3D GameLab, a research project in Boise State’s Department of Educational Technology (EdTech), has advanced to the finalist stage in the Digital Media and Learning Badges for Life Competition, offering awards up to $200,000.
Competition officials will announce final awards at the Digital Media and Learning Conference on March 1.
3D GameLab is an online learning platform that engages learners with game mechanics such as experience points, levels and badges. With a simple click, teachers and students can see the quests, projects and other work required to earn recognition for new skills, competencies, knowledge and achievements. Badges offer a digital alternative to traditional ways of validating accomplishment, skill, quality or interest in a field.
“EdTech has been pioneering this type of badge system for the last two years,” said Lisa Dawley, EdTech professor and lead investigator. The other investigators are Chris Haskell, special lecturer, and Andy Hung, assistant professor, of the EdTech department in the College of Education, and Alark Joshi, assistant professor, of the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering.
“The top educational institutions and organizations in the country vied for these awards,” Dawley said. “Being named a finalist recognizes the valuable leadership that Boise State provides in this type of learning.” She noted that more than 2,000 users have completed more than 25,000 quests and earned thousands of badges during the time EdTech developed and tested 3D GameLab.
The competition has three stages:
- In stage one, individuals, for-profit companies, universities and community organizations propose possible content, programs or activities.
- In stage two, individuals, teams or organizations such as EdTech, skilled in the design of badge systems, propose the system they want to build.
- In stage three, the final stage, the winners from stage one are matched with the winners from stage two to form teams to make final badge proposals.
EdTech’s proposal is matched with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) content proposal to create badges in science education. High school students would be able to create their own personalized learning pathways in ocean, coastal and atmospheric science education. Their learning would be recognized as an official achievement of the National Science Education Standards.
Dawley will travel to the California Academy of Sciences later this month to help prepare the final stage 3 presentation for the competition.
The Digital Media and Learning Badges for Life Competition is a joint effort with the Mozilla Foundation. It is part of the fourth Digital Media and Learning Competition funded by the MacArthur Foundation and administered by HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory).