Using Badges to Assess a Class Community Assignment
I just finished awarding my students their badges for our Community assignment and I wanted to share the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of my venture into gamification as opposed to grading. I originally shared my reasons for replacing grades with badges in my post “Community Building With Badges” which was sparked by Cathy Davidson’s description of her badging system but essentially I hoped that badges would be fun and spark student involvement. Plus, I have always hated trying to place a grade on something like community involvement and activity. It is easy to grade the active folks and the slackers but how do you grade the folks in between? What is a B or C when it comes to community activity? Plus of course there is the problem of logistics. How can you keep track of all the various forms of contributions that students can and do make? I hoped that crowd sourcing the assessment for this assignment by using badges would solve the problem of logistics for me. If you are interested in other reasons for teaching with badges you might want to check out TeachThought’s Gamification 101 which also introduces us to a great web site dedicated to the idea of class badges.