Use external standards:
Connect badges to nationally or internationally recognized standards. Possibilities include the Common Core State Standards and UNESCO’s Competency Framework for Teachers.
For more examples of aligning badges to standards, please look at the following principles: use internal or community standards.
The 4-H USDA Robotics Digital Badges initiative is a collaborative badging effort between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 4-H National Headquarters/USDA, and Auburn University. Over the course of badge system development, Auburn University focused on the project’s technical side, while University of Nebraska-Lincoln played a role in developing assessments and curriculum. 4-H described, “The Nebraska faculty has developed an outstanding suite of robotics learning experiences supported through almost $5 million in grants from the National Science Foundation (#ESI-0624591 and DRL-0833403), the NASA Summer of Innovation, and 4-H. These learning experiences will serve as the core content for the 4-H Robotics digital badging system for youth ages 9 to 18.
BuzzMath is a platform where middle school students develop mathematics competencies corresponding to the Common Core standards. The project issues Open Badges aligned to these standards as students complete activities on buzzmath.com.
The BuzzMath team from the small software development firm Scolab wants to help students in grades 6 through 8 achieve competency in the mathematics standards included in the Common Core State Standards system. To this end, the website guides students through “practice documents” and “challenge documents” targeting each element of the standards (Figure 2). These take the form of sets of assessment questions that progress in difficulty and build on learned concepts as they go. They are designed to complement classroom instruction and assessment. In addition, teachers that use BuzzMath in their classrooms will be able to track their students’ skill development through an integrated dashboard
Part of successful endorsement partnership is holding your system to a standard.
Several of the projects that won grants through the Digital Media and Learning competition offer centralized online platforms for educational programs that take place in geographically distributed physical classrooms. The principles used among projects that fit this profile, and especially the transitions they made as they shifted from intended to enacted practices, illustrate lessons learned about how to confront the challenge of running this type of badge system.
The badging initiative LevelUp is the result of a partnership between Adams County District 50, EffectiveSC, and Intific. LevelUp is a web-based platform for students to map the progression of their learning experiences on their own, personal competency map, with the capacity to take effect across systems and institutions, including “K-12 schools, colleges, extra-curricular activities, or job training”
The digital badge initiative “My Girl Scout Sash is an App” was developed as part of a collaboration between Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), MentorMob, and the Motorola Mobility Foundation. The initiative enables participants to gain skills in mobile app development. The project introduced a new digital sash from which girl scouts can add badges. Through its badging program, Girl Scouts has provided a long-standing tradition of career development and leadership. Girl Scouts Chief Development Officer, Bryn Reese, described, “
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.