How to use digital badges in the classroom


As anyone who has spent time in a classroom can attest, traditional assessment methods often don’t measure everything. That’s where digital badges come into play, according to ASCD author David Niguidula.

Niguidula, who published Demonstrating Student Mastery with Digital Badges and Portfolios in January, stopped by ASCD Learn Teach Lead radio to talk about why and how digital badges and portfolios can be an important tool in evaluating students and giving feedback.

“Things that are happening on a day-to-day basis often get lost. What we want to see are two things: We want to see the benchmarks that the student has accomplished … but also show the progress over time,” Niguidula said.

Digital badges can be used to measure a student’s progress toward school-wide benchmarks and to measure personal interests and hobbies. In addition, at the end of the school year, a student has a visual representation of what they accomplished.

Niguidula said school districts that have implemented portfolios and badges into their curriculum have seen major progress. Rhode Island, where Niguidula is based, has required graduating high school students to create and present portfolios for the past decade.

“The idea of the badge isn’t just this hard ‘I passed’ or ‘I didn’t.’ It’s much more representative of what students actually do – they grow, sometimes in spurts. Sometimes it takes awhile,” Niguidula said.

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