One of the topics at the professional development session that I recently delivered that was a real hit was Moodle Badges. (I’ve provided a link to a popular Moodle Badge provider – where you can get a bunch of ready made badges, but, in truth, I created my own for the project).
I set up the training so that each teacher earned a badge before we really started talking about them. They were thrilled to realize that they had earned a badge. When we circled back around to talk about the various blocks that were being displayed, badges was one of the blocks, they had all earned a badge. A couple of them were positively giddy. They saw the advantages of badges right away. (This is a group that is employing game play simulations into their project).
Badges are pretty simple to create. I use GIMP to make badges. GIMP is free and open source – though it has a pretty big learning curve, once you have a basic badge, creating variations can be pretty simple.
Although Moodle makes it easy to award badges for students viewing badges, the process of conditionally awarding a badge needs improvement. For example, right away the teachers wanted to award a badge based upon a certain score on a quiz. This involves a trip to the grade book and setting a passing grade. It should be much easier than that. When you are setting up the criteria for the badge, there should be a field to enter the percentage that awards the badge. This would allow a teacher to award a variety of “levels” of badges.
No matter what, check out badges and get your kids involved.