Badges/P2PU SOW Badge Ideas

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Badge Types or Levels

There is a need to balance several competing goals in developing a badge system for P2PU. Many people advocate that badges should be relatively easy to acquire and can be a fun and playful motivational factor. Others believe that awarding badges should be done as part of a deeper-strategy to assessment recognition, with a heavy focus on formative assessment over summative assessment. And others are keen to see badges awarded as a way to create an alternative accreditation model in which summative assessment of hard skills is of the utmost importance.

To balance these different goals of badges, one idea is for any one badge to have different "degree" or "rank" associated with it. For the sake of this document, we have deviced three different ranks defined below.

Bronze Badge
If a given badge is Bronze then it was awarded either through self-assessment or by simple metrics in the system.
Silver Badge
A silver badge indicates that the badge was awarded by at least one peer.
Gold Badge
A gold badge must also have a review by at least one peer, but it signifies a greater achievement. For example, this could signify a more stringent review process; multiple peer reviews; third-party (off-site) confirmation; etc.

For example, consider a person who is awarded a badge for 'answering other peopel's questions', they may recieve a

  • Bronze version of this badge after a few of their responses in a discussion thread were added to the system (perhaps with some minor requirement, such as not being marked as spam).
  • Silver version of this badge when, perhaps, a peer has reviewed one or more of their comments in a discussion thread and found them to be helpful.
  • Gold version of this badge after five different peers on five different discussion threads marked their responses as being.

Communication Badges

Answering questions

A person could earn this badge by providing helpful responses to people's questions in comment threads, public email lists, or over IRC or other communication channels.

Bronze badge. This could be earned simply by very simple moderation of others indicating that a response was helpful or not on a given discussion thread. Silver badge. There could be a more thorough review process of a persons discussion threads or a "submit for badge" option that another user in the community could nominate the person for the badge. Gold badge. This could be awarded to a person when they have earned a silver badge across three different courses or projects.

Team player

  • Helping others perform better, even if at own expense
  • Community engagement and facilitation
  • Negotiation

Good negative-feedback

  • Onramping - the ability to bring a new contributor into a project by giving constructive feedback
  • Bedside manners - letting people down softly as to not demotivate them
  • Asynchronous tasking and communication
  • Writing, written, and verbal - as in excellent and proven writing skills or excellent written and verbal communication skills

Creativity, personalization

Builds for Humans

This badge is awarded to people who are able to show they can build stuff with humans in mind. This could be through creating good documentation, designing with accessibility in mind, etc. This could be assessed through providing good peer-feedback to others; getting positive responses on sample works from peers; or perhaps simply showing your strengths in performing a Heuristic evaluation on a web site.


This badge is given in recognition of people who show true passion toward web development. Some of the activities that might earn you this badge are:

  • Blogging - shouting at the top of your lungs about things you're passionate about
  • I send an email out to my peers in class an essay I wrote just for them that reviews all grid layout overlay systems and provided examples (e.g.,, screen shots, and examples comparing it to paper layouts in news papers.

Able to mentor others.

Agile - as in agile software development

Creative - as in strong, flexible, creative flair

Analytical - as in strong analytical skills

Attentive - as in attention to detail

Positive attitude

Fast - as in working in a fast paced environment

Critical thinker

Project management, leadership

Delegate work effectively

  • Team building - having the right people at the right place
  • Asynchronous tasking and communication
  • Able to mentor others.

Make firm strategic decisions

  • Benevolent dictator - making decisions when the group is divided
  • Negotiation
  • Tie breaking - moving out of deadlock

Provide (negative) feedback constructively

  • Onramping - the ability to bring a new contributor into a project by giving constructive feedback
  • Bedside manners - letting people down softly as to not demotivate them
  • Best community contribution - helping others perform better, even if at own expense

Community engagement and facilitation

Managing the politics of a project

Modes of operation


This is awarded for people who show they can use IRC. Perhaps they learn all of the commands and permissions. Maybe they moderate their own channel. Or perhaps have been given a cloak by a registered freenode organization.

Version Control System

This badge is in recognition of people who have learned to use version control system.

System specific stripes, perhaps if we have a "stripe" or "star" system you could earn them for learning different systems, e.g., Subversion, GIT, CVS, etc.

Ability to join an open source community

Community engagement and facilitation

Asynchronous tasking and communication

Good at working remotely.

Able to mentor others.

Designing - as in experience designing and optimizing code

Hard Skills


  • Recognizes when a person is able to produce valid HTML.

Possible examples:

  • Bronze. You submitted a somewhat involved sample to W3 Validator and it passed!
  • Silver. You have learned to use BeautifulSoup or, not only are your pages valid, but, they are actually work across all browsers with your JavaScript engine.
  • Gold. You submitted a patch to WYSIWYG bi-directional parser to a wiki-markup language that worked.

JavaScript Ninja

You have acquired a fair amount of skills using JavaScript. Examples might be:

  • Bronze. You were able to write your own functions and hooks in JavaScript.
  • Silver. You wrote your own extension/plugin to a major JavaScript framework such as JQuery.
  • Gold. You submitted a patch to a major JavaScript project.

Canvas or SVG

You have learned (or mastered) the HTML Canvas or SVG elements.