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Achievement not yet unlocked: Badges for learning project looking for funding

Posted by reyjunco on February 13, 2012 in Research |

Badges for learning - game dynamics in the classroomA while ago I posted about the proposal Game dynamics in the classroom: Badges to improve student engagement and learning in large lecture courses we submitted to the Digital Media and Learning Badges for Learning competition. We were delighted to see how much buzz our proposal generated online (here’s a post on Edudemic about our proposal and a screenshot of a Storify containing some of the tweets I received) and were pleased to hear from many of you who were interested in our project. Unfortunately, we were notified that  DML is not going to fund our proposal. I wish I could tell you why; however, in their email they stated “due to volume we are unable to provide feedback on individual projects.”

We think ours is a good project that leverages badges as well as game dynamics to solve a common problem in higher education– getting students to be engaged in large-lecture courses. As you might imagine, we need funding to get this project off the ground. Because the proposal is already online and because I believe there is wisdom in the crowd, I’m writing this post in the hopes that someone in a position to fund a project of this nature might read this. If you are interested in funding this project, please email me by clicking this link. If not, please spread this post through your networks– tweet, reteweet, +1, wall posts, etc.

To summarize, the project will do four things:

  1. In partnership with SCVNGR, we will develop a badging system that can be used by other universities.
  2. We will implement the badging system in a large-lecture course. The system and our protocol will use game dynamics based on research-supported strategies to improve student engagment.
  3. We will evaluate the effectiveness of our intervention by using a controlled experimental design. We will collect data on student engagement, attendance, and course grades in randomly assigned experimental and control classrooms. We’ll also run focus groups to collect qualitative data. The control classrooms will not use the badging system but a instead do the same activities through other methods.
  4. We will develop and make freely available educational materials so that others may integrate the badging system into any kind of large-lecture course.

Here is the project summary:

The goal of this project is to create and evaluate a badging system for learning in order to increase college student academic engagement and improve class attendance and academic performance. We hypothesize that we can improve college student academic outcomes by combining Location Based Services (LBS) with a badging system employing game dynamics and integrating it in an educationally-relevant way in a large-lecture course.

You can download the full proposal PDF file here which includes details about our methods. If you are interested in funding this project, please email me and I can send you the proposed budget.

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