Learning with Digital Badges in Formal, Informal, and Crowd-Sourced Settings
The Design Principles Documentation (DPD) project (Hickey, Otto, Itow, Schenke, Tran, & Chow, 2014) at Indiana University's Center for Research on Learning and Technology followed the badge development practices of 29 grantees in the 2012 Badges for Lifelong Learning competition, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning (DML) initiative and the Gates Foundation (HASTAC, 2012). The DPD project documented the intended practices as outlined in their DML project proposals and then conducted structured interviews to document enacted practices that DML projects were able to establish with their badge systems. The DPD project paid particular attention to the contextual factors that allowed some intended practices to be enacted but not others. The data produced by studying practices of recognizing, assessing, and motivating learning in digital badges was then organized into more general design principles. The more contextual information from the DPD data makes these principles useful for others (Hickey et al., 2014; Archive for Badge System Analysis, 2014).