Thursday, August 9, 2012

Badges, Assessment and Webmaker+

I am going to talk to you about some of my thinking around badges, assessment and the often talked about, but never before explained concept of Webmaker+.  

When we talk about the tools and resources that we are building at Mozilla we often contextualize them as learning experiences. So, for example, you might go to - find a project- make and publish that project and along the way gain some basic HTML skills. However, in our current model, you could very well walk away after publishing your project and have no realization that you just learned something. And- because of that, you might not be able to level up your tinkering to craftsmenship.  Check out the vidcast to hear more:

(and based on the unexpected fanclub I've gained from my singing on the last vidcast, I have some special singing action here for you today)

In the vidcast, I showed 4 wireframe iterations for incorporating badges and embedded assessment into Thimble.

Iteration #1:

I started to imagine the badges appearing as you accomplish various things, taking a cue from the Cheevos system. It would look something like this ^^ Cons: the badge is super intrusive and could be distruptive to the learners experience. Pros: the actual "ingredients" displayed in the badge

Iteration #2:


Imagine the orange tab subtly popping up almost as if it is coming out of the toolbar. You then have the ability to transition to the next slide where you can add the badge to your backpack and share via social media. But is this too subtle?

Iteration #3

badge icon in toolbar wiggle when you receive badges (nothing pops up till you click it)

on click, you can see your badges- so if you have earned 4 badges- it will appear as a slide show 


Iteration #4: Webmaker +



As you see here, we could add a nav bar that gives a user the ability to opt in to the community, once they join, they are essentially signing in to be part of the game. It then becomes almost like an exclusive layer that sits on top of the software- which by the way could be thimble and popcorn but also community designed tools. The badge here could actually reflect data that is unique to the user. So for example, if they indicated that they were trying to achieve the goal of learning HTML and earning the uber HTML basics badge, then the badge could reflect that progress as well.

Extra Iteration:

With Webmaker+, the badge backpack gets transformed into a user dashboard, where they could see their progress, but also control it- so they can set goals, join challenges, and add badges. 

This is an initial brainstorm. To get a better understand of what we are thinking about specifically at Mozilla in relationship to the badges that we issue, head over to Chloe Varelidi's blog ( Chloe, did the map I featured in the video). We have been talking about this webmaker+ layer for quite a while and have been letting the ideas percolate. 

In terms of feedback, I would love to hear from your thoughts, but specifically:

1.  If we were to implement the pink iteration (webmaker +) would the "dashboard" (last image above)  be something that lives uniquely on the webmaker site and leverages the Mozilla webmaker community, or would it be a more open ended tool that anyone, anywhere could tap into that gets featured and promoted through the Mozilla Webmaker site?

2.If you had the ability to curate your online learning and making - what kinds of stats would want to track?