What if all instructors could access the students’ badges (or other credentials). This could ultimately have far-reaching implications for how students earn credit, what kind of work they are required to do in their classes, and more.
I once designed an inquiry-based intro to programming course and in order to give my students as much freedom as possible I started by defining – in detail – what they needed to know at the end of the course. Then I created a big rubric spreadhseet and that became how I tracked their progress.
Aside from ego issues between departments and individual instructors (which are considerable, but not insurmountable) it would be possible to create an institution-wide system that does something similar. It’s all a mater of scale, really. We’d still teach courses, but those courses would now be defined with respect to a degree defined by competencies rather than by courses.
This falls in line with what Charles Reigeluth is talking about with his paradigm shift. I’ve talked about how gamification fits in here, and this idea seems to me like a natural evolution of that. While there are some things that are truly new in gamification, much of it isn’t, but it is a handy, unifying concept that brings together a bunch of design ideas that have been kicking about separately.
There are a whole host of ways that this can be implemented. I’ll talk more about those in other posts (when I’m not rushing to get ready for class).
Katrin Becker (2004) Reconciling a Traditional Syllabus with an Inquiry-Based Introductory Course The Journal of Computing Science in Colleges Volume 20, Number 2, December 2004, pp 28-37 Consortium for Computing Science in Colleges Northwest Conference, October 8-9 2004, Salem, Oregon
If you are interested in following my course journal, watch for the “Gamification 101” heading.
Also, for more information on gamification, check out my website here.