Digital Badges - Dec 1-15, 2012

TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Peter Rawsthorne -
Number of replies: 46

Task 1: Describe the merit badge


1. Identify a merit badge you earned during your lifetime.
What did you have to do to earn it? Did you earn more than one badge? And were they awarded by the same organization?


2. Describe how you displayed the merit badge(s).
If you earned more than one badge, did you display them together? Did you display badges from different organizations together?

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by John Dumbrille -

1. I got a Boy Scouts badge for tieing knots. I had just a few badges, maybe four of them. Some scouts were very keen on them, but I remember, after getting a couple, losing some interest. Though, if the color and shape of the badge was cool, getting a badge may have been more appealing. 

2. You put in the time, got a badge, your Mom sewed it on your shirt... "I get it"... The scout shirt was for scout badges only.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Stephen Downes -

1. Man of Letters

This was a badge I received as a Boy Scout (I received a large number of badges as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, mostly based around civic knowledge and wildreness skills - yes, I could survive in the wilderness, and not only that, I would like it). The Man of letters badge was awarded for performing some act of public writing (I forget what the exact conditions were). Specifically, it was awarded for my publication The Eagle Report, a monthly newspaper I wrote and published myself, distributing it around the community.

2. On a Sash

Badges are worn on a red sash worn over one shoulder. They are arranged as you wish (I arranged muine in neat rows, of course). All badges are equal (there is no 'Eagle Scout' designation in Canada). No badges from external organizations were displayed on the sash.

More information:

Here is the list of badges and stars awarded to Cub Scouts (I got all five stars when I was a Cub - there aere more stars now - my favourite was the Tawny Star): http://www.scouts.ca/ca/cub-scouts-badge-requirements

Here are the Boy Scout badges, including some of the new higher designations ('Man of Letters' is now 'Communicator'). http://www.scouts.ca/ca/scouts-badge-requirements

Just a brief note:

In Scouts, it was very clar ahead of time what the requirements were for different badges, and you could set out earning them. In the examples badges I've seen online (eg. the Mozilla badge program, and this course, even) you are given a sequence of activities and badges just appear at (for me, unknown) intervals.

In reply to Stephen Downes

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Stephen,

First. I am a huge fan of your work, I have been following you since my graduate studies at Memorial University. A deep thanks for all your great work! I hope I can return to you all the learning you have initiated in me. Thank-you!

I also have earned scouting badges and others... I will speak to this later... my traditional badging journey had many innovations...

I believe you bring up a very interesting point about the clarity of the requirements and process for earning a badge. I know with some of the Mozilla open badges (webmaker skills) the badges will be "automatically" awarded when you complete a tasks (in let's say altering some CSS to change the look of a webpage). In a way you don't necessarily know exactly when or why the badge was awarded. In this course also, I outlined the issuing of three badges and spoke to the criteria. But i wasn't clear when exactly the badge would be issued... With scouting badges I knew exactly why and when. i completed a set of criteria, and then there was a badge awarding ceremony in front of my peers. All good.

How important do people believe it is to have clarity around requirements and well known processes and celebrated events for merit badges being awarded. Is this clarity and these known processes and events important to the motivation and awarding of badges?

Peter

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Christine Horgan -

Peter: For me (at my current level or ignorance), I'd say having some way to capture the processes attached to earning the badge is important. If, for example, I were hiring someone and the badges were part of his/her professional development activities, how could I place a value/worth on the learning? We have formal/informal forumulas for attaching a value to various types of PSE qualifications . . . perhaps we need some way to judge the value of badges. How? right now, not a clue . . . over to those with more experience. Cheers, Chris

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Joyce McKnight -

How important do people believe it is to have clarity around requirements and well known processes and celebrated events for merit badges being awarded. Is this clarity and these known processes and events important to the motivation and awarding of badges?    I think clear criteria are important to most people although I would tend to recommend that there be at least two alternative paths to leave an element of choice.  It can be fun to earn badges but unclear instructions can be very frustrating and although self-direction is usually thought of as desirable particularly in adult education, years of teaching and learning have taught me that sometimes I feel as if my contribution to self-directed learning is to consciously decide to let someone else do the leading.  For instance, I especially like this seminar because it does have specific leader generated questions.  J

(Edited by Hilda Anggraeni - original submission Monday, 3 December 2012, 07:08 PM copy and paste from Joyce's attachment)

In reply to Stephen Downes

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -

Thank you for sharing your Boy Scouts experiences, Stephen. They bring back a lot of memories of summer camp. I was very proud of my swimming and cannoeing levels. We had to sew the bages on our swimming suits. I would be so motivated to go back to camp, so I could get the next level. It was such a treat to go from one level to the next and to finally reach the top advanced level. I knew in advance what was required of me and practiced the skills needed to reach the levels, so I could get those badges. Maybe, it wasn't so much the badges as it was the stages that I had to follow. 

I am very competitive with myself so badges and levels are great ways to get me to do things. I was scared to death as I stood in front of over 1000 people in grade 8 just so I could get a badge in a public speaking contest. Badges and certificates work for me. I love the initial feeling of getting the certificate, but it only lasts for a few seconds and then it's gone. It doesn't last for long for me. I need to get the next one to sense that feel of accomplishment once again. I'm considering doing another PhD because I lost the feel for the first. Some people run after money. I run after badges. 

In reply to Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Joyce McKnight -

 Hi Nellie: I can relate.  I never met a badge, certificate or degree

I didn't like...but another PhD?  How about a book

or two instead?  JMcK  :-)

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Mary Pringle -
  1. I can think of only one thing like a merit badge I earned, but I don't recall the physical evidence. I know I barely got credit for one year of sewing in 4-H. I was too arty for 4-H even as a child.

    I do remember the certificate for completing a stage fright workshop I got when I was 25. It had a motto something like "Fearum non showum". That was fun, and I felt like I had actually made some progress with that workshop.

  2. I didn't have any badges to display. I kept the stage fright certificate to myself.

    I found it interesting that one of the artefacts in my late brother's safety deposit box was a medal for grade 10 typing (see image below).

typing medal

On the back it says   

   JIM PRINGLE

 TYPING OPTION

There was a dearth of fun in our lives growing up, and motivation was a grim affair.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Sylvia Riessner -

1.  I believe I earned a couple of badges when I was in Brownies many many years ago but I can't recall exactly what they were for (sewing, baking I think).

2.   I vaguely remember having my Mother sew them onto a band that we wore during meetings.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by carla arena -

Hi, all. I'm Carla Arena, a Brazilian educator. 

I've been following the discussions about badges with great interest, and just from the answers here, it is clear to me that the badges system has been much tied to cultural aspects. I can see it a strong feature of the American society, for example, but in Brazil this hasn't been a trend for a long time, except in the military and for scouts (which is not such a huge movement as in other countries). In fact, I have seen this happening much more frequently nowadays, with my kids getting achievement certificates. 

In my case, as this was not part of my childhood and teenage years, I can't really recall getting any badges...

However, one interesting experience I've had very recently was in a site  http://www.smore.com/u/carlaarena , a platform where you can create very well-designed flyers, invitations, about pages very easily. There, I started earning Interesting badges:

Globetrotter

Get visits from 10 different countries.

Marathon

One month after publishing a flyer, get 50 new visits.

Double Martini

Get 1,000 visits to an event flyer.

Infinite Loop

Get 100 visits from iPhones, iPads and iPods.

They go straight to my page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't know in advance that I was going to get those badges; they were unlocked as visitors checked my page. 

So, one question that springs to my mind is: should the badge criteria be known in advance or is it interesting to have the surprise element, as well? When do participants need to know about it in advance and when does it make sense to keep it as a surprise element in the process? 

I've also have gotten badges for participating in online activities and for presenting in webinars. In this case, the badges were available in different formats for us to choose and post in our blogs: I've kept some of them on my blog sidebar, but I tend to take them off after a while, for I don't want to keep it visually polluted, as each badge has a different design approach. 

http://collablogatorium.blogspot.com.br

 

Thanks, Peter, for getting us started and thinking about all this badge issue. I'm really considering adding the badge element to a professional development digital literacies online session I'm designing for Brazilian educators. 

Cheers from Brasilia,

Carla

In reply to carla arena

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Verena Roberts -

Hi Carla! I haven't heard about smore - it looks like fun.

When I offered an open course over the summer and "changed the rules" in order to "get" a badge or "not get a badge"...(.I changed to it make it easier, to base the badge on participation over activity completion), I upset a lot of people.

While I thought I was being "helpful", people wanted to know what was going on- upfront, and were upset that I "let" others get a badge when they had done so much work.

(I know, free course, voluntary facilitator, but it still became competitive....)

In order to blend traditional styles of learning (do the activity, get the badge) with new ways of learning (create the learning for yourself by remixing what you need as a learner) I think that the "surprise" badge function might be the way to go!

Thanks for sharing!

Verena :)

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Verena Roberts -

Hello -

I created a Flkr group (because you gave me a reason to learn how to) about badges. http://www.flickr.com/groups/2168277@N22/ 

The badges I remember most are the ones I strived for in brownies - like scouts, but for girls. They were placed on the arm of your brownie uniform. Picture of arm in flikr group. 

Now - the brownies put their badges on a sash. (Picture also in flkr) Instead of having them all over the uniform, all "emblems" and "badges" were in one place.

Beavers used to have a few identifying badges/emblems that they put on ther beaver vest. Then they had a beaver "Tail" on their hat as well. Now you get a badge for everything you do (see Flikr group). As a parent this is irritating because I don't have time to sew them all on. (The "seamless" ease of getting a badge and how/wheer to locate it is important if others are involved like in k12)

When I googled "badges" in Pinterest = this is what I saw 

http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=badges

It reminded me of the pin and button collection that I had aquired. Unlike the brownie badges that were related to one "community" but that identified different skills and competencies in one location, my pin collection was from all over the place. The buttons came from events that I attended with my family - I remember an Alberta75 button to celebrate Alberta's 75th birthday and being so excited to be given a buttonas a I had pretty and shiny collection of pins from the 1983 Universaide Games that happened in Edmonton one summer. I used to stand outside of the athlete paviliion and trade for pins. As a 9 year old, the athletes often traded pins for my "lower class" buttons. I wonder if those pins are worth anything today.

So when you asked about "location" -my pin and button collection which was on the back of my bedroom door, and acted more like a "portfolio" of my activities and interests. It represented me more than the brownie badges that were created by an organization by handed to me.

I think when we discuss badges we have to think about both - badges that represent institutions and organizations and badges that represent people and passions.

Verena :)

 

 

 

 

 

In reply to Verena Roberts

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Mary Pringle -

Your post reminds me of some button envy I experienced in my days as an apprentice technical editor. Someone who admired my boss gave her a pin that said We never guess; we look it up. The person who gave her the pin treasured it as an emblem of her membership in the unofficial guild of editors. Giving it to my boss was a tribute that I wanted for myself. I really wanted that pin, but of course I never got it. My boss treasured it, too. It signified membership and recognition of a special skill set. Kind of like the ring that professional engineers wear. Badges can be quite powerful that way. To this day that saying We never guess; we look it up reminds me to uphold my personal editorial standards. Badges and mottos--good stuff.

In reply to Mary Pringle

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Verena Roberts -

I agree- there was a lot of button envy. And you are right...there were a few buttons with great expressions that I treasured. I remember there was one with a water stain on it for a track event. I didn't "achieve" the badge, but i foudn one of the ground - a waterstained one, which was "gold" to me...it gave me inspiration to get a "clean and shiny one" the next year. Although the water stained one stayed in the collection as well. Great point about how we put values and mottos on our "badges". There is a lot of personal identity in a badge. What means one thing to one person will mean something else to someone else. That doesn't work in our education system though...and I think that's a problem.

In reply to Verena Roberts

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Julia Hengstler -

Hmm--the Pinterest- badge display connection is a very interesting one. Could have students create their Badge Board for each course....

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Iain Robertson -

1. Identify a merit badge you earned during your lifetime.
I was never a boy scout but I know of the badges. Recently I have received badges through Foursquare (when you check-in to places, etc) which I find interesting. In some ways I think we are pathologically connected to each other (e.g. the need to overshare for example). Recently I received some digital badges as I started to work with the Passport badge system.

2. Describe how you displayed the merit badge(s).
If I was a boy scout I would have totally worn the sash. As we look at digital badges my concern turns to their portability and their comprehension. I think there needs to be a consensus around what tasks or processes have been completed with individual badges.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Ken Udas -

Lots of Scouts. I am going to try something different.

1. Identify a merit badge you earned during your lifetime.
What did you have to do to earn it? Did you earn more than one badge? And were they awarded by the same organization?

I have earned an automobile inspection badge.  I have earned about 25 of them - one each year for a number of years. They have been awarded by a number of state regulation agencies (Commonwealths of Massachusetts, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, New Zealand, etc.)

To earn the badges I needed to maintain a registered motor vehicle, pass an inspection/exam, and exhibit the ability to respond to questions during the inspection.


2. Describe how you displayed the merit badge(s).
If you earned more than one badge, did you display them together? Did you display badges from different organizations together?

I normally displayed it on my windshield. 

To be honest, I am not sure if I earned the badge or if car did.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Wayne Mackintosh -

1. Identify a merit badge you earned during your lifetime.
What did you have to do to earn it? Did you earn more than one badge? And were they awarded by the same organization?

I have earned a few competency badges for wiki editing skills according to WIkiEducator's Wikimaster typology. The badges were awarded by a community member who was certified at a higher level. The badges are awarded according to clearly specified competencies with evidence of skills demonstrated in the wiki using the edit history of the wiki.


2. Describe how you displayed the merit badge(s).
If you earned more than one badge, did you display them together? Did you display badges from different organizations together?

In this context the highest-level badge earned on the typology is displayed on the User page of the recipient with a link to the person who certified the user.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Nancy White -
It is very interesting reading these replies. What immediately strikes me is the power of a badge to invoke memory. Very cool. My Girl Scout badge experiences are very similar to what has been reported so far. When asked for testimonials for past speaking experiences in the past recently, I faltered. I never save and organize the evaluate quotes, tweets or emails. It feels very self serving and my background and habit is to shy away from that, and thus probably many badging type experiences. But gee, it would have been nice to have a handy "woman of words" badge! So my final reflection is about a hunger for authenticity that has m are me wary of badges to date. At the same time, I feel my GS badge experiences were often ... Not always... Authentic but mainly due to the mentors and leaders who really probed my understanding , helping me see more in the work. Does that make sense? How does that show up in out digital badging? What are the differences as adults vs children?
In reply to Nancy White

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Joyce McKnight -

(I felt that badges were) authentic but mainly due to the mentors and leaders who really probed my understanding , helping me see more in the work. Does that make sense? Yes, and it points to a problem not only with badges but with other large scale learning events that lack direct human feedback…I think that one way communication with only automated feedback is not quite as meaningful as learning that involves dialogue either with a single teacher or with a group of learners.  

How does that show up in out digital badging? It would probably depend a lot on the intent of the learning experience but in many instances such as this seminar, dialogue with real people even asynchronously is better than multiple choice type learning automatically “graded” graded by a robot.

What are the differences as adults vs children? Although I am an adult educator by terminal degree, I have taught children in many informal and non-formal situations over many years.  I have come to believe that learning principles apply across the life-span…in fact, most children are intrinsically motivated as are all effective lifelong learner, but “schooling” often seems to “beat it out of them”.   Earning badges as part of a game type atmosphere is fun…earning badges as grades might be just as de-motivating as they are.

(Edited by Hilda Anggraeni - original submission Monday, 3 December 2012, 07:30 PM Copy paste from Joyce's Attachment)

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Outstanding discussion on merit badges! Thank-you!

Not sure what stands out more for me from this discussion? The variety of merit badges, the differing levels of commitment, the internationalization aspect, cultural meanings, the authenticity... all good. Thanks everyone!

Not until this photo did I realize just how much of a badge addict I was... I took the photo just an hour ago...

A good mix of badges

In my youth I earned badges from at least five different sources. As show here I have badges from; Scouting, YMCA leaders and swimming, Red Cross, Canadian Particip-Action, and Canadian Sailing Association. I always knew what the criteria was and planned out my earning of the badge(s). I don't recall ever just being given a badge. I looked forward to the events when I received my badges. I think I now know why I am so commited to furthering the idea of digital badges... and most of my efforts are in a volunteer capacity... all good!

I also spent time in organizing my badges, at first they remained sewn onto the scout sash or another appropriately wearable piece of clothing. I wore them with pride. When i was in my teens (I was into stitching) I moved all my badges onto a single piece of fabric and displayed it on my wall. I organized them by issuing organization. Now they exist in an old brown leather covered box and they are one of the things that stays with me as I move house, change cities. I'm not a big believer in keeping stuff (IMHO, it just clutters ones life), but the fact that these badges remain as one of the things that stays with me, implies I continue to attach importance to these achievements...

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Jeffrey Keefer -

I am not sure if I ever earned any badges, though if I did I cannot recall any of them if I did. Immediately I feel inadequate (I have none and everybody has lots). Ok, I exaggerate a touch, but it was the immediate childhood reflex kicking in here.

Hmm, I wonder how this relates to motivation and what is valued? I am not motivated by them and thus do not value them? However, I suppose other people are, so if I were designing a program or the like perhaps it could be something I could use to help reward people (like a behaviorist?) or motivate them (if perhaps the content or the experience and what about it is worth doing were not enough)?

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by carol yeager -

Hmmm, I never belonged to an organization that offered merit badges as most might describe them.  Mostly, I was engaged in activities that awarded competition ribbons (First through Third and maybe, an Honorable mention). 

1. While the scouts, of various demographics, awarded badges for certain competencies, I am aware of them only through others. Usually, a series of tasks or community contributions were listed in order to earn badges and these were then sewn onto a sash by the awardee (usually) and worn as part of a uniform.  A close relative followed this format for a few years, thus my external understanding of the concept.
A leader, or representational leader reviewed the contributions each person made in specific categories and made the final determination.  There was little to no peer evaluation of the steps or skills followed to achieve the award of a badge.


As a member of Wikieducator, I have earned "titles or names" that I suppose one could call badges.



2. My ribbons (maybe sort of a badge derivative through competition) were usually put in a box for holding such awards ... I think I still have a few of them in my memorabilia drawer (I must clean that out!)

Specifically, I did not display them as I was more interested in the process of earning the ribbon and applying the learning elsewhere than I was in "winning" designating  some worth in the project outcome).

I really need to take some time to edit the stuff in my memorabilia drawer ... the reflections surrounding the "stuff" may offer me additional lifelong learning insight ... and new adventures may be inspired!

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Paddy Fahrni -

1. Identify a merit badge you earned during your lifetime.
I was in Brownies - a pre-Girl Guides program. For drawing pictures of different rooms in a house and adding labelled cleaning equipment and products, I received a 'Housekeeping' (?) badge. I remember the mother had to sign off somehow.

2. Describe how you displayed the merit badge(s).

My housekeeping badge was sewn, not on a lovely red sash a la Scouts, but directly onto my uniform, above the breast pocket. There was an established placement for certain types of badges.

I wore my sister's hand-me down uniform, and it was clear from fading and stitch holes left behind from when her many badges had been removed, that a previous wearer had been more proficient than I was.

So it's preferable if storage of badges be unique to the earner.

A question: do badges expire ? Or are they revokable?

Paddy

In reply to Paddy Fahrni

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Paddy Fahrni wrote,

A question: do badges expire ? Or are they revokable?

Peter Rawsthorne replied,

I know the Mozilla Open Badges meta-data has an expiration-date attribute. I'd hope this attribute would make it through to open standard specification for a digital badge.

At this time I think the revoke concept is still under consideration. An interesting discussion I would think...

Can learning expire or be revoked? This is my thinking...

Thanks for this excellent thought / comment. Very thought provoking... I'm curious what others would think about expiration and revoking of a badge.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by John Dumbrille -

I take it that badges can either represent a static achievement (what I've done) , or an active qualification (what I probably can do). I think the periodicity type of a badge is a useful metadata.

Active qualifications have an implicit "what I have done" date -  eg initial course date, or refresher course date -  as well as an end (stale) date. Before the end date is reached, my qualification can be auto renewed.

Static achievements have occurance date only.

Active qualifications, if periodically measured - I'm thinking of safety certificates that have to renewed due to the prohibitive nature of a fail, and also because material is added or removed over time - are fairly reliable reflections on what I can do now. 

Static achievement (University Degree, riding a bicycle) are valid as they also true - I did "n", and that's nothing to sniff at. However, it it's not as reliable a reflection of what I can do now.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Joyce McKnight -

... I'm curious what others would think about expiration and revoking of a badge.

 

I am not sure about expiration but as I said elsewhere, I think a yearly date would be appropriate.  I don’t think badges should expire…if they were dated there would be no need.   I do not think that they should be revoked either…if the person met the learning criteria at some point, the met the criteria.  I hope my alma mater doesn’t take away my BA in psychology and sociology just because I earned it in 1971 and both fields have changed immensely since then.  J

 

(Edited by Hilda Anggraeni - original submission Monday, 3 December 2012, 07:51 PM Copy and Paste from Joyce's attachment)

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Julia Hengstler -

I don't think you should be able to have a badge expire. You learned it at the time and met the criteria. If the criteria change--that's a different badge & I think you'd need to earn that one.

I'm not sure how I feel about revoking, but believe it might be necessary if the person contravenes what the badge stood for. For example, if someone earned a badge for digital professionalism, then did something completely unprofessional in a digital environment that got back to the issuer, I think the issuer might need to have the power to revoke in order to maintain credibility.

Also, what if a system got hacked and badges were issued that needed to be revoked later?

Julia

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Margot Croft -
I, too, earned several Brownie badges ( sewn on my sleeve), one for donating my tooth to science, a sports one, and some diving certification ones. Other than the brownie badges, there was no specific instruction on how they should be displayed. And the dive badge may look groovy, but that particular designation has lapsed, so I'm not legally a divemaster at this point in time.
In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Scott Perian -

I earned a yellow belt in Karate long ago, which in spirit seems very similar to the idea of badges.  Receiving the belt involved  several months of active participation, learning of variout moves and katas, culminating in a belt test assessed by the teacher, attended by all wishing to test for their next level.

As for the belt itself, it stayed neatly folded in my dresser as i moved from place to place for a few years, then ended up packed in a box and not seen again for a very long time.

What i find interesting about this type of badge, is the universalness of the representation (belts of color) but the specific context of what that means based on the specific place where i studied, and the level of skill/effort required being somewhat subjective to each issuer as well.  I wonder how this will relate to digital badges when we get to the place that we have many issuers awarding overlaping badges on similar topics and how we'll really distinguish the relative merit of each.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Christine Horgan -

Peter:

As a Brownie, I earned only a couple of badges for stupid things like sewing on a button, and they were sewn onto my uniform sleeves. BTW, button sewing was a useful skill.

Would rosettes (ribbons for those in North America) for equestrian activities count as badges? I think they do. They are a very visible and universally-recognized badge of achievement in the equestrian world (regardless of one's discipline). My most recent rosettes get displayed in my dining room  and are then retired to a drawer when the next crop of ribbons/rosettes arrive.

 

Cheers, Chris

In reply to Christine Horgan

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Julia Hengstler -

Hmm--all this chat about what constitutes a "badge" reminds me of the discussions re, what constitutes a "learning object". It's a discussion of granularity. Can badges accrue to a larger item--like a certificate, diploma, standing? Can micro-badges accrue to badges? Reminds me of whether an educational image was a "learning object" or whether it had to be bigger.

Julia

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Barbie Bruce -

Like others posts, I received badges for swimming, camp activities, first aid, sports and later public speaking. All of these had specific achievement criteria, and the sense of accomplishment is the important aspect, with the badge as the proof. Some of the themes presented while reading the other posts about how badges can be awarded relates more to certification such as Microsoft that includes a rubrics of what one has to learn and be able to do in order to achieve it. Although surprise badges sound nice but IMO it is a bit like the prize in the Cracker Jack box.

As far as badges expiring, yes depending on the topic, some should. It is not any different from recertification such as first aid, as procedures change, and therefore upgrading is required. Revokable? A licence can be revoke for breech of ethics or conduct.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Pat Tymchatyn -

No badges in my history!  So I am going to use my Toastmasters experience since while they use pins it is still a badge process.  In the old system which changed last year you finished your Competent Toastmaster book (10 speeches) to receive your CTM badge, then you went on to Able Toastmaster silver and Able Toastmaster, bronze and then Distinguished Toastmaster DTM.  The system has been revamped but the basics are the same and I found it well defined as to what the process was and how to accompllish what you needed to do.  It is a great system for self-development I recommend it!!! Pat, DTM

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by David Porter -

1. The badge

I've received various badges for participation in the US Forest Service's Passport in Time citizen archaeology project.  After particiapting in more than 10 projects, I've got quite a few in various colors, as well as t-shirts, mugs and even a nice fleece vest with the badge on it.

Passport in Time badge

 

2. Displaying the badge

I've displayed it a few ways.  I've put velcro on the back and used it to put on my pack, or my hat, or my jacket whenever I participate in a new project.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Patric Lougheed -

I never belonged to groups or organizations that awarded badges... but this did jar my memory of learning to swim and receiving those red cross badges for completing a certain level. I also remember feeling crushed when I just could not do the breast stroke the way I was expected too and was denied the next level badge (I think it was the last one). Think I gave up swimming classes at that point... strike one for badges.

I never had any need to collect or diplay badges/trophies but I know my mother kept them all as it was a source of pride for her. I think she gave me an evelope with the swim badges, I might need therapy if I see them again though.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Joyce McKnight -

1. Identify a merit badge you earned during your lifetime.
What did you have to do to earn it? Did you earn more than one badge? And were they awarded by the same organization?

Girl Scouts. I am not sure how many I earned, it was

years ago.  Yes, they were awarded by the same

organization.


2. Describe how you displayed the merit badge(s).
If you earned more than one badge, did you display them together? Did you display badges from different organizations together?

I had a uniform and a sash.  My mom sewed the badges

on.   I think I may also have been awarded "hours" charms

for being a Candy Striper (helper in a hospital) and pins

for Sunday School attendance.  I displayed at least some

of my Candy Striper charms on a charm bracelet.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Judy Southwell -

1. I was a member of various groups while at school, but don't recall getting merit badges other than ribbons on Sports Day and getting recognition for representing the school on a sports team.

2. I went to a school where we wore a school uniform.  First team players were awarded a school tie to signify this.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Carlos Ortiz -

Hello Peter and everyone!

Congratulations Peter for having so many badgets! COngrats to David and all other who have their badgets. I remember earning several badges when I as in my elementary school: for behaving well, for being a good student, for being good at drawing, and I remember earning one for being a good swimmer when I was in my early secondary school. After that I haven't earned any other.

I dispklayed it on my chest, attached to my shirt, and I remember being very proud of them. So far I have only one from my elementary school and it's in a box with other papers and stuff. 

I think it's great motivation getting a badget, it reassures you and it encourages you to move ahead. It's a great idea to use it with students in your online courses.

I just can't see how you can actually send a badget on the internet, but a picture will probably get a similar result for the student.

Carlos

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Jenny Mackness -

1. Identify a merit badge you earned during your lifetime.
What did you have to do to earn it? Did you earn more than one badge? And were they awarded by the same organization?

Like others I was in the Brownies and Girl Guides - so I won't mention them any further. The only other badge I am physically in possession of is an Outward Bound badge which I received on completion of a month long Outward Bound course in the Welsh Mountains in 1965.  This is a small circular metal badge, bearing the Outward Bound logo.


2. Describe how you displayed the merit badge(s).
If you earned more than one badge, did you display them together? Did you display badges from different organizations together? I have never displayed the badge. It has been stuck in a drawer for decades. I do sometimes wonder why I keep it. The fact that I went on an Outward Bound course when I was 18 years old is no longer relevant to my CV and hasn't been for many years. At the time completing the course was a real achievement, but I didn't need a badge to tell me this. I only needed a badge to tell others!

It has occurred to me, in remembering this, that the badge itself is only as important as 1) perceived by the person who receives it 2) the institution that awards it 3) perceived by others.

At the time that I received my Outward Bound badge, it was recognised as employers as an achievement.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Jo Freitag -

All the badges I own are for membership or participation rather than merit or achievement. My daughter did belong to the Brownies and earned a lovely array of cloth badges which were sown to her uniform

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Jo Freitag -

All the badges I own are for membership or participation rather than merit or achievement. My daughter did belong to the Brownies and earned a lovely array of cloth badges which were sown to her uniform

In reply to Jo Freitag

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Jo Freitag -

Having attended the webinar this morning I realise that I had too limited an understanding of the word 'badge' As it was pointed out that sports ribbons etc were also considered to be badges -my answer now would be that we used to breed dogs and received ribbons for their conformation or performance at shows/trials Some of these ribbons also carried points towards the title of Champion which was recognised with a certificate and a plaque. These were all displayed with photos on the wall

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Colin Madland -

I also earned badges from 'Particip-action' and the Canada Fitness Test program (usually a 'Participation' badge, which marked its 'earners' as targets for ridicule and derision more than anything), and also the Red Cross for swimming.

Shortly after these badges were earned, they were deposited into a drawer somewhere...

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Leva Lee -

1. Identify a merit badge you earned during your lifetime and 2. Describe how you displayed the merit badge(s).  Funny I guess I wasn't much into collecting badges growing up and not having been a Brownie or Girl Guide or swimmer there's not much to show for...I did receive some badges in grade school awarded along with paper certificates for overall academic achievement and perfect attendance :)  These are crammed into a photo album somewhere with other old treasures like sports day ribbons.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: TASK 1 (Dec 1st): Describe the merit badge

by Julia Hengstler -

I have vague recollections of helping the elderly, building campfires, and possibly knot tying and camping (putting up tents, etc.) merit badges.

I was a Girl Scout and a Campfire Girl in the US as a child. In both, we stitched our merit badges on sashes that we wore with our uniforms when we attended events. I had to complete a series of badges to move up the ranks in status--though often in these organizations, if you were of a certain age you would automatically "level up" in game speak--even if you hadn't completed the badges from the previous level. Also, completion of the badges before a specific age and you did not automatically graduate to the next level.

As a kid, I remember that the "age override"--if I can call it that--bothered me.