1. Clearly define the outcomes
This step is so obvious it is typically not given enough time. Outcomes should include short term (task completion), medium (behavioral change), and long-term (impact) expectations. Often, professional development is defined by learning outcomes or familiarity with a program, software package, or curriculum. An effective badging system will focus on tangible products that will show mastery of the desired results. The outcomes include a range of expectations for badging completion but also impact.
2. Clearly identify the assets required to meet the outcomes
Assets include but are not limited to videos, digital media, personnel, performance tasks, articles, simulations, and any other stimuli or resources which might be needed to complete a badge. Identifying the assets required is a key component of a logic model that serves as the design for the learning progressions. Within the logical model, the connection between assets and outcomes will include short-term complete outcomes as well as expectations for long-term impact which will directly inform the time-value proposition.
3. Create a “constellation” to clarify expectations for the badging process
Think of a badging “constellation” as the road map for the learning. It lays out a trajectory or a pathway for the learner to follow. These can be complicated or simple, linear or more web-like. For a clear constellation to emerge, a three to five year plan can help inform the priorities and needs of the learning that is required. In the start-up phase, a fully developed constellation is not needed but the outline and design principle is necessarily to balance the outcomes.
4. Identify the time-value proposition
In the end, motivation and participation rates are dependent on the time required and the value of the outcome. Essentially, is it worth doing?Negotiations and definitions about compensation will demand clear understanding of the demands required to complete the tasks. The logic model provides the framework for evaluating the time demands and ultimately the value of the outcomes based on the assets required to complete the tasks.
5. Develop the eco-system for learning, submitting, and awarding badges
The badging system has to live somewhere. The ease of use of the interface, the integration with existing systems, and the accessibility across platforms are just some of the considerations. A customized design allows you the most options but allows requires thoughtful connections to existing log-in protocols, levels of security, and a clear vision for the “openness” of the system.
Steve Regur, Ed.D. email@example.com