I know I've written about this before.
Zilch is a game that UNDERSTANDS badges and achievements in the game format.
A badge / adward can't be too broad. A thru F in school is the DEFINITION of too board achievement. As a measuring device, maybe. It works for the school, somehow, I'm sure. But it doesn't work for the student.
How much stuff goes on during a school class? A $hit ton! And, you want to sum it up in a single Letter. And you can go screw yourself with a A- or a B+. Thanks, but no thanks!
What this tells me is that the A-F group has no idea what is going on -ACTUALLY - going on in the classroom. The way your reward and motivate directly relates to how you see the subjects / users / students. Your perspective of learning and the internal life of the students.
Are they having a rich, multi-faceted, emotional, whole being experience? Or, are they holding there breath and not rocking the boat focused on the grade?
One last story. I play(ed) golf. Golf is a game and there is a score. And, as a beginner golfer - I got pissed alot, because I couldn't score like Freddie Couples (the Dominating player at the time - They call him BoomBoom because he hits it a mile and never loses his cool).
One day I got super pissed and (in front of some friends and a stranger partner) lost my shit. I yelled, threw my bag, I threw my club - and nearly destroyed it when it hit the cart path 20 yards out.
Here's the thing: I want a badge for that. I want the "Total meltdown - missed a drive"... There's a series of "Total Meltdowns" ... missed putt, lost a match, go in the trap, go in the water, out of bounds...
Here's the thing:
The game IS NOT the score. The game is the game, and you can see it from MANY perspectives.
On the positive side, you can chose to not count the strokes the same way. I started to play better when I only recorded the putts, or the GIR (Greens in Regulation).
So, Zilch has 100 different achievements. Great, much better than school which has basically a handful per class (assignment grades and a final grade - not the same, but similar).
But, would it be cool if we - the non-designers, non-teachers - created our own badges our own achievements? I bet we could do it...
One last thing before I publish. There is alot of talk about badges and I feel I need to put down my thoughts about it. Speciffically, what I like about the movement - Peer created, Peer adwarded, variable scope, easily transfered/displayed/ researched. And, what I see as pitfalls - just recreating the same system, which will happen if you only get simply re-name a certificate / diploma / degree with the term Badge or Patch.
Listen up Instructors and Course Designers!