Last summer, I implemented a new component into all of my courses–Badgr. My goal is to incentivize behaviors that I know will increase my students’ ability to succeed in my course, in their academic careers, and in their futures.
I started by making a list of activities that I know increase student success. As I made my list, I included activities that would engage students in the culture of YC, as well as those that are simply habits of successful people. So, students will find options from goal-setting to joining a YC club.
Then, I created simple assignments to go along with each activity–take a selfie at a YC event or take an online learning style quiz and post the results, for example. For each assignment, I created a badge using Canva.com.
To earn the Roughrider Badge, students must attend a sporting event at YC and submit a selfie at the game. I saw several students at the YC Volleyball game on Friday evening–I know I will see some fun selfies coming soon!
In my course, I added modules for each badge. In the module, I added the activity that students must complete to earn the badge and then edited the requirements for the module. For example, if students must submit a selfie, the requirement is simply assignment submission. Some of my badges are earned automatically as students proceed through the course. Online students can earn points for earning a B or better on every discussion throughout the semester, while on campus students earn points for perfect attendance.
As students complete the activities, they submit the assignments and automatically earn badges from Badgr. I assigned each badge a point value on an Extra Credit page in my course. When students have earned enough points, they can use the points to purchase things like extra credit points, an extra attempt on a quiz, a late assignment submission, etc.
I know that my use of Badgr is a little bit different than the typical user, but I am finding that students are having a lot of fun with earning the badges. In addition, each activity they complete is one more thing that will help them succeed. 🙂