Open Education 2015: Enough with Weak Sauce Badges!

I understand the frustrations leading to this conference session being proposed. However, I’d suggest that ‘weak’ and ‘lightweight’ when applied to badges are mere are value judgements.

Instead, the authors (and all those interested in this topic) should check out my former colleague Carla Casilli’s blog post from last year: The myth of the lightweight badge. My favourite part, except from her quoting Ulysses at the end is:

Interest-driven participation badges communicate in subtler ways than skill or competency badges do but they are sending signals to the earner as well as the larger social structure. They act as windows into alternate interpretations of self. Not only do they work to represent past experiences but also possible future selves. They accumulate and in their accumulation they tell different stories to both the earner as well as the public.

I think expecting badges to be a certain conceptual ‘size’ is projecting an existing set of beliefs and structures onto an emergent ecosystem.