A digital badge is an online indicator of an accomplishment or affiliation that contains links that help explain the context, meaning, processes and results of learning engagements.
Badges can be outward or internal facing markers of achievement. When displayed to the world, a badge reflects one’s skills and capabilities; and carries the university’s reputation for quality teaching and learning. When used internally, a badge indicates passing a milestone along a journey toward a goal.
Curtin Leadership Centre
Kristen Barker, Andrew Cotterell and Linley Lord, working with the Curtin Leadership Centre, have created one of the first self-guided online experiences on the university’s new platform for active digital learning, called the ‘Leadership Challenge’.
Badged levels of achievement across eleven modules introduce the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. Successful completion of the requisite number of Leadership Challenge modules results in one of the Leadership Badges. This badge, in conjunction with a relevant practical leadership experience, leads to recognition on the Curtin Extra Certificate.
Anna Tayler, Lani Weston and Julie Howell, of the Careers group in CurtinLife, are putting finishing touches on Careers Illuminate, a new self-guided online experience in career exploration designed to reach all students. Badges within the twelve-module experience are part of the reward system for the gamified self-paced activities and lead to recognition on the Curtin Extra Certificate.
Levelling up in UniReady
One of the newest badge projects getting underway is designed for students who are working for admission to the university through the UniReady program. This online challenge, being authored by Kathy Lawson and Lisa Goldacre, will feature learners who need to help a fictionalised candidate for entry to prepare for university levels of study. As the players create good outcomes for the fictional character, they will be absorbing the principles needed for their own success.
In addition to badges making their way into non-game digital learning experiences in higher education, they are also being embedded in a new serious game at Curtin. The game aims to raise aspirations and build confidence that university life and work is within reach of everyone with a dream of participating in higher education. The target communities for the game are rural, Indigenous and isolated first-time university-goers of any age. Levelling up with the badges in the AHEAD game, being authored by Katy Scott and a team under the direction of Lisa Goldacre, will signal that one is capable of success at university.
Kim Flintoff, Leah Irving, David Gibson and Linley Lord are developing a policy white paper about badges. Kim is working with Carla Casilli of the Mozilla Foundation, which has led to an open global project now underway and due to publish on September 30. The Curtin team will participate, co-author and then adapt that document to Curtin’s context to create a paper for review by the University Teaching and Learning Committee. The paper will outline the options for allowing, supporting and utilising badges within the informal and formal frameworks of recognition at Curtin University.
Badges on the drawing board
In collaboration with UNESCO Bangkok, Curtin University is developing Balance of the Planet - a series of sustainable development challenges that will be offered across the Asia Pacific region. The platform will support self-organising teams and rubric-based scoring of submissions, and will result in awards and recognition for outstanding ideas that address global issues. Collaborating Curtin authors include Ainslie Beattie and Margaret Gollagher of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute and Mike Burbridge of the Australian Sustainable Development Institute and Office of Research and Planning.
Also in planning stages, Rachel Sheffield and Susan McDonald of the School of Education, with support from Head of School Lina Pelliccione, are working on a self-guiding system that prepares and supports students for Teacher Fieldwork Placements. This project will help students create a series of portfolio artefacts required for registration.