How to Have a Good Badge Experience

Over the next several weeks we’ll continue to post on the YALSAblog about what is going on in the world of badging, how organizations like YALSA are integrating badges into their initiatives, and how badges can be used in educational settings.

Last week we posted on how badges can enhance professional development. As you think about participating in a badge program, you might wonder, what should I look for in a good badge experience? Two things to keep in mind:

  • Like any learning experience, it’s important to focus on learning that is interesting and that you think can help to expand your knowledge and experience. When looking at badging programs keep this in mind and focus not on gaining a badge, or the badge as the goal, but focus on how the learning is going to help you in some way.
  • Badge programs can be a great way to get feedback and support from your professional learning network. The YALSA badge project will incorporate feedback into the badge earning process- feedback will come from colleagues and experts. As Constance M. Yowell, the director of education for U.S. programs at the MacArthur Foundation, says on the mouse site, “What we think matters most for learning is, how do you give the learner and the folks supporting that learner ongoing feedback about how they’re doing?” Check to see what kind of feedback mechanisms are in place when you consider any type of badge program.

Badges can work for you. Just keep in mind that you want to asses the quality of the badge program and how it meets your professional development and education needs.

You can read all of YALSA’s posts on badges and the association’s Badges for Lifelong Learning Project.

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