Digital badges in education

Master Thesis
Jürgen Dorn
In this thesis it shall be analysed how digital badges can be applied in a university course to improve participation of students. It shall be analysed how far the proposed Open Badges infrastructure of Mozilla can be used and how this infrastructuce can be integrated into formal learning at university. The approach shall be tested in one part of the Knowledge Management courses.
First name: 
Lorena Patricia
Last name: 
Due to the increasing use of internet in the last decades it has been more visible a considerable growth in the request of formal and informal virtual studies, with the main objective to facilitate to a wide range of people at the same time an education access, parallel to this the required quality level has been progressively strengthened in this kind of teaching. For this reason it has grown the quantity of educational institutions that participate in new learning options with high quality standards, as well as new options have emerged with the last goal to improve the students learning under the idea to motivate, to engage and to increase the students participation. Under this premise arose the digital badges concept, which initially is based in the technology use in order to offer to lecturers and learners a new assessment system as complement to the already existing. The principal contribution is related to the student motivation into the learning environment by presenting her/him a clear path of the objectives to achieve: by giving a visual evolution, by facilitating the information sharing and by allowing the learner to show their own online and digital achievements to everybody. Moreover the strengthening in parallel areas to the academic progress like the development of soft skills by enabling their recognition even within the purely academic environment. It was extracted the potential application of this tool through specific steps previously studied through the analyse of the existent research and literature in this area including investigations concerning to the incursion of social networks and gaming features in educational environment, with the purpose to evaluate their characteristics, efforts, procedures and results; in such way. The parts involved into the system were examined and which advantages offer this tool for them, the main motivations for its use and implementation, specifically in which way the learning process could be improved, which kind of skills as well as the academical effort have been awarded and the necessary technical consideration and changes to make. Based on this idea, four scenarios were suggested in which digital badges could be applied into a lecture at the university. The final part of this study contributed with the design of a prototype of a badging system as complement to the existing assessment system, including the evaluation of the requirements, a group of badge and the necessary considerations for the application. This design have been simulated for one case scenario in order to present its functionality.