Whenever I see the words ‘badges’ my brain reads ‘badgers’ and I keep wondering why eLearning students want to pin furry little animals to their jackets!

The idea of issuing ‘badges’ for achievement for online course has been around for several years now but to be honest I haven’t really engaged in the concept until recently. My participation as a facilitator on the brilliant open #BYOD4L course entitles me to apply for a ‘badge’. At first a certain level of scepticism crept in on my part but I think I’ve changed me mind. Before I embraced the eLearning phenomenon whilst I was still a teacher I used to give out ‘token’ printed certificates of achievement and my students loved them. At first I just gave then to the younger students thinking they were just out of school and they would be used to them. But then I gave them out even to the degree and then post graduate students and whilst they often looked a bit embarrassed in the class they privately expressed their appreciation to me. More recently as a trainer I’ve given out completion certificates and then it’s quite funny to meet up with a lecturer and find their certificate pinned up above their desk.

In this sense ‘badges’ are no different! (I think I will apply for one – although maybe I havent done enough to get one – we’ll see). Also, I have a vague memory that Blackboard now has the facility to give out ‘badges’ and link them to the completion of certain tasks or activities. Note to my self – check this out!