The ‘gamification’ and badges movement in education has been growing for years.
In fact, here at Edublogs, adding tools to manage or award badges to students has been one of the most frequently requested features that we get.
We recently stumbled across Michelle Baldwin’s post on Edublogs, We Don’t Need Badges for Reading.
You should give the full post a read, but the quick version is that she noticed harmful effects from a reading app that her students use as a result of a feature that awards badges.
Michelle’s post focuses on reading, but the same can be said across the board when it comes to motivation and learning.
A colleague published a much more pro-gamification post here on TheEdublogger last year, and in certain conditions, perhaps there are advantages to these techniques.
With Edublogs and our CampusPress platform, we don’t plan on adding any specific badging features anytime soon – though we do have users that will embed or upload images of badges to sidebars. We feel strongly that the blogging, reflection, and writing process would be hampered by a systematic approach to badges that often fail to reward quality over quantity.
There are times, and for specific content areas, where some game mechanics like simulation, competition, or role playing might be beneficial to learning. We just need to be careful that current trends don’t lead us to ‘gamify’ just to ‘gamify’.
How do you feel about badges and gamification with your students?
Do they help engage students?
Does it create extrinsic motivation that could do more harm than good?
Please leave a comment below (or even better, a link to your post on the topic)!