Rewards operate according to different models and are underpinned by different underlying motivations: Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Motivation. In the context of education, intrinsic motivation has traditionally been viewed as superior to extrinsic motivation because it supports students in leading their learning curve and being independent. While traditional solutions have tried to motivate students through externally driven extrinsic rewards such as prizes and public felicitation, intrinsic rewards are generally more powerful motivators of human behavior.
Badges For Intrinsic Motivation
The term intrinsic motivation refers to behavior driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself and exists independently of external pressures or a desire for some reward or
outcome. To understand how Digital Certificates and Badges can be used to support personalized learning journeys, one must first understand how intrinsic motivation drives human behavior. There are many different motivators that determine intrinsic motivation, but here we will focus on three: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The general idea behind intrinsic motivation is that humans, who are social beings, are driven to engage in behaviors that
they enjoy. The learning process becomes enjoyable when there is an innate sense of doing well and when the measurement stick is your own learning curve.
Social scientists have repeatedly found that intrinsic motivation has a far more significant impact on academic performance than extrinsic rewards. Intrinsic motivation is a primary driver of
student learning in any setting that values personalized learning journeys. Digital Certificates and Badges can be used to support individualized learning journeys that make a student’s goals and achievements visible to them. Badges are considered a marker of achievement that motivates students to perform beyond their potential and go the extra mile to gain admission into the best college, apply for scholarships and internships, and practice “real world” skills.
Personalized Journeys with Badges
Digital Certificates and Badges can be used to create personalized learning journeys for students as a means of re-enforcing intrinsic rewards. Students can feel motivated by earning badges, irrespective of the result. Scoring a badge can be considered a reward for
meeting an objective or learning outcome, or it can just be seen as a way of boosting confidence in the student. Badges should be personalized for each student to be unique to the individual. Badges and certificates are established, validated and trustworthy in the international educational system. Students can feel motivated by earning badges, irrespective of the result. A student can become a certified “Juggler” as well as an “Easy
Math Puzzle Solver.” In the future, these badges can be linked to Digital Certificates and seen by employers. Among other benefits, badges improve learning through continual feedback and social interaction.
For the new generation of learners, whose interaction with the external world is mediated by
technology, the way they go about accomplishing tasks is driven by intrinsic motivation through digital certificates! Although not particularly ambitious, badges are a valuable component of a well-rounded 21st-century educational experience. Badge-based learning can be a highly effective motivational tool in building self-efficacy.