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Are badges useful in education?: It depends upon the type of badge and expertise of learner

Abramovich, S and Schunn, C and Higashi, RM (2013) Are badges useful in education?: It depends upon the type of badge and expertise of learner. Educational Technology Research and Development, 61 (2). 217 - 232. ISSN 1042-1629

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Educational Badges are touted as an alternative assessment that can increase learner motivation. We considered two distinct models for educational badges; merit badges and videogame achievements. To begin unpacking the relationship between badges and motivation, we conducted a study using badges within an intelligent-tutor system for teaching applied mathematics to middle-school students. Our findings indicate that badge earning could be driven by learner motivations and that systems with badges could have a positive effect on critical learner motivations. However, badge acquisition patterns were different across learners with different levels of prior knowledge. Different badge types also affected different learners motivation. Additionally, we believe that our findings are compatible with the research finding that extrinsic motivators have a negative influence on learning. The implication for educational badge designers is that they must consider the ability and motivations of learners when choosing what badges to include in their curricula. We believe our findings exist as one piece of the large research base needed to understand educational badges. © 2013 Association for Educational Communications and Technology.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Abramovich, S
Schunn, Cschunn@pitt.eduSCHUNN0000-0003-3589-297X
Higashi, RM
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Learning Research & Development Center
Date: 1 April 2013
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Educational Technology Research and Development
Volume: 61
Number: 2
Page Range: 217 - 232
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11423-013-9289-2
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1042-1629
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2014 16:55
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2021 14:55


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