Digital badges, do they live up to the hype?

Roy, Sherre, and Clark, Damien (2019) Digital badges, do they live up to the hype? British Journal of Educational Technology, 50 (5). pp. 2619-2636.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


There has been much hype in relation to the emergence of digital badging in education. This paper seeks to determine whether digital badges indeed live up to this hype through a systematic review of 23 empirical studies. A series of evaluative research questions have been formulated to guide the analysis of the research literature along with selection criteria to unearth relevant studies. Analysis of this body of work suggests that digital badges can improve student engagement and motivation. However, this finding is not universal with some studies determining no benefit and others reporting negative outcomes. It is clear that further research is necessary particularly with more diverse disciplinary contexts. Practitioner Notes What is already known about the topic. There is much hype about the benefits to be gained from introducing digital badges into the learning environment. Much of the literature available offers theoretical backgrounding, principles and good-practice suggestions as well as generalised guidelines for using digital badges in education. Empirical studies using digital badges are limited. What this paper adds. Most research studies support the proposition that digital badges positively influence learning by encouraging participation and also task completion. But there isn’t consensus with some studies reporting no change while others highlighting negative implications. There is a concentration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and humanities & social sciences discipline areas within the studies suggesting that broader research is necessary to determine wider applicability of the results. Positive effects are identified throughout the studies such as improved: Student Engagement, Skills Recognition and Transferability, Personalised Learning, Personal Empowerment, and Work-related activities and advancement. Implications for practice and/or policy The literature identified that digital badges can positively impact learner engagement and motivation, however these positive outcomes are not universal and further research is needed. The lack of consensus in relation to educational benefits highlights the need for the implementation of digital badges to be well planned and in line with the learning and teaching strategy of the praxis. Further research is necessary across a broader cross-section of educational disciplines to determine whether digital badge suitability is cross-disciplinary or rather focused on niche educational contexts such as STEM.

Item ID: 75236
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-8535
Copyright Information: © 2018 British Educational Research Association
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 00:54
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390199 Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160102 Higher education @ 100%
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page