During the first ten minutes of an April 11 webinar for the Brightspace Teaching & Learning Community, I had the pleasure of having my Internet connection go completely dead for about fifteen minutes. After hoping it would quickly come back, I told the attendees that we would have to reschedule the webinar for one week later.
Instead of rescheduling, I decided to try a different approach. I created an 8-minute video for your on-demand viewing. I hope you find this helpful. Please share any comments or questions in the Comments field at the bottom of the page.
Hello. This is Barry Dahl, and I’m the senior community manager for the Brightspace Teaching and Learning Community.
We had some technical difficulties with a webinar on this topic earlier this week, so we’re trying this on-demand video instead of rescheduling the webinar.
I’m not sure that we will do this too often, but decided that we should give it a try.
Today I’m going to talk about some uses of the Awards tool in Brightspace. Let’s clarify what this video is about, by starting with what it is not about.
I’m not going to cover what I consider to be the traditional uses of badges and certificates in education. Instead, we’ll take a look at some more unconventional possible uses.
Traditional uses are what I would consider to be issuing Awards to document student achievement academically. That’s the normal use of this tool and that’s not what we’re looking at today.
We’re going to look at 5 categories of other possible uses for the awards tool.
Ways to use Awards to reward student behaviors
Ways to use Awards to document employee Professional Learning or mandatory training
Ways to use Awards for documenting off-transcript student learning
Ways to use Awards for accomplishing goals
Ways to use Awards for the fun of it
You can see on the screen the five things are going to talk about, and we will get into those right now.
Brightspace Awards are built on the Open Badges platform, and students can share their Brightspace Awards to their Mozilla Backpack. This makes the Brightspace Awards portable, and usable by the students after they leave the institution.
Very quickly we’ll take a look at some of the functionality in the Awards tool, starting with how to add existing Awards to your course. You would do this in the Course Awards tab, where you would be able to see which Awards are available in your class at the time, and add new Awards to the list.
You have the option of creating a new award, in this case a badge, by giving it a name and a description, and then filling in a few more fields.
You can design your own badge by using the Classic Badge Designer, which is linked in the Create Awards interface. There are many options for designing the badge, and you can upload your own icons if you do not find something that you want to use in the designer tool.
One of the easiest ways to issue an existing award to people in your class, is on the Classlist Awards page. You can easily see what’s already been awarded to students. You can also select one or more students to issue one or more Awards to, and also fill in the reason or rationale for why they received this award.
That reason becomes part of the metadata, and travels with the badge, for example if exported to Mozilla Backpack.
It’s very easy to share a Brightspace badge to your Mozilla Backpack. You also have options for sharing your Awards to your Brightspace profile, and also to your ePortfolio in Brightspace.
Our first category of potential uses for the Awards tool is to reward student behaviors.
Rewarding student behaviors can be done through badges as way to incentivize them to engage in various activities that would be beneficial.
This example is a student volunteer badge, where you have determined the criteria that would be met to earn the badge, and then you can manually issue the badge to the students or employees.
A couple of other quick examples on the screen here for those who engage in extracurricular activities such as the Chess Club. If you have a Student Success Day at your campus, this is a way to reward attendance on that day.
You can see a few other examples of how you can encourage positive behaviors through badging.
The second category is to document employee activities, such as professional learning and or mandatory training. As shown on the screen here, badges could be used when providing professional development opportunities for web accessibility for online faculty.
Example badges include individual badges for demonstrating proficiency in adding alt text to images, captioning videos, HTML content pages, accessible Word docs and PowerPoint files.
Faculty could document their learning through the various badges that represent important skills that have been learned.
Along these lines, I’d like to point out a breakout session at Fusion 2017 where Jon Kruithof and Lavinia Oltean of McMaster University are doing a session on badging. The title is “Badging Faculty: Does it Work?” If you are attending Fusion, I encourage you to check out their breakout session to learn about their project at McMaster University.
With faculty or other employee training opportunities you’ll find that laddering is a successful technique as well. In these three examples; they would earn a badge for achieving a competent level, another for moving to an exemplary level, and finally to a master level with some type of teaching and learning professional development opportunity.
Just one more example here, because almost all Brightspace users have some sort of compliance training that employees are required to engage in. Using badges would be a great way to document that type of training participation.
Badges shown include the following: crisis management, campus safety, and dealing with students at risk.
The third category for badge uses is for documenting student learning that is not normally shown on the transcript.
Some of the examples shown on screen include badges or certificates for soft skills such as critical thinking or problem solving, and other things that are not typically captured on a student transcript.
A badge for technology skills such as online learning skills to document that they can operate the software for online courses, job shadowing experiences and many other important skills that students learn that are not reflected on a transcript.
The fourth potential category for using Awards is to reward the accomplishment of goals. There are many possibilities for this category.
These are just a few examples; where students who get off to a good start in a class for the semester, or perfect attendance in class, or in other activities such as meetings, etc. Encouraging wellness and healthy living. The possibilities are endless.
The fifth and final category is to consider using awards just for the fun of it.
Here are three simple examples, but you can use your imagination to come up with ways that you may be able to create some fun badges for your students or others who may be motivated in such a way.
Examples shown include an “Oops, my bad” for when a student finds a mistake made by the instructor, “Yes! You are smarter than a fifth grader,” and “I’ve seen worse, so you’re improving.”
To wrap things up today I would like to invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section on this page, at the bottom. I would love to hear your thoughts about using badges in non-conventional ways. I’d also like to hear whether this on demand video was a worthwhile replacement to a webinar.
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