Chris Thinnes9 months ago
I know embarrassingly little of more recent developments, following the earliest ideas and proposals, so to comment is only to blow hard. That said:
There's a part of me that would rather that game designers embraced learning theory rather than that educators embraced gaming theory. On the one hand, to whatever degree the badges are intended to incentive engaged learning, I don't think that's any less bunk a proposition than grades, scores, or any other such extrinsic motivator or reward, though this certainly has a happier face than a letter grade or percentage. On the other hand, to whatever degree the badges are tied to meaningful, authentic performance tasks that demonstrate mastery, transfer, deeper learning, etc. -- and are assessed by humans who have a relationship with the child who is being assessed -- I think that could be a good thing -- and certainly better than current, flawed, and misused high-stakes MC tests. I also worry about any system that is projected or proposed as a national system for the assessment of students at the national level: the use to which such systems are put are most often to make comparative judgments about students -- whether it's between districts vying for federal dollars, or between nations vying for systemic bragging rights, or between students vying for placement in a college or a job -- and the only purpose in which teachers are genuinely interested in assessment is for the purpose of supporting a child's learning.