Use Digital Badges to Promote Positive Student Behaviors

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Badge image of woman waving hand saying "too easy"
Badge Example

Digital badges are visual indicators of the satisfaction of an instructor-defined goal. When the goals are linked to behaviors that promote success, badges can serve as feedback systems to promote those behaviors (e.g., a badge for submitting an assignment early that meets a pre-defined grade threshold supports timeliness without sacrificing quality). Badges are awarded to students either directly by the instructor, through an automated system in a web-based course, or a combination of the two methods. When a badge is earned, the student is notified and the badge is added to the student’s list of earned badges.

Link to example artifact(s)

The examples linked below are from courses that have been offered at UCF. These specific badges were used in courses named Web Design and Graphic Design. Which badges were used in which course are labeled within the linked file. As an additional note, these badges were unexpected; students did not know each badge’s criterion until they had already completed the criterion and unlocked the badge. A description of expected and unexpected badges, as well as justifications for using each, is contained in the badge design tips artifact below.

Image of rows of badges
Example of Badge Display in LMS

Link to scholarly reference(s)

Ahb, J., Pellicone, A., & Butler, B. S. (2014). Open badges for education: What are the implications at the intersection of open systems and badging? Research in learning technologies.

Gibson, D., Schmidt, P., & Varelidi, C. (2013). Assessment practices that support deeper learning in online learning communities. In L. Liu, Gibson, D.C., & Maddux, C.D. (Eds.), Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education (49-55). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Štogr, J. (2012). Badges for (lifelong) learning – Gamification enhanced visibility of reached achievements and continuous building of e-portfolio as data source for learning analytics. 7th DisCO Conference: New Media and Education.


Fanfarelli, J., & McDaniel, R. (2014). Use digital badges to promote positive student behaviors. In B. Chen & K. Thompson (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning.

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