Touchpoints

 

Touchpoints refer to your first considerations around criteria for the badge. Touchpoints must be considered in conjunction with badge issuing. The badge issuing determines how the badge will be awarded using the technology provided. There may be some constraints in how you offer your badge as not all badge issuing can be automated. For example, a badge can be issued when a blog post shows critical evaluation of an article but someone will need to review the post and issue the badge.

Does the badge earner need previous skills or knowledge to earn a badge?

In addition to deciding on the types of badges you will issue, you need to consider whether to use badge levels. Badge levels is the structure or path in which badges are earned. Decisions about using badge levels depend on whether there is a hierarchy in the learning process that requires an earner to gain specific knowledge and/or skill before moving on. Badges levels can also be useful if a topic is complex enough that it needs to be broken down into sub-themes and competencies.

The following outlines the kinds of leveled badge systems that should be considered when designing a badge pathway.

Tiered Badges

Tiered badges place badges in an explicit hierarchy. The purpose of a tiered system may be the following:

  • A student needs prior knowledge, skills, and/or behaviours before moving on to more complex material
  • An instructor may want to track the progress through a topic by badge-specific milestones

A tiered system of badges can concentrate the efforts of badge earners on one topic, which deepens their knowledge as they move through content.

Example of a Leveled Badge System
The Videographer badge requires increasing mastery of the subject before learning more complex skills.

Meta-level Badges

Meta-level badges represent several skills, behaviours, knowledge, and/or abilities that make up a higher level of understand around a larger topic. The type of learning here does not necessarily need to be hierarchical like with the tiered badge design. The purpose of meta-level badges is to identify the core competencies in a subtopic of a larger area of study. The purpose of a meta-level badge system may be the following:

  • An instructor may want to scaffold a complicated topic by breaking it down into more manageable subtopics
  • An instructor may want to target specific topics to signal mastery of a complex skill set
Example of a Meta-Level Badge System
Web design skills require an understanding of basic design principles. These badge are meta-literacies that make a Design Principles badge for web designers.
Basic Library Skills Tutorial Badge meta level.png

Meta-level Badge


The meta-level badge, the Basic Library Skills badge, is awarded when the subtopics have been covered and the badges for these areas have been awarded to the student.


The Basic Library Skills badge represents the more complex competencies and literacies acquired through the earning of the other badges. This badge can be showcased by the student as proof of mastery over the basic library research skills required for first year students.

Basic Library Skills Tutorial Badge tiers.png

Tiered Badges


The reason for using the tiered system is the knowledge and skills needed to develop competencies in the areas of finding, accessing, and using academic resources requires prior understanding.


For example, to learn how to find the best material for a paper using a database (See: Tool Selection Badge), the student must understand what material is available to them based on the scope of their paper (See: Research Process Badge.)


The hierarchical badging approach was used to ensure students understood basic concepts before moving on to more complex concepts.

What will learners need to do in order to get the badge?

The activity required for a student to earn a badges is important to consider seriously. For badges to hold real value and to carry authority, assessment and quality is critical. Badges can contain multiple levels of assessment, depending on the use case, community or intended audience. Some require distinct predefined assessment exercises and success criteria while others may be loosely defined and require earner reflection or peer recommendations.

Consider the perspective of both the earner and the issuer when developing badge criteria.

For badge earners:

  • Is the badge sufficiently challenging for the skill or knowledge level of the badge earner?
  • Alternately, is the badge too challenging for the badge earner?
  • Will the badge help the badge earner get a job?

For badge issuers:

  • Hard skills can require standard or more rigid rubrics to compare learner work against.
  • Softer skills can be more fluid and require more open and social assessments like peer reviews or endorsements.
  • For certification badges, intended for audiences like hiring managers, admission boards, more rigorous assessments can be required.
  • For badges intended to simply build community or reward behaviors, simple assessments may be sufficient.
Video Game Law Badge.jpg


LAW 423B - Video Game Law Scholar Badge
The Scholar Badge for LAW 423B is earned by students for finding, analyzing, and posting interdisciplinary and legal research papers to the course website.
Library Tutorial Locate Badge Criteria.png UBC Basic Library Skills Tutorial Locate Badge
The Locate Badge for UBC Library's Basic Library Skills Tutorial is earned by students for reviewing video and textual content on locating items in the library and receiving 100% on a quiz within two attempts.

To plan the touchpoints of your badge learning pathway, consider how your badges connect with one another. That is, think about the order in which badges will be earned and answer the following questions.

Selecting a Leveled Badge System - Questions
  • Does the topic covered require the student to have previous knowledge or skills?'
  • Can the activities occur in any order or time during the course or program?
  • Can the student decide which badges they want to earn?


Selecting Badge Earning Criteria - Questions
  • How does the available technology allow badges to be issued?
  • Is the skill or knowledge you are badging a soft skill or hard skill?
  • Does the badge require a person to review the criteria before being issued?
source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Documentation:Open_Badges/Plan/Touchpoints