Working draft of recommendations for badge system design for educators

[1] Loosely standardize a set of badge types. This would not dictate the content of the badge (i.e. assessment), but the class of badges or the general type of activity/assessment it represents. This would help educators, administrators and employers more easily anticipate the value or weight of various badges, and ensure some commonalities in experience across different badge systems.

[2] Evidence is king. The true power of badges is in the evidence, which can explain and justify the badge. Where possible, build badges that rely on distinct evidence (photos, reflections, assessment results) and include it with the badge.

[3] Avoid yet another accountability system for educators. Focus on recognition that can empower educators to learn more, express themselves as educators more, find peers, etc. 

[3a] Related: Consider value beyond job requirements. Professional development and job advancement are definitely an important part of this, but also consider badges that would be valuable for reputation, self-expression, identity building, kinship and more. 

[4] Recognize the past. Prior learning and achievements to date are an important part of each educator’s story, so consider ways to assess and capture those as well.

[5] Leverage endorsement to add more value into badges and make connections across systems. Through endorsement, instead of or in addition to issuing your own badges to educators, you can review badges from other educator systems and endorse the ones that meet your standards of content and quality.

[6] Remember stackability. Badges become more meaningful and powerful in clusters, when they can tell a more complete story about an earner.  

[7] Go beyond recognition and leverage badges for discovery. Consider levels or badge relationships to offer more learning and advancement options for educators. Where possible, each badge should unlock access to additional learning.

[8] Think about potential endorsement from existing standards bodies. Alignment with existing standards is one option for your badges, and could open doors to endorsement opportunities from those standards/awarding bodies.