Where Digital Badges Work Better

Conference Archive

DevLearn 2015 Conference & Expo - October 1, 2015

Daniel T. Hickey

Professor and Coordinator, Learning Sciences Program
Indiana University

An intensive two-year study of 29 projects that were awarded funds to build digital badge systems in the 2012 Badges for Lifelong Learning competition revealed surprising results.

In this session you will get a deeper dive into the specific principles and practices learned for employing digital badges to recognize, assess, motivate, and study learning. You will learn how the most obvious principles for adding value to digital badges—associating them with formal credit and gaining external endorsement—turned out to be the most difficult to implement. You will learn how the most successful badges contained unique claims and evidence about learning, the impact of social and less informal learning, and the importance of “layering” into existing instructional content and web technology. You will explore value with connections to competency-based learning, stackable credentials, ePortfolios, and credit for prior learning.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The contexts and practices in which open digital badges can be used most successfully to support learning
  • To use the web-enabled resources from the Design Principles Documentation Project
  • To use the web-enabled resources from the Open Badges in Higher Education project, including open case libraries and extended case studies to inform their own badge development efforts

Intermediate and advanced designers, developers, project managers, managers, and directors.

Technology discussed in this session:


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