Sunday, December 09, 2012

An Introduction to Badge Systems Design

I believe there are two ways to explore badge systems design;
  1. what already exists in badging (and related) systems
  2. what innovations could be for awarding badges
Existing badge systems fall into two areas;
1. traditional badge systems
There are a number of proven badge systems. People often refer back to scouting as a solid and proven badge system. The martial arts belts also have much to offer.
  • scouting (and similar organizations)
  • martial arts (Taekwondo, Karate, Judo, Juijitsu, Etc.)
  • university degree, diplomas, etc. (I know, many would not consider this a traditional badge system. For the sake of design, consider the course (with grades and completion) a badge and a collection of courses (degree or diploma) and patch or super-badge.
2. digital badge systems
There are also a number of existing badge systems and these exist in a number of different contexts. A thorough evaluation and a compare and contrast to these different digital badge systems can offer some interesting insights into what is possible with digital badge systems design.
Innovations for badge systems design
I believe this falls into two main areas, and where much investigation, innovation and research remains to be done with the emerging badge paradigm. Ah, the journey of a thousand steps...
1. badge systems
  • digital badges for the self-directed and life-long learners
  • digital badges for peer learning and communities of practice
Badge Clusters
2. meta-badge systems
The systems that form between and among badging systems that allow a person to create their own credential map (or badge clusters) of their accomplishments. Essentially allowing them to create their own credential(s) of proven mastery of their chosen area(s) of expertise. Mapping their own Personal Curriculum!