Digital badging in the MOOC space

Posted on December 5th, 2016

Over the past year, the University of Notre Dame studied the design and implementation of digital badges in the global MOOC environment. Digital badges can be defined as “visual symbols of credentials…[that] make specific claims about learning and…are designed to be shared easily.” The team examined three edX courses, which each had different goals and requirements to earn a badge. In the first MOOC, “I Heart Stats: Learning to Love Statistics,” the team studied the impact of badges on course completion. In the second MOOC, “Math in Sports,” the researchers examined the profiles and perceptions of badge earners. In the final MOOC, “The Meaning of Rome: The Renaissance and Baroque City,” the team looked at the story behind badge earners and evidence of course performance. From their findings, the team concluded that it takes more than a badge to motivate MOOC completion, and e-portfolios should be used with digital badges to make learning performance visible.