Research: Badges for college credit (BCC): Motivating learning in informal science programs through a digital badge system

October 1st, 2013 - September 30th, 2017 | PROJECT

The Badges for College Credit project designs and researches: (1) a digital badge system that leads to college credit as the context for investigating how to integrate badges with learning programs; (2) how to assess learning associated with badges; and (3) how badges facilitate learning pathways and contribute to science identity formation. The project is one of the first efforts to develop a system to associate informal science learning with college credit. The project will partner with three regional informal science institutions, the Pacific Science Center, the Future of Flight, and the Seattle of Aquarium, that will facilitate activities for participants that are linked to informal science learning and earning badges. The project uses the iRemix platform, a social learning platform, as a delivery system to direct participants to materials, resources, and activities that support the learning goals of the project. Badges earned within the system can be exported to the Mozilla Open Badges platform. Participants can earn three types of badges, automatic (based on participation), community (based on contributions to building the online community), and skill (based on mastery of science and communication) badges. Using a learning ecologies framework, the project will investigate multiple influences on how and why youth participate in science learning and making decisions. Project research uses a qualitative and quantitative approach, including observations, interviews, case studies, surveys, and learning analytics data, and data analytics. Project evaluation will focus on the nature and function of the collaboration, and on the scale-up aspects of the innovation and expansion, by: (1) analyzing and documenting effective procedures,and optimal contexts for the dissemination of the model and (2) by analyzing the collaboration between informal science organizations and higher education.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

2014 Poster - Badges for College Credit (BCC): Motivating learning in informal science programs through a digital badge system
2016 Poster - Badges for College Credit (BCC): Motivating learning in informal science programs through digital badge systems

Team Members

Carrie Tzou, Principal Investigator, University of Washington
Karen Lennon, Co-Principal Investigator, Pacific Science Center
Amanda Goertz, Co-Principal Investigator, Future of Flight Foundation
Gray Kochlar-Lindgren, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Washington


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1322512
Funding Amount: 785949


Access and Inclusion: People with Disabilities
Audience: Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Higher Education Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | Media and Technology | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media