aquaponics by creating a replicable model for urban agriculture education.

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UC Davis Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems (SA&FS)

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The Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems is a new interdisciplinary major that integrates a portfolio system featuring digital badges. UC Davis’s Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences developed “a model of learning, participation, and assessment focused around high-level ‘core competencies’ that bridge classroom and real-world experiences, academic investigations and concrete skills. We believe this model has the ability to train leaders who will transform the food system, changing the way each of us eats and lives.”

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Who Built America Badges for History Education

Who Built America Badges for History Education (WBA) is a project developed by the American Social History Project (ASHP) in partnership with Electric Funstuff and Education Development Center (EDC). The project moves the face-to-face synchronous professional development for grade 7-12 history teachers that the ASHP has been conducting for over 20 years to an online asynchronous space where teachers work at their own pace and without a cohort. This has been a somewhat challenging process, but the use of leveled digital badges and formative assessments have aided in the process. WBA master history teacher badgeThere is substantial effort to build community within WBA, and teachers can build relationships beyond a small cohort. This professional development helps teachers grow in both content and pedagogy; through a series of tasks and engagement in both the community and with ASHP experts, teachers can earn the badge and title of Master History teacher.

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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