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Brauer, S., Siklander, P. & Ruhalahti, S. (2017). Motivation in digital open badge-driven learning in vocational teacher education. Ammattikasvatuksen Aikakauskirja, 19(3), 7–23. Available free from: https://akakk.fi/wp-content/uploads/AKAKK-3.2017-NET.pdf Digital open badges, a set of micro-credentials, have recently been introduced as tools for digital identification and recognition of expertise acquired in practice or through studies. The current study aims to examine what motivates students in the badge-driven learning process. The theoretical framework focuses on concepts of achievement goals, triggers of learning, and intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Data were collected in 2016 from group interviews (n=6) of in-service trained professional teachers (n=17) and pre-service students of vocational teacher education (n=12) who earned 645 badges over one year in a Learning Online PD program. The research was conducted via data-driven content analysis. Results revealed several variables affecting motivation: progressive challenges and the extent of required performance, enthusiasm for the badge-driven learning, study progress, inspiring gamification, the option to study regardless of time and place, and optional study paths. This paper informs future researchers aiming to understand how badge-driven learning supports motivation. Keywords: motivation, digital open badges, vocational teacher education, digital pedagogy, professional development
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Ammattikasvatuksen aikakauskirja 3/2017
Motivation in Digital Open Badge-Driven Learning in Vocational Teacher
Education
Sanna Brauer 1, 2 * Pirkko Siklander 1,3 * Sanna Ruhalahti 1,4
1 University of Lapland, Faculty of Education
2 Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Vocational Teacher Education
3 University of Oulu, Faculty of Education
4 Häme University of Applied Sciences, School of Professional Teacher Education
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sanna Brauer,
Email: sannabrauer@gmail.com
Abstract
Digital open badges, a set of micro-credentials, have recently been introduced as tools for digital
identification and recognition of expertise acquired in practice or through studies. The current study
aims to examine what motivates students in the badge-driven learning process. The theoretical
framework focuses on concepts of achievement goals, triggers of learning, and intrinsic and
extrinsic motivation.
Data were collected in 2016 from group interviews (n=6) of in-service trained professional teachers
(n=17) and pre-service students of vocational teacher education (n=12) who earned 645 badges over
one year in a Learning Online PD program.
The research was conducted via data-driven content analysis. Results revealed several variables
affecting motivation: progressive challenges and the extent of required performance, enthusiasm for
the badge-driven learning, study progress, inspiring gamification, the option to study regardless of
time and place, and optional study paths. This paper informs future researchers aiming to
understand how badge-driven learning supports motivation.
Keywords: motivation, digital open badges, vocational teacher education, digital pedagogy,
professional development
___________________________________________________________________________
Motivaation ilmeneminen digitaalisin osaamismerkein ohjautuvassa oppimisessa
ammatillisessa opettajankoulutuksessa
Tiivistelmä
Digitaaliset osaamismerkit on otettu käyttöön eri tavoin saavutetun osaamisen tunnistamisen ja
tunnustamisen välineenä. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena on kuvata, mikä digitaalisten osaamismerkkien
käytössä motivoi opiskelijoita oppimisprosessin aikana. Teoreettinen viitekehys perustuu
saavutusorientaation, oppimisen virikkeiden sekä sisäisen ja ulkoisen motivaation käsitteisiin.
Tutkimusaineisto kerättiin vuonna 2016 ryhmähaastattelemalla (n=6) digipedagogiseen
täydennyskoulutukseen osallistuneita ammatinopettajia (n=17) ja ammatillisen
opettajankoulutuksen opiskelijoita (n=12), jotka ansaitsivat vuoden aikana 645 osaamismerkkiä
Oppiminen Online -osaamisenkehittämisohjelmassa.
Aineistolähtöisen sisällönanalyysin perusteella esitämme motivaatioon vaikuttaviksi muuttujiksi
seuraavat: tehtävien haastavuus ja vaadittu laajuus, osaamismerkeistä innostuminen, oppiminen ja
opinnoissa edistyminen, innostava pelillisyys ja mahdollisuus opiskella asiat ajasta ja paikasta
riippumatta vapaavalintaisessa järjestyksessä.
Avainsanat: motivaatio, digitaaliset avoimet osaamismerkit, ammatillinen opettajankoulutus,
digipedagogiikka, osaamisen kehittäminen
___________________________________________________________________________
1 Introduction
Digitalisation has changed society in terms of how we work, teach, learn and assess learning. As a
result, it has become socially significant to increase individuals’ competences in order to meet the
requirements and needs of working life. McClelland describes competences as achievements
acquired through training and development rather than proof of intelligence (1998; 1973). The
European reference framework of key competences for lifelong learning (European Union, 2006, p.
3) emphasises that “competence” involves not only essential knowledge but also the skills and
attitudes applied appropriate to context. The Centre for the Development of Vocational Training
defines competence as the ability to apply learning outcomes adequately in education, work,
personal or professional development; these outcomes include knowledge; skills; and personal,
social, and/or methodological abilities (Cedefob, 2014).
Digital badges are electronic microcredentials that can be used to identify and promote
competences. Badges (such as the Mozilla Open Badge) refer to the student’s, the earner’s,
participation in education or skills development; they may also be awarded following completion of
a certificate. The Open Badge architecture is built upon an identification image, graphic or icon and
the accompanying information content. This content shows the name of the badge, issuer
identification, the knowledge and expertise criteria required, and a description of the evidence (e.g.,
an online document) (Abramovich, Schunn, & Higashi, 2013; Brauer & Ruhalahti, 2014).
Many studies have noted the promise of digital open badges (Hickey, Willis III, & Quick, 2015).
The problem in digital badging is that we don’t know their full potential. It is difficult to estimate
the value of badges compared with the existing certification system, for instance. Anyone can create
Open Badges and recognise the achievements of others (Mozilla Open Badges, 2017), and there
exist few practically tested pedagogical models available. This limitation makes it challenging to
design optimal digital open badge-driven learning processes. Therefore, this study aims to examine
what motivates students in the badge-driven learning process.
2 Theoretical Framework
The eclectic approach of the study involves three concepts intended to open up the phenomenon: 1)
achievement goals (cf. Elliot, 1999), 2) triggers of online learning (Glen & Wilkie, 2000; Hidi,
2000), and 3) intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Reiss, 2012; Abramovich et al., 2013). These
entities differ conceptually, but, in this context, they include the same phenomena. In this study, we
focus on mapping theories to cluster students' experiences of stimulating and supportive digital
open badge-driven learning. As a complex process with dimensions of online learning and
gamification, mapping forms a more detailed theoretical sketch of badge-driven learning. This
study provides options to deepen the perspective in the upcoming studies and practical applications.
2.1 Achievement Goals
Achievement goals are constructed of mastery and performance objectives reflecting the
accomplishments in a particular situation (Pintrich, 2000; Barron & Harackiewicz, 2000).
According to Pintrich (2000), the construction often refers to individuals’ reasons for pursuing
achievement while representing purposes like mastery or superiority of an academic learning task.
Performance is judged based on a specific criteria or targets. As a student, a teacher often plans to
use situation-specific strategies to attain outcomes. These strategies are important aspects of self-
regulation in learning and goal-setting processes (Fryer & Elliot, 2007).
Achievement goals represent an important part of the structure of gaming and gamified learning
solutions. Competence-based badges used by the Boy Scouts or military are commonly offered for
learning as a merit, a practice sharing the same features as game models. Abramovich et al. (2013)
confirm that badges are similar to videogame achievements, as badges can be awarded for
incidental activities as well as skills mastery or demonstration of knowledge. In addition, a player’s
success on a videogame is viewable to other players; similarly, the badge earner is able to share
badges with peers within institutions or within the general public. Reid, Paster and Abramovich
(2015) describe such phenomena as “game-like encouragement”: in educational settings, badges are
often used to recognise learning and to motivate the learner. The idea of gamification is to use
elements of gaming in a new context aiming to motivate users of the product or service towards a
desired behaviour. These online systems seek to arouse people's enthusiasm to learn, similar to the
excitement of playing games. As such, designing engaging gamification to support motivation in
nongame systems is a new area of interest for practitioners and researchers (Deterding, 2012; 2015).
2.2 Triggers of Online Learning
The trigger is the initial stimulus (Glen & Wilkie, 2000) used by students to help them learn
(Roberts & Ousey, 2003) and to communicate, reflect and react. Hidi (2000) defines triggering as
“the first stage of situational interest”. She suggests that maintained situational interest may lead to
increased knowledge if the situational interest continues. When triggers are used to maintain
situational interest, Hidi (2000) considers it to be intrinsically motivated behaviour. Situational
interest may move the learning process beyond the development of individual interest to personal
enthusiasm for creating new hypotheses (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2001). Interest-triggered learning
activities enhance deep-learning and help the student to meet the set requirements and criteria
(Krapp, 2002).
The latest educational research (Järvelä & Renninger, 2014; Renninger & Bachrach,
2015) indicates that interest, motivation and engagement build a process with triggers playing a key
role by cultivating and maintaining student interest. According to Krapp (2002) interest is content-
specific. Waheed, Kaur, Ain and Hussain (2015) found that autonomous and easy accessibility in
online learning environments intrinsically motivates further education students. Roberts and Ousey
(2003) have stated that triggers can be presented in a variety of ways to develop problem solving
while ensuring that students enjoy their learning. Trigger development takes time, practice and
dedication to the concept (Roberts & Ousey, 2003). Clearly, a better understanding of the triggering
process could make a significant contribution to the design of online learning environments.
2.3 Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Digital badging is considered to be a form of motivation to assess competences and to structure
studies (Ahn, Pellicone, & Butler, 2014). Scholars have posited two types of motivation, intrinsic
and extrinsic (Reiss, 2012). As a result of their studies Verhagen, Feldberg, van den Hoof, Meents,
and Merikivi (2011) suggest taking both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation into account when
predicting and explaining behaviour. Individual interests differ by quality and quantity as a child’s
intrinsic proactivity later turns into a developed interest (Krapp, 2002). The theoretical foundation
of intrinsic quality is the concept of undivided interest; the results are similar for interest-based
activities whether the task is compulsory or play (Krapp, 2002). However, the motivational pull of
game design elements in non-game contexts is considered situated (Deterding, 2011), underscoring
the importance of studying the triggers of interest in more detail. Krapp (2002) discovered that
interest research is compatible with the concept of self-determination theory (SDT), a connected
macro-theory of human motivation (Deterding, 2011; Ryan & Deci, 2002). Deterding (2011)
considers motivational affordances and SDT to be a promising approach for systematically
conceptualising gamification in non-game contexts. For online studies, it seems that we should
observe the intersectionality of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation given that the dual view might be
rather simplistic in terms of contextual effects and motivation itself.
Abramovich et al. (2013) suggests an interplay between different types of learners and different
types of badges earned as motivators. They found that learners’ prior knowledge and experiences
with the domain being badged influenced how quickly and easily badges were earned. They
theorised that badges awarded for participation would increase motivation for all users. In addition,
skill badges were associated with motivational changes in the content area of the badges
themselves. Students considered badging significant if they valued a specific badge. Abramovich et
al. found evidence that skill badges support high-performing students familiar with the topic; hence,
the effect on low-performing students might be motivationally negative, and badges could be
considered extrinsic rewards. This finding corresponds to Deterding’s (2012) assertion that the
“entity being gamified needs to have some intrinsic value already — a reason for users to engage
with It”.
Intrinsic motivational orientation is seen to moderate linear relationships between learning
assignment difficulty and enjoyment, such that students high in intrinsic motivational orientation
enjoy more difficult assignments than individuals with a low intrinsic orientation (Abuhamdeh &
Csikszentmihalyi, 2009). When changing the perspective in gamified applications and the flow of
optimal experience, “challenges should be balanced relative to the player’s perceived current ability
such that they appear neither too hard nor so easy that they generate no uncertainty before nor
competence upon overcoming them” (Deterding, 2015, p. 299; Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Deterding
(2015) underscores the importance of motivating, enjoyable experiences, providing students the
option to choose “to tackle a challenge for the sake of enjoyment”. Intrinsically motivated activities
provide their own inherent reward, so motivation for these activities does not depend on external
rewards (Deci, 1971; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Using an operational definition, “fun” challenges also
mean “free choice”. By comparison, Ryan and Deci (2000) explain that extrinsic motivation refers
to doing something because it leads to a separable outcome; therefore, behaviour is driven by the
instrumental value of the learning activity.
Modern interest research has produced a variety of conceptualisations and theoretical definitions
(Krapp, 2002). With many crossover interests, motivation and gamification research draw on an
interesting net of eclectic theories. However, these approaches are not mutually exclusive. It would
be simplistic to set badges as achievement goals (in the literal sense) in the gamified learning
process. In learning research, understanding the basics of gaming mechanics is not enough,
particularly when seeking to maintain and cultivate the student’s interest in learning. Current
models of online learning are not directly applicable to the entity of the gamified badge-driven
learning process. Deterding (2011) sought out the motivational dynamics of gamified applications.
Similarly, we are considering the cross-relations and dynamics of motivational badge-driven
learning by means of theoretical mapping.
3 Methodology
3.1 Research Question
This study aimed to examine the digital open badge-driven learning process related to the
competence-development continuum of vocational teachers, in particular the identification and
recognition of digital pedagogical competences. The research objective was to reveal what
motivates students in the badge-driven learning process?
3.2 Participants and Context
Participants were Finnish in-service trained professional teachers (n=17) and pre-service students of
vocational teacher education (n=12). The study included both men and women with a previous
higher education degree in a professional field. They were invited to group interviews based on
their achievements in the Learning Online PD program. The participants represented badge earners
on every level of the Learning Online requisite ICT-skill set based on the national ICT-competence
framework. Therefore, they were known to be competent at operating online and would find it
natural for data collection to be implemented with new means. The groups of interviewees were
similar in terms of background, online experience and professional networks.
The context of the study was a competence-based vocational teacher education, both in-service and
pre-service training focusing on competent professionalism instead of abstract learning goals. The
pedagogy originates from professional growth and learning as a process. The digital pedagogical
training for teachers supports the principles of life-long learning. This learning emerges from
competences the individual needs in work, growing with the community’s shared expertise and
collaboration (Oamk, 2015, pp. 4-12)
3.3 Learning Online
Funded by the National Board of Education in Finland, Learning Online is a national professional
development program for vocational teachers started in 2014. Learning Online was built on a
national ICT-competence framework (Ope.fi) aligning with the Unesco ICT competency framework
for teachers. The requisite skill sets consists of three levels, and assessment is based on
identification and recognition of competences. The learning process on Learning Online is
facilitated by a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) with gamified elements. Learning Online
provides approximately 50 different subjects for online study (http://www.oppiminenonline.com) at
one’s own pace. An online training session on a specific subject is offered for each badge on the
skill set to allow the student to meet the badge criteria.
Digital badges are issued based on an application, in accordance with the criteria displaying the
expertise achieved in detail. Location-based teams compete online, collecting badges that are
earned by providing evidence of a skill competency online. Seeking to motivate peers and achieve
better results, the leaderboard indicates a team’s performance based on badges earned while playing
at the defined skill set. The participant-centred pedagogical model aims to inspire and encourage
teachers to share their existing and updated digital pedagogical expertise within their working
communities.
3.4 Study Design and Technological Settings
Group interviews were organised through Adobe Connect web conferencing software, which
enables voice over internet protocol, online screen sharing, simultaneous chat discussions and
recording of the active view. In addition to Adobe Connect recordings, the sound was recorded
separately in the IC recorder and the texts were copied as separate files to back up the data
collected.
At the beginning of the meeting, the interviewer presented the process and ethics of the research.
The interviewees confirmed their consent for the use of collected material by participating in the
interview and selecting "agree" on the system function keys.
The interviewer controlled both the discussion and group dynamics in the guided group
interview (Ronkainen, Pehkonen, Lindblom-Ylänne, & Paavilainen, 2013, p. 116). The technical
setting and study design was optional for participants as they felt themselves capable, comfortable
and relaxed operating online. The study situation provided an opportunity to reflect on the
experience, and the interviewer sought to ensure sufficient space for interviewees to describe their
own thoughts, encouraging participants to share their stories.
3.5 Data
Data were collected from group interviews (n=6) with teachers (n=17) and teacher students (n=12)
who earned 645 badges over one year. All online group interviews were implemented in the spring
of 2016, and data from all six sources were transcribed. The pseudonymised data reveals only
elements that will help to describe and understand the context of the study (Cortazzi & Jin, 2006).
The transcription provided 439 minutes and 141 pages for analysis.
3.6 Analysis
Methodologically, the research was conducted via data-driven content analysis (Schreier, 2012)
using NVivo 11.3.2 software. The content analysis focused on identifying significant factors
affecting motivation in badge-driven learning. We categorised data into hierarchically inclusive
relationships and analysed with ongoing comparison. The unit of analysis was a phrase, sentence or
other short expression of words that captured the meaning of an aspect related to the phenomena.
Table 1
Coded Data Compared by Sorted Data Resulting Motivation
Coded Data
Result Data
Expressions Total
1224
Nodes Total
316
Cases Total
57
Cases Total
18
The main coding categories were formed in a data-driven manner based on the relationship between
subcategories. The inductive thematic analysis revealed variables affecting motivation, as can be
seen in Table 2.
Table 2
Main Coding Categories Compared by Coding References
Nodes
References
Progressive challenges and the extent of required performance
91
Enthusiasm for badge-driven learning
67
Study progress
58
Inspiring gamification
55
Option to study regardless of time and place
28
Optional study paths
17
The saturation of the data assisted in merging the categories within the coding process. Table 3
exemplifies these subcategories based on nodes and node frequencies.
Table 3
Example of Subcategories of Enthusiasm for the Badge-Driven Learning
Enthusiasm for badges
5
27
Enthusiasm for studies
6
25
Perceived value of badging
3
15
Enthusiasm for badges included the following initial codes (examples):
It was interesting to seek more badges (based on existing competences), and on the other
hand, to jump to a strange, new thing that gives you basic info. Say, for example, 3D was for
me such a relatively strange topic. It felt pretty exciting that I also learned some basic
information about that by achieving the badge for myself.
I think those badges are so cool to do - a bit at the time and somehow I learned so well.
I was excited about this because competence-based assessment works really well here. If
you know how to do something, you do not have to do it again from the beginning.
In the final outcome, we clustered the results with a mapping of the theoretical framework.
Clustering was relational to the research question and revised via triangulation in order to increase
the validity of findings.
Figure 1. Clustering data.
The mapping consists of the theoretical framework of achievement goals and of intrinsic and
extrinsic motivation, both of which are emerging in badge-related studies of motivation
(Abramovich et al., 2013; Ahn et al., 2014) and in studies of gamification and game-like
encouragement (Deterding, 2012; Deterding 2011; Reid, Paster & Abramovich, 2015). Previous
research has not identified the pedagogical or gaming-mechanics elements that trigger student
activity in badge-driven learning in practice. Although the results of assignment difficulty and study
arrangements could have been explained using the previous theory, interest-triggered learning
activities (Krapp, 2002) and the triggers of online learning (Järvelä & Renninger, 2014; Renninger
& Bachrach, 2015) were included in mapping, because the theory suggests that triggers may
provide a success key for gamified solutions (Sailer, Hense, Mayr, & Mandl, 2017). We investigate
whether triggers also explain how gamification in practice turns badges from certificates into
activating tools of learning.
4. Findings
The aim of the study was to examine what motivates students in the digital open badge-driven
learning process. The results reveal six main variables affecting motivation. The clustering (Fig. 1)
of quantified results indicates that motivation in digital open badge-driven learning is based more
on achievement goals and triggers of online learning than factors of intrinsic and extrinsic
motivation. However, these concepts relate to one another as complementary aspects of the
phenomenon and the significance of each theoretical approach is emphasised related to the clustered
results.
Data-driven thematic analysis revealed the importance of achievement goals (122) in designing
digital open badge-driven learning. Participants’ enthusiasm for badge-driven learning (55)
indicates that competence-based assessment may attract pre- and in-service vocational teachers to
learning. Students get excited about the badges, but above all, about learning new, tangible things:
“It was more sensible to do something properly and apply it in my own work. Sometimes I
used some old stuff (to demonstrate a competence), but several tasks required the use of a
specific tool. It has been really useful to me. Knowledge has become homogeneous with the
fact that there aren’t whole black areas, like ‘I'm not familiar with it and I'm not using it.’
These kind of assumptions disappeared altogether.”
In-service teacher on skills set developer-level III
Inspiring gamification (55) enhances learning because participants begin to keep track of their
learning in terms of what to learn next and how to reach the target level as soon as possible.
Participants in study groups were even betting on who would reach a certain level first and collect
the most badges. Participants who had considered themselves “anti-gamers” became excited about
the game and found badge achievement refreshing.
“Yes, it was a big motivator and you craved more. I also did a batch of badges at a time or in
waves. I had that flow on.”
In-service teacher on skills set expert-level II
Designing and implementing effective gamification for online learning requires that participants
find both new challenges and demonstration of competences rewarding. Research indicates that
triggers of online learning (119) affect motivation. By identifying progressive challenges and the
extent of required performance as triggers, we specify badges as a tool to structure and activate
studies.
“I have been able to create my own schedule and my own task order, and I’ve also looked
for the background materials quite a lot myself. My role as an expert is emphasised in this
way. The assignments are not fixed.”
In-service teacher on skills set novice-level I
The formulation of learning objectives and badge criteria should vary, not rise linearly, both by
complexity and extent to maintain and cultivate the students interest. The criteria required should
inform the scale and challenge of the demonstration of competence and evidence required.
Relatively small assignments inspire studies regardless of time and place:
“The competition between teams was nice, but the most important thing was playing. I used
to play Mafia Wars for four hours a day until my husband banned it. This is how I satisfy
the craving when going to bed but not feeling sleepy yet. One more. I got one more badge. It
seemed to me the best quality (of education), the most addictive and interesting learning
experience of my life, although not an easy achievement.”
In-service teacher on skills set developer-level III
Successful studies motivated students to a certain degree; however, it is more important to build
badge constellations of competences and to incorporate these into inspirational play through
gamification. Though trainers considered badges suitable for visualising the study path, the students
did not find it particularly important in this context. Nonetheless, participants in Learning Online
enjoyed customising the study path. The autonomy and freedom to choose between different
challenges motivated students to demonstrate existing competences while allowing them to focus
on content directly applicable to their working lives.
5. Discussion
This study sought to examine what motivates students in the digital open badge-driven learning
process in the context of vocational teacher education. We suggest a practical implication in the
design process of digital open badge-driven learning.
The practical implication is concluded as a result of a reasoning chain in which the resulting
variables affecting motivation are linked to the practical level of the design process. Based on a
clustering of the findings, the theoretical approach connects to the design phase of badge-driven
learning, providing the option to view each phase through different layers based on previous
research. A similar multifaceted approach, called “game design lenses,” is presented to instruct
designers how to review game designs and domains from different perspectives. This concept of
design lenses provides an example of a model suitable for studying multifaceted concepts, even
though Deterding (2015) considers the approach difficult to apply beyond games. Focusing the
theoretical approach on a phase-by-phase basis deepens the design process of badge-driven
learning, as shown in Figures 2–4. However, neither the sequence of layers (A–C) nor the design
phases appear in the same order in every design cycle; hence, the layer and practice may connect
otherwise.
Figure 2. Example of different layers for the creation of the badge constellation
The design phase of the badge constellation of competencies involves the creation of badges and the
definition of badge levels (basic/meta) to support enthusiasm for badge-driven learning and to
inspire gamification. The findings suggest that achievement goals are the most suitable layer to look
at in this design phase; however, achievement goals are necessarily tied to intrinsic and extrinsic
motivation, which, as the theoretical framework, enables a review of the badge constellation—for
example, by the relation and ratio of different types of badges (badge of participation/skills badge).
Badge constellation structures gamification of learning. Game-like encouragement relates to the
theory of achievement goals (Reid et al., 2015), but a change of perspective to the triggering of
online learning focuses the design process of badge constellation on the activation and maintaining
of learning (Hidi, 2000). Formulation of learning objectives or badge criteria are triggers that
stimulate (Glen & Wilkie, 2000) students and enhance learning (Roberts & Ousey, 2003; Krapp,
2002). Gaming might provide an alternate framework for the process of thoughtful experience and
interaction (Deterning, 2012).
Figure 3. Example of layers for gamification
Similar to the visible achievements of gamers, gamification of the digital open badge-driven
learning process has the potential to motivate students (Abramovich et al., 2013; Reid et al., 2015).
Challenging learning assignments reflecting real life are significant for gamification as triggers of
online learning and intrinsic motivation (Abuhamdeh & Csikszentmihalyi, 2009; Roberts & Ousey,
2003; Deterding 2015). Assignment difficulty refers to enjoyment in gaming (Deterding, 2015;
Roberts & Ousey, 2003), the flow of optimal experience (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990) and superior
performance. Triggers cultivate and maintain student interest during the learning process (Järvelä &
Renninger, 2014; Renninger & Bachrach, 2015).
Figure 4. Examples of layers for study path visualisation
Badge constellation visualises the opportunity to customise studies to the achievement of personal
goals. Our findings indicate that teachers’ motivation in digital open badge-driven learning may be
related to pre-ability and mastery of skills and competences. These results align with Abramovich et
al. (2013) who indicated that the success of high-performing, competent students does not depend
on participation badges but on skill badges. Badge achievement positively confirms students’
beliefs regarding their current abilities, and these students expect to succeed. In terms of
gamification, assignments should not appear too difficult or easy (Deterding, 2015). Visual
presentation of badge constellation is part of the learning environment and should support easy
access to learning material and flexibility regarding the time and place of learning to motivate
further education students (Waheed et al., 2015).
The findings suggest that study path visualisation constitutes an interface for customisation.
Digital open badges visualise the learning process further (Davies, Randall, & West, 2015) making
it easy to study. Learning Online PD program provides a perfect example of a gamified learning
application with reduced complexity. Deterding (2012) claimed the simplest components of
gamification to be badges, levels, points, and leaderboards. Based on a few elements of gaming,
Learning Online has already proved successful in terms of both quantity and quality of learning
outcomes. In a user-centred theoretical framework, Nicholson (2012) articulates useful design
values for meaningful gamification, such as user centricity, transparency and personalisation (cf.
Deterding, 2015); however, no actual methods are provided in this framework. Deterding (2015)
explains that existing research often identifies challenges and requirements from the perspective of
gameful design, which includes ludic qualities or gamefulness in nongame contexts. Gamification
seeks to increase motivation using game design elements to create systems affording the
motivating, enjoyable experiences characteristic for gameplay. This model provides a practical
approach for designing competence-based challenges and needs to be reviewed further.
The studied experiences and experiment form a cyclical model of design emphasising layers of
theoretical aspects shown in Figure 5. The concepts cross-relate to one another as complementary
aspects of the phenomenon, even though the practical choices of the design process recur stepwise
in cycles. The nodes of emerging solutions, as well as the constraints preventing the development
of innovation, may be processed one challenge at a time (Bereiter, 2002).
Figure 5. Design cycle and theoretical cross-relations and dynamics
Figure 5 illustrates the steps of the design process in practice, and it facilitates practical choices
from the theoretical frameworks. The positioning of each theoretical approach in relation to the
findings is emphasised. The figure facilitates the selection of a theoretical approach for studies of
badge-driven learning and gamification visualising options, which will deepen the perspectives of
future studies and practical applications.
In the future, the cycles of pedagogical design and developing learning solutions will provide both
educational innovation and theoretical knowledge of learning. The cycles of the model presented in
this paper may give rise to a continuous model of innovative development (Bereiter, 2002) and a
deepening circle that will facilitate the visualisation of future trends and address the needs of future
research. It is essential to continue exploring connections between gamified learning processes and
triggers. Similar to Reid et al. (2015), we believe that a hybrid model of competence recognition
and gamified learning applications could maximize impacts on learner achievement and intrinsic
motivation. However, badges may become extrinsic motivators when the process is not planned
carefully. Deci, Koestner and Ryan (1999) noted that people receiving less than optimal rewards
signifying competence are less likely to perform up to the specified standards. Likewise,
Abramovich et al. (2013) found that it may be highly detrimental when people fail to achieve the
maximum reward because this structure conveys negative competence information.
The study does have limitations. Two authors of the article have been involved in the development
of the PD program from the beginning; however, this research does not take a stand on the
functionality of the system. Furthermore, the research field of motivational psychology provides
similar results using different approaches to explore factors affecting motivation. The aim of the
current research was to further explore competence-based assessment and digital badging as a
whole. These results will be used as a tool for more accurate conceptualisation in upcoming
research.
This paper may inform future researchers seeking to understand how badge-driven learning
supports motivation and enhances learning outcomes in higher education. The challenge for the
future is to define how student guidance during the digital badge-driven learning process affects
motivation and learning outcomes. Gamification initiatives and implementation of new technologies
provide novel possibilities for combining gamification with digital badging more efficiently while
improving learning outcomes.
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... The eident change in the paradigm of continuing professional development (Kools & Stoll, 2016) necessitates supportive technological and digital pedagogical models. The current development and research related to digital open badge-driven learning (Brauer, 2019;Brauer, Kettunen, & Hallikainen, 2018;Brauer, Korhonen, & Siklander, 2019;Brauer, Siklander, & Ruhalahti, 2017;Brauer, Ruhalahti, & Hallikainen, 2018) contributes to the educational discourse on competence-based approaches, assessment and professional development. Moreover, the recent findings allow a definition of the process of badge-driven learning, offer to identify open badge management platforms as new learning environments, and suggest an application to design badge-driven learning. ...
... As as result they co-created Learning Online PDP -a gamified, open badges-based MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). The Learning Online aims to support VET teachers in applying new technologies and strategies to teaching and learning in online, hybrid and face-to-face learning environments (Brauer, Siklander, & Ruhalahti, 2017). In Learning Online, digital open badges offer novel possibilities in identifying and recognising digital pedagogical competences independent of how they were acquired. ...
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There is a growing demand for economically effective accreditation practices that respond individually to local challenges and unique professional needs. Digital open badges offer to inform and improve learning outcomes, but also to scaffold and assess learning, thus permitting efficient use of learning analytics and inspiring gamification that supports consistent competence development as a continuum. This conference paper summarises the latest research concerning digital open badge-driven learning, and related development of assessment practices and digital open badges. The entity of digital open badge-driven learning includes learning materials, badge criteria, instructional badging, scaffolding and peer support. The process model of digital open badge-driven learning is grounded on the badge constellation of competences. This summary offers insights and examples of applying the competence-based approach, digital open badges and gamification in professional development to meet teachers' personal needs for their working lives. In addition, it represents the current state of emerging ecosystems related to open badges in Finland.
... Näitä prosesseja ja niihin vaikuttavia tekijöitä pyritään videoilla kuvaamaan konkreettisella tasolla, osana kansallisten osaamismerkkijärjestelmien kehitystä ja uudistuvia arvioinnin menetelmiä. Tarkastelussa nojataan aiempaan tutkimukseen osaamismerkein ohjautuvasta oppimisesta Brauer, Kettunen, & Hallikainen, 2018;Brauer, Korhonen, & Siklander, 2019;Brauer, Siklander, & Ruhalahti, 2017;Brauer, Ruhalahti, & Hallikainen, 2018) sekä osaamisperusteisuudesta ja koulutuksen työelämäläheisyydestä (Brauer, Pajarre ym. 2020). ...
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Osaamismerkit kasvattavat suosiotaan motivoivana ja kustannustehokkaana tapana tunnistaa ja tunnustaa eri tavoin hankittua osaamista. Juuri julkaistun videosarjan tavoitteena on kuvata mitä osaamismerkit ovat, miten ne vaikuttavat oppimiseen ja miten eri tavoin osaamisen kehittämistä voidaan hahmottaa osaamismerkkien avulla. Näitä prosesseja ja niihin vaikuttavia tekijöitä pyritään videoilla kuvaamaan konkreettisella tasolla, osana kansallisten osaamismerkkijärjestelmien kehitystä ja uudistuvia arvioinnin menetelmiä. Digital open badges are growing in popularity as a motivating and cost-effective way to identify and recognize competences acquired in different ways. The aim of the recently published video series is to describe what competence-based open badges are, how they affect learning and how competence development can be perceived in different ways regarding the digital open badges. The videos aim to describe these processes and the factors that affect learning at a concrete level; as part of the development of national badge systems; and evolving assessment methods.
... Different sub-studies highlight the research as a process and offer to deepen the existing knowledge of digital open badge-driven learning, complementing one another by explaining different aspects of the phenomenon. The aim of the first sub-study (Brauer, Siklander and Ruhalahti, 2017) In the second sub-study (Brauer, Korhonen and Siklander, 2019), the process was viewed from the perspective of guidance and scaffolding, asking how students experience scaffolding in badge-driven learning. The theoretical framework follows the concepts of the Five Stage Model of online scaffolding (Salmon, 2018) and instructional badging (Ahn, Pellicone and Butler, 2014; Gamrat, Bixler and Raish, Education in the North 27(1) (2020) http://www.abdn.ac.uk/eitn 151 2016; Reid, Paster and Abramovich, 2015). ...
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Digital open badges are gaining popularity as a means of identification and recognition of competences acquired differently. Meanwhile new ways to motivate, scaffold and assess competence-based learning processes in professional development are emerging. This feature offers a summary of the first European doctoral dissertation to address digital open badges and digital open badge-driven learning. The thesis represents a novel application of descriptive statistical methodology to the context of educational research. The primary results culminate in defining digital open badge-driven learning process grounded on the badge constellation of competences. The entity of badge-driven learning includes learning materials, badge criteria, instructional badging, scaffolding and peer support.
... Open Badges -merkkien tekninen spefikaatio määrittelee merkin sisällön ja sisältää tietoja merkin nimestä, kuvauksesta, myöntämiskriteereistä, osaamisen osoittamisen tiedoista sekä voimassaolotiedot (Open Badges 2019). Osaamismerkit toimivat myös pelillisinä elementteinä, jotka tutkimusten mukaan lisäävät opiskelumotivaatiota. Brauer, Siklander & Ruhalahti 2017). Osaamismerkkikonstellaatiota suunnitellessa on hyvä sisällyttää saavutusosaamismerkkejä (engl. ...
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Tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on kehittää yrittäjille, opettajille ja yritysneuvojille työkalu luovien liikeideoiden ja tuotteiden arviointiin. Tässä paperissa kuvaamme työkalun kehittämisen alkuvaiheita, joissa työstimme kehittämis-, arviointi- ja oppimismallia ja testasimme mallia kohderyhmällä. Arviointityökalua rakennettaessa käyttöympäristön ja -tilanteiden ymmärtäminen, käyttäjien tunnistaminen sekä työkalun sisällölliset tarpeet ja toiveet ovat keskeisiä lopputuloksen kannalta. Paperin teoreettinen viitekehys on monialainen ja perustuu liiketaloustieteen, muotoilun ja pedagogiikan tutkimuksiin ja teorioihin. Tutkimusmenetelmä on tutkimus muotoilun avulla (Research through Design), jossa tyypillisesti yhteiskunnalliseen ongelmaan haetaan ratkaisua kehittämisprosessin kautta. Tässä tutkimuksessa kehittäminen perustuu käyttäjälähtöisen suunnittelun ja muotoiluajattelun menetelmiin. Paperin aineistona toimivat arviointimallin konseptikuvat, työpajojen ja tapaamisten muistiinpanot sekä kirjalliset arvioinnit sekä valtakunnallisesti kerätyt tulokset yritysneuvojille ja opettajille tehdyistä teemahaastatteluista, ryhmäneuvontaan osallistuneille yrittäjille tehdyn kyselyn tulokset sekä haastattelut yritysneuvojille. Käyttäjälähtöisen suunnittelun lopputulosten arvioinnissa korostuvat käytettävyys (usability), toteutettavuus (feasibility) sekä elinkelpoisuus (viability). Arviointityökalun käyttäjien kokemukset, käyttäjien ja organisaatioiden tarpeiden ymmärtäminen sekä yhteissuunnittelu ovat tässä vaiheessa merkittäviä. Tuloksissa tuodaan käyttäjien ja asiantuntijoiden kokemuksia arviointimallista ja pohditaan mallin hyötyä ja käyttöä oppilaitosympäristössä. Yrittäjyyden kompetensseja peilataan EntreComp-viitekehykseen. Arviointityökalua kehitetään edelleen tuottamalla kehittämisen ja arvioinnin menetelmiä sekä luovien alojen yrittäjien osaamismerkkikonstellaatio, jotka yhdessä muodostavat kehittämis-arviointi-oppimistyökalun. Avainsanat Luovat alat, yrittäjyys, muotoiluajattelu, osaamismerkit
... -The prompting trigger of learning might help students visualise their learning as a reward badge (Brauer, Siklander, & Ruhalahti, 2017, Fitz- Walter et al., 2011Gamrat et al., 2016;Hamari, 2017;Montola et al., 2009;Reid et al., 2015 27.9.19 ...
Presentation
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My presentation in ECGBL 13th European Conference on Games Based Learning 3 - 4 October 2019, Odense, Denmark
... The trigger is a factor that motivates students to study and be passionate about learning. Many researchers have noted that the trigger can improve the learning motivation of students and lead to good activities during classroom [1], [2], [3]. In the educational process, a trigger is applied to promote student interest in study and support their learning. ...
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Contemporary researches show that triggering interest can enhance students’ thinking skills, creativity, joy of learning and improved performance. The digital technologies can be beneficial for students’ learning engagement and motivation. The digital context helps students to keep positivity in education process that allows to activate attention, memory, and makes learning skills better. Augmented Reality is one of technologies that lets you interact with the real world and virtual objects at the same time. Augmented Reality application enables faster comprehension of complex spatial problems and relationships, which makes it useful during the learning process of engineering graphic courses. In this paper the application of AR technologies in RTU engineering courses is described. The results of this approach will be useful for vocational school teachers, college and university teachers in the successful integration of AR technologies in the teaching process.
... • The prompting trigger of learning might help students visualise their learning as a reward badge (Brauer, Siklander, & Ruhalahti, 2017, Fitz-Walter et al., 2011Gamrat et al., 2016;Hamari, 2017;Montola et al., 2009;Reid et al., 2015). ...
Presentation
Full-text available
Digital open badges are gaining popularity as a means of identification and recognition of competences acquired differently. Meanwhile new ways to motivate, scaffold and assess competence-based learning processes in professional development are emerging. This article offers a summary of the first European doctoral dissertation to address digital open badges and digital open badge-driven learning. The thesis represents a novel application of descriptive statistical methodology to the context of educational research. The primary results culminate in defining digital open badge-driven learning process grounded on the badge constellation of competences. The entity of badge-driven learning includes learning materials, badge criteria, instructional badging, scaffolding and peer support.
Chapter
This chapter describes alternative credentialing practices related to competence-based open badges and their different audiences. The authors provide insights into different theoretical approaches to digital badging practices that could potentially support a competence orientation in continuous professional development and enhance lifelong learning. One aim of this chapter is to summarise the first European doctoral dissertation to address digital open badges and digital open badge-driven learning. The authors offer novel insights into reforms in education aimed at addressing students' individual interests and meeting the recognised needs of working life. They also present a set of innovative Finnish applications of digital open badge-driven learning in the context of educational research. Moreover, they describe the potential of badges as a tool to build ePortfolios. This chapter draws attention to the motivational effects of digital badging and the use of ePortfolios as an informative and interesting way to demonstrate competences in different contexts.
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Full text available https://ec-vpl.nl/downloads/book-2020-english-vplbiennale-making-policy-work.pdf Sanna Brauer (Finland) demonstrates the merits of digital open badge-driven learning. Digital open badges are gaining popularity as a means of identification and recognition of competences acquired via different modes of learning. Meanwhile new ways to motivate, scaffold and assess competence-based learning processes in professional development are emerging. This paper offers insights and examples of applying the competence-based approach, digital open badges and gamification in professional development to meet individual needs for working life. In addition, it represents the current state of emerging national ecosystems related to open badges in Finland. It is essential that the standards and guidelines are developed on a national and European level; however, to serve the students, trainers need to learn how to apply the competence-based approach in practice and furtherdevelop their digital pedagogical competences and practical applications. This contributionoffers a brief summary of the first European doctoral dissertation to address digital open badges and digital open badge-driven learning. The thesis represents a novel application of 9descriptive statistical methodology to the context of educational research. The primary results culminate in defining a digital open badge-driven learning process grounded on the badge constellation of competences. The entity of badge-driven learning includes learning materials, badge criteria, instructional badging, scaffolding and peer support.
Presentation
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Presentation in "Towards high quality work-based learning in the Baltics and beyond" conference RIGA, Latvia 24 JANUARY 2020
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The main aim of gamification, i.e. the implementation of game design elements in real-world contexts for non-gaming purposes, is to foster human motivation and performance in regard to a given activity. Previous research, although not entirely conclusive, generally supports the hypothesis underlying this aim. However, previous studies have often treated gamification as a generic construct, neglecting the fact that there are many different game design elements which can result in very diverse applications. Based on a self-determination theory framework, we present the results of a randomized controlled study that used an online simulation environment. We deliberately varied different configurations of game design elements, and analysed them in regard to their effect on the fulfilment of basic psychological needs. Our results show that badges, leaderboards, and performance graphs positively affect competence need satisfaction, as well as perceived task meaningfulness, while avatars, meaningful stories, and teammates affect experiences of social relatedness. Perceived decision freedom, however, could not be affected as intended. We interpret these findings as general support for our main hypothesis that gamification is not effective per se, but that specific game design elements have specific psychological effects. Consequences for further research, in particular the importance of treatment checks, are discussed.
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Digital badges are being adopted widely in educational settings as an alternative assessment model, but research on their impact on motivation is scarce. The present study examined college undergraduates (n = 53) enrolled in first-year writing courses, where badges represented essential course outcomes. Participants were categorized as either high or low expectancy-values, and intrinsic motivation to earn badges was measured repeatedly during the 16-week semester. Participants’ attitudes toward digital badges also were investigated. Findings reinforced previous research that digital badges function differently according to the type of learner. Results indicated a generally positive view of badges in English courses, though levels of intrinsic motivation to earn the badges increased for high expectancy-value learners only. It is suggested that incorporating digital badges as an assessment model benefits learners who have high expectations for learning and place value on learning tasks, but badges also could disenfranchise students with low expectancy-values. Digital badges are viable as assessment tools but heavily dependent upon individual learner types.
Book
This book provides first-hand guidance for those involved in nurse education who are interested in the introduction of this exciting new strategy for teaching and learning. The suitability of problem-based learning (PBL) as a philosophy for nurse education in the new millennium is discussed through a series of reflective accounts by educationalists who have successfully implemented PBL. Topics covered include the nature of PBL, developing a problem-based curriculum, facilitor preparation, distance learning and assessment for PBL.
Chapter
In order to be productive at home, school, or work, and in their free time, learners are constantly involved in communicating, collaborating, problem solving, and thinking critically. They need to master these skills to participate fully and effectively in society (McLaughlin, 2008). International organizations (e.g., OECD, EU, UNESCO), public-private partnerships (P21, ACTS), educational organizations (e.g., ISTE, NAEP), and researchers have formulated frameworks describing the skills necessary to contribute to the 21st century, and how to design learning environments to foster these skills (e.g., Trilling & Fadel, 2009). However, the roles of interest, motivation, and engagement that enable the development of these skills has not been carefully examined. In general, learners elect to engage in tasks and activities in which they feel competent and confident, and avoid those in which they do not (e.g., Bandura, 1997). Challenging tasks can lead some learners to feel they are not able to learn; for others, challenge is a reason to persevere. However, only those who believe that their actions will result in the consequences they desire have the incentive to engage (Schunk, 1995). Decades of research have shown that learners with a strong sense of their own competence approach difficult tasks and situations as challenges to be mastered, rather than as threats to be avoided (Zimmermann & Schunk, 2011). Past experience solving problems and individual interest impacts their ability to work with challenge or failure (Tulis & Ainley, 2011). Research on group learning, for example, has shown that learners’ interpretations can be positive and lead to increased motivation and engagement for group activities; and, alternatively, that learners’ perceptions can be negative and lead to de-motivation and withdrawal (Van den Bossche, Gijselaers, Segers, & Kirchner, 2006).