I learned something new this week. Yet another reason why teaching is such an awesome job. Actually, I learned lots of things as my students are wrapping up their class projects, but one thing I learned is specific to teaching and that thing made me think again about how and why I grade with badges.
I use badges to grade class activity – specifically class discussion (whether in person or via online discussion board and/or class blog). Typically, students are assigned two weeks (one in the first half and one in the second) when they must submit a Community-Reflection report on class discussions. The report (see template) helps me keep track of attendance and participation, but its most important function is to recognize good participation. Students can award up to 11 badges to their peers, but they choose (although evidence must be provided for all badge awards) how many to award and which classmate(s) deserve the badges.
It is a simple concept, but I have found three benefits to using badges to assess class discussion plus an unexpected bonus I discovered just this week.