Badges represent an interesting way to accredit pupils on their achievements. The cartoon illustrates in a nutshell what badges are. As it make clear, badges are not a new concept, they have just become digitised.
The attractive thing about badges is that a school can invent their own categories and achievement levels. For example, you could have a badge that indicates an understanding of loops, one for conditional statements, one for "Basic understanding of computational thinking" (however "Basic" is defined), and so on.
For pupils who find Computing difficult, this kind of micro accreditation could provide a good incentive to keep on keeping on.
The badges could also build up until a skills passport or similar is completed -- although I harbour doubts as to the soundness of competency-based accreditation, which is what that would amount to. The reason is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Applied to Computing this means that a pupil may well have all the necessary skills, fully accredited, yet still not be able to do computing. Still, there are ways to address this.
Why not join thousands of other teachers by subscribing to the Digital Education newsletter? The latest free resource for subscribers is "45 features of excellent ICT and Computing lessons". To subscribe, click on the button below and complete the sign-up form.
There are four other documents there which are relevant to this article:
- DfE Innovation Fund: New ways of assessing ICT and Computing
- 19 Assessment for Learning Techniques
- Self-marking spreadsheet
- Self-marketing spreadsheet instructions