I am doing something that feels weird in BSN4416, which will be the focus of this post for the 9x9x25 Ontario Extend Challenge. To be honest, I have no idea why I am doing it. Ok, I do know why – because the students said they wanted it. Since they said they wanted it I am adding a badging system to the course. I think they said it sounded like fun. However, normally if you ask me why I am doing something like badging in my classroom I can tell you some theory behind it that sounds intelligent. Not this time – that is a little uncomfortable.

geralt / Pixabay


The theory behind badging that I have used in the past relies on motivating and engaging students in self-directed learning by offering them a reward. Kim (2015) agrees that there needs to be a perceived tangible value or students will not want to earn the badges. Sure, some people (like me with these extend badges) just like the experience of earning the badge. With only 9/80 fourth-year students claiming rewards in last year’s cohort maybe the rewards are not actually as necessary as I thought. It is this kind of adventure that makes innovation, critical thinking and discovery so invigorating. 

I used the analysis of badging from last year to simplify the badging system for this year. If you are thinking about badging your course I advise that you limit manual badges!! Yes, I still have some because I think they are valuable.  In the next live session, I am going to ask them to tell me what rewards they want. I have no clue if it is even worth doing in a negotiated grading environment, but I guess we will see what happens. Click here to see the document since embedding it below is a fail.

PS: I kind of want to add one more to get to a total of 20 because I like even numbers (last year I had 35).

Moving into this adventure I would love to hear your thoughts.

In the coming weeks, I get to engage in a deep-dive with Aaron on gamification as we delve into the theory around quest-based learning for our webinar. Quest-based learning is a really interesting concept – I encourage you to come to our discussion if you can on October 24 at 1 PM (click here to read more and register or just use the Zoom link to register: https://bit.ly/2Qpg4Lc). It should be fun.

Oh, and Cambrian educators, don’t forget – you can level up with the Hub and get a physical badge for your efforts. Gamification surrounds me! I love it … I hope the students do too.





Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit http://nursekillam.com/.


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