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SEED projects 2019 – A new Canvas for teaching and learning

Badges in higher education: worthwhile intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?

Dr Joya KemperDr Joya Kemper, Dr Felix Septianto, Dr Gavin Northey (Faculty of Business and Economics)

Technology-enables collaborative learning has become an increasingly important factor in course design. The locus of control is shifting from facilitators to students and helps to create active collaborative opportunities for learning. Recently, educators have extended this idea of technology-enables collaborative learning to include online strategy simulations. However, motivating students to participate in such online simulations is an ongoing issue. The use of extrinsic rewards in education to achieve such motivation is not new. However, the rise of social media and accessibility of IT means that the use of digital badges and gamification strategies in education have introduced new means of external rewards in the classroom.

Badges are able to provide feedback to students and early feedback is essential for students to gauge the level of their academic performance. This is important as it is related to self-directed learning, which is a skill required to enter into today’s ever changing workforce. The purpose of this project was to evaluate and deploy a Canvas badging system in ‘real world’ activities such as engagement measured by comments, in class participation and in the simulation. Two questions formed the basis of this project. First, can extrinsic awards be used to motivate student participation in asynchronous, online strategy simulations? Second, can such extrinsic rewards take the form of Canvas ‘badges’ where badges represent participation during in-class discussion, as well as performance in an asynchronous online strategy simulation?