About TOEP Badges

Earning Digital Badges in TOEP 

TOEP participants were previously able to earn digital badges to signify their accomplishments and show their progress toward being a lifelong learner. Participants earned badges by completing the Discovery Exercises. Digital badges that were earned were then able to be shared with others through awardees ePortfolios, CVs, and social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter. TOEP has since transitioned to the SUNY Exploring Emerging Technologies for Lifelong Learning and Success (#EmTechMOOC). 

Digital badges are now able to be earned through: 
Exploring Emerging Technologies for Lifelong Learning and Success (#EmTechMOOC)

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is available to learners across the globe.
Develop a personal ePortfolio to showcase your skills and accomplishments.
Everyone who enrolls can earn Digital Badges and anyone from SUNY
can earn a FREE Coursera Certificate of Completion!
New sessions begin every 5 weeks.

What is a Digital Badge? 

In a case study published by EDUCAUSE, a digital badge is defined as a symbol or
indicator of an accomplishment, skill, quality, or interest (Knight & Casili, 2012). Badges are also often referred to as micro-credentials. Consider traditional badges issued by organizations such as the Girl Scouts of the United States of America; each badge/patch is a visual representation of an accomplishment or skill. On the surface, a badge seems to just be a pretty picture. Beneath the surface, a badge is more complex.

What makes a digital badge unique is the data packed inside the badge. A digital badge is comprised of several parts, including the image, the earner’s personal information (making the badge unique to the user), and the evidence (a permanent connection to the accomplishment of the badge earner. This combination ensures that each badge is unique and a true representation of an earner’s accomplishment. Most badges are issued in an open badge format, meaning they are stored in a user’s online badge backpack; they can be transferred across different systems. The OpenBadges site has a good overview for anyone getting started with badging and includes information about earning, issuing, displaying and understanding badge awards. (The image on the right from Mozilla Wiki Badge/FAQ shows the information contained in digital badges.)

Badges in Education

Badging has the potential to become an effective approach to assessment, accountability, and motivation. It is an emerging trend that offers a new way to represent skills and achievements that may be traditionally difficult to document. Badging allows individuals to visually navigate a path to knowledge, either guided or self-motivated. The TOEP team has integrated badging in the hopes that it will help participants track their progress, encourage participants to complete Discovery Learning Exercises, and help track the most popular TOEP topics.

Badges are typically earned via pre-determined "quests," which are completed by the badge earners. Badge earners interact with a variety of materials, ultimately producing a learning object to demonstrate their knowledge of the content. Generally, these learning objects must then be approved by the moderators of the quest, who authorize and issue the badge. This video from the MacArthur Foundation explains what a badge is and its benefits. It also includes examples of their use within education. A key message shared in the video is that, "Badges are a new idea to recognize the learning that happens anywhere and share it in the places that matter."
What is a Badge?" by the MacArthur Foundation (video length 3:36 min.) 

Types of TOEP Badges

There are several types of badges that were available to be earned through TOEP included Quest, Mastery, and Community badges.

TOEP Quest Badges
Quest-level badges were awarded for the completion of a TOEP Discovery Exercise within a particular Discovery Activities section.

TOEP Mastery Badge
Mastery badges were awarded after completing a number of quests; a mastery badge is comprised of smaller quest badges. This allowed for a granular exploration of skills, as individual skill sets which are able to be represented through a mastery badge.

A TOEP Mastery badge was issued for the successful completion of:

  1. A Discovery Exercise on Lifelong Learning
  2. The completion of a minimum of three additional Discovery Exercises of your choice (in three different tools areas); and
  3. A summary of your thoughts and experiences about what you have learned, published in the TOEP Community.
TOEP Community Badge
Community badges were also issued by the learning community.

TOEP Community badges were issued for learning community participation and were awarded based on a peer-review process. The following community badges and additional incentives were offered by TOEP:

1st Place Awards - (Professional Development Awards valued at $300 each + TOEP Community Badge)

Most pedagogically intriguing use of a TOEP tool as evidenced through postings to the TOEP Community.


2nd Place Awards - (iTunes cards valued at $25 each + TOEP Community Badge)

Best peer mentoring and support provided to other participants.

How was the TOEP Badging Constellation Organized?

All Badges

Digital badges are now available through SUNY #EmTechMOOC.

Image Source: Mozilla Wiki  - Anatomy of a Badge