Progress - digital badges

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The 'digital badges' feature in FLO is a game element that can be used in education to celebrate achievements and show progress in a topic.

In FLO, badges can be created by teachers and awarded to students. Badges integrate with completion tracking/activity completion settings, to customise trigger points that determine the automatic release of badges. Badges may also be awarded manually based on the combination of FLO activities within a topic and physical activities in the classroom, such as practical skills. All badges may be awarded by a combination of summative or formative tasks. Badges are privately visible in a user's FLO profile or imported into, which enables sharing through social media sites like Facebook and Google Plus. The following guide provides information on: 


How to use digital badges

Current research literature agrees that the digital badge is: a visual symbol of an accomplishment, skill or recognisable trait that deserves acknowledgement; contains metadata to explain the context of the award; can be shared digitally across social communities, and should be broadly identified as a digital badge. 

Examples of how digital badges can be used in higher education include: 

  • an alternative to grades (micro-credentialing) (Clayton et al., 2014; Elliott et al., 2014); 
  • to support the process of progressing through research degrees (Mewburn et al., 2014); 
  • assessing individual students in collaboration assignments (Moccozet, 2013); 
  • as an introduction to navigating a physical campus through a scavenger hunt exploration (Koutropoulos, 2012);
  • to motivate students in an online course (Foli et al., 2016); 
  • measuring clinical performance and GPA recognition (Hannas, 2016); and 
  • as a record of achievement for future employers (Thomas, 2014). 


Clayton, J., Elliott, R., Iwata, J., 2014. Exploring the use of micro-credentialing and digital badges in learning environments to encourage motivation to learn and achieve. ASCILITE. 

Elliott, R., Clayton, J., Iwata, J., 2014. Exploring the use of micro-credentialing and digital badges in learning environments to encourage motivation to learn and achieve, in: Hegarty, B., McDonald, J., Loke, S.-K. (Eds.), Ascilite 2014. Ascilite, Dunedin, NZ., pp. 703-707. 

Foli, K.J., Karagory, P., Kirby, K., 2016. An exploratory study of undergraduate nursing students' perceptions of digital badges. Journal of Nursing Education 55, 640-644. Hannas, J., 2016. Demystifying digital badges. California State University Channel Islands, California.

Koutropoulos, A., 2012. Mobile Gamification for increasing motivation and engagement around the campus. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning 9, 3-20. 

Mewburn, I., Freund, K., Rutherford, E., 2014. Badge trouble: piloting open badges at the Australian National University. Ascilite 

Moccozet, L., Tardy, C., Opprecht, W. & Leonard, M., 2013. Gamification-based assessment of group work, International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, pp. 171-179. 

Thomas, A., 2014. Nursing faculty and students implement Passport badges to measure learning, achievement. Purdue University Information Technology Purdue University Information Technology

Getting started with digital badges

When designing topics for the inclusion of FLO digital badges, consider the following key points:

  • How may digital badges be used in your topic? - What 'stages' do you want to create in a student's journey through your topic? Are there layers? Are the badges skill-based or knowledge-based?
  • How will the visual appeal of the badge encourage users? - What visual element will you use for your creating badges? How will you create them? Visual appeal is an important component in using digital badges as a motivator.
  • Which activities/resources are required to measure a student's completion of a module or topic or success at demonstrating a skill? Can these be automated or do they require manual measuring?
  • Can digital badges be integrated with other motivation methods, such as progress bars? Research shows that a combination of methods will motivate a greater range of individuals.
  • Organise with your eLearning support team to activate badges in your topic. Currently, digital badges do not roll from semester to semester. 
  • How will you communicate with your students about the use of digital badges? It is important to communicate with your students about the role of the digital badges, as they are immediately visible as they must be earned.
  • View the following video (7 mins)  on what are digital badges, how to set them up, and how to share them outside of FLO. 

Add digital badges into your FLO site

Creating badges

Once badges have been activated in your site and you have sourced/created your badge images (100x100), you are ready to create your badges in FLO. 

1. Click the hamburger button  on the top menu bar ->  select Badges ->  Add a new badge button.




2. Enter the badge details, including name, description and the image you have created for the badge. Update the image author's details (your details) and if required, add a badge expiry date. Save your badge details by selecting Create badge.


3. Select your badge criteria: Manual issue by role, Topic completion, Activity completion or competencies.



4. Modify the existing message, avoiding altering the auto-filled text (in red below)


5. Once the criteria has been set, Enable access to the badge. All badges can be created at any time but are not released to the students until this button has been clicked.

Once the badge has been enabled, no further editing can be undertaken.


Manage badges: Badge availability

Once badges have been activated in your site and created (added) to FLO: 

1. Click the hamburger button on the top menu bar ->  select Badges. -> Manage badges .

manage badge

badges nav

digital badges sandpit

2. Here you'll see the complete list of digital badges added to the topic. Note that some badges may be available to users (they have been enabled) and some badges may not be available to users (they are yet to be enabled).  

manage availability           

3. Select the badge you wish to 'manage' by clicking on the badge name. This will load the badge details. On an available badge, the criteria will be locked. This may be disabled, however, the badges that have been earned prior to the disable will not be deleted. The badge will simply not be able to be earned by new students.

badge detail           

*Note, that once a badge has been issued to at least one user, it automatically becomes LOCKED. Locked badges can still be earned by users, but their criteria can no longer be changed. If you need to modify details or criteria of a locked badge, you can duplicate this badge and make all the required changes. 

4. To re-enable, that is, to make it visible and active for students to earn based on the pre-set criteria, select the   enable access button. Note that if this badge was previously enabled, the following warning will appear. 

enable warning           

Click Continue to re-active the badge. This will issue the badge to any student who has completed the criteria during the badges inactive stage. 

Manage badges: Deleting badges

Once badges have been awarded, the badge can be deleted using the FLO X icon or course badges in your site and created (added) to FLO: 

1. Click the hamburger button on the top menu bar -> select Badges. -> Manage badges.

manage badge

badges nav

manage badges

2. Here you'll see the complete list of digital badges added to the topic. Note that some badges may be available to users (they have been enabled) and some badges may not be available to users (they are yet to be enabled)

3. Regardless of availability, you are able to delete a created digital badge. 

Select the badge you wish to 'manage' by identity which row in the table (see below). Navigate to the Actions column and select the bin

delete option             

The two options for the deletion will be presented: 1. To delete and keep existing issued badge or 2. to delete and remove existing issued badges.

delete options             

Follow the prompts once you have made your selection.

Note that once you have deleted the badge from FLO, the badge may still exist if it was exported to an external backpack, but the awarded criteria will not be tracked

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