[Air-L] CFP: Badging and Badge Systems Development Research Competition

Sheryl Grant sherylgrant at gmail.com
Tue Aug 7 19:04:18 PDT 2012



[View the call for proposals at http://dmlcompetition.net]

In March 2012, the Digital Media and Learning Competition on Badges
for Lifelong Learning (supported by the John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
awarded 30 development grants to support the creation of digital
badges and badge systems that contribute to, identify, recognize,
measure, and account for new skills, competencies, knowledge, and
achievements for 21st century learners wherever and whenever learning
takes place.

We seek research proposals that support and inform the design,
development, and deployment of the digital badges and badge systems in
any of these categories:

1. The Digital Media and Learning Badges for Lifelong Learning general
category, which supported the development of badges and badge systems
across a diverse range of content, institutions, and approaches.

2. Project Mastery awards focusing on the efficacy of badging systems
for learning at Gates Foundation supported Project Mastery sites
(School District of Philadelphia, Adams County School District 50,
Asia Society). Project Mastery projects promote learning that is
mastery based and Common Core aligned. The aim is to support new
learning and knowledge, real-world outcomes like jobs, credit for new
skills and achievements, and whole new ways to level up in their life
and work.

3. Teacher Mastery badge projects that track and promote feedback
regarding the competencies, skills programs and subjects over which
teachers acquire expertise. These include systems for recognizing and
rewarding some of the capacities, skills and content needed to
effectively teach math, literacy, or digital literacy skills and/or to
effectively teach to the Common Core State Standards.


The Badge Development Research Competition seeks empirical and
theoretical research focusing on one or more of the following

How have ranking, badging, reputations and achievement systems been
used in games, clubs, competitions, and other forms of interest-driven
activities? What design principles and guidelines might we glean from
past and existing cases that can inform the development of badges for

What role have accreditation and certificates played inside and
outside of formal degree programs, including areas such as core
curriculum, work skills training, arts, crafts, and other trades? More
specifically, how might badging help to address some of the challenges
currently facing teacher assessment and credentialing?

How have learning institutions, groups, and individuals produced,
utilized, and exploited various credentialing and reputation systems?
How has such credentialing been changing with the shifts to a digital
and networked society?

How do badge creators define mastery? To what degrees are the
competencies represented by the badging system and individual badges
clear to the learners?
In what ways is mastery assessed? Are learners given productive
opportunities to demonstrate mastery (in their application, in
producing and not solely consuming knowledge, and in their
participating in learning and knowledge production)?

How do badging systems conceptualize and operationalize learning
pathways/trajectories? Do badging systems offer opportunities for
learning connections and interactions with others, as well as for
feedback? For leveling up along the learning trajectory? How or to
what extent are novice to expert trajectories made available?

How is the badging system conceiving and operationalizing validation
or legitimacy of the learning taking place, and so too of the badges
being issued?

Proposed projects would need to consider these questions in ways that
directly address the needs and concerns of the DML Badge Competition
winners. The nature of the relationship to the Badge Development
Competition can take a variety of forms, including:

Collaborative design research with Badge Competition winners, where
researchers would be involved in the prototyping, testing, and
iteration of badge or badge platform development. Proposals of this
nature would need to include a letter of support from the
collaborating project or projects.
Research with using the design, development, and deployment process of
one or more of the Badge Competition winners, to examine the general
effectiveness of badges and badging systems to motivate, recognize,
and assess learning. This can include analysis of designs, or
conducting interview or survey work with competition winners.
Proposals of this nature would need to include a letter of support
from the collaborating project or projects.
Research that studies or synthesizes research on existing or
historical badging, reputation, assessment, or credentialing system in
ways that can inform the design, development, and deployment of the
Digital Media and Learning Competition winners. This can include
developing theoretical insights, design principles, or conceptual

View the winning projects in the Badges for Lifelong Learning
Competition and Teacher Mastery and Feedback Competition.



Proposals must include an account of how your research plans to focus
on, illuminate, or give context to the Badge Competition grantees
(collectively or by looking at one or more of the projects) or define
the larger ecosystem and the role of the Digital Media and Learning
Competition within that ecosystem.
Proposals choosing to focus on Project Mastery or Teacher Mastery
Badge projects should pay particular attention to how the Common Core
are integrated and assessed within the respective badging systems.
Proposals choosing to focus on Project Mastery projects will be
expected to collaborate and coordinate with related research efforts
led by RAND. Access to the latter will be arranged for relevant
qualifying proposals.
Awarded funds may be used for salary replacement, for travel in
support of data collection, for modest graduate research assistance in
support of the project (no more than one-third of final budget), or
for modest technological support for the project.
Proposals should include in their budgets any incentives for research
subjects, including Digital Media and Learning Badge Competition
winners, to participate in the research design and/or research.
Awarded research projects may have to complete IRB review, and if so
should include in their budgets any associated costs. The grantee will
also be responsible for organizing a public forum to disseminate the
findings of the research.
The grantee is required to produce one publication, which could be a
book, a MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Report,
literature review, or white paper. Support for both the public forum
and activities resulting in publication are to be included in the
grant budget.
Research award winners are expected to attend two meetings:

Digital Media and Learning Competition workshop to be held for
awardees at UC Irvine on January 24-25, 2013;
The Digital Media and Learning Conference in Chicago, March 14-16,
2013. Registration and travel costs for both are to be included in the
awarded budgets.

   Participation at the events is a requirement of the award.


The application process occurs in two stages, requiring an initial
submission of a Letter of Intent and, with authorization, a Final
Application that will be submitted for judging.

Letter of Intent
The Letter of Intent will be used to determine whether your proposed
research project meets the parameters of the call. Please include an
abstract of your proposal (250 word limit) briefly explaining your
choice of potential research partners (where relevant) to help us get
a sense of the scope and goals of your project. If determined that
your proposed research is in line with the CFP and goals of the Badge
Development Research Competition, the DML Competition Team will
contact your requested research partner on your behalf (where
relevant). Please do not attempt to contact potential research
partners on your own. Each research partner has the discretion to
determine which projects they want to work with. If your project is
chosen as a partner or seeks funding for research on badging and badge
development systems more generally, you will be contacted to follow up
and provide additional information and to complete a final
application. Please note that a letter of support from your research
partner (where relevant) is a requirement of the final application.

Final Application
If your Letter of Intent is accepted, you will be invited to submit a
Final Application which must include:

Proposal outline, including rationale and work plan, no more than 1500 words
Public forum outline, no more than 250 words
Budget and budget narrative for proposal
Budget and budget narrative for public forum
Letter of support from your prospective DML Competition grantee
research partner (if applicable)


Letters of Intent are now being accepted.
They should be submitted in FASTAPPS by 5:00 PM PDT on August 27, 2012
for priority consideration. While Letters of Intent will continue to
be accepted after the priority deadline on a rolling basis, we
encourage you to submit as early as possible to allow ample time to
connect with potential research partners. We can not guarantee that
those applicants that submit after the August 27th priority deadline
will have sufficient time to connect with and secure letters of
support from potential research partners.

Research applications that seek funding to pursue more theoretical
projects on badging will not be required to partner with a Badge
Competition project, and will not require a letter of support.

After completing the Letter of Intent, applicants will receive an
email with a link to the Final Application.

All Final Applications are to be completed at FASTAPPS by 5:00PM PDT
on October 1, 2012. Please note: you can save your application by
clicking the "submit" button at the bottom of the application form.
All applications can be saved and edited up until the deadline at
5:00PM on October 1, 2012. No proposals will be reviewed before this

This Research Competition on Badging and Badge System Development is
supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is part of the
larger HASTAC Competition on Digital Media and Learning supported by
grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as well
as from the Gates Foundation to the University of California, in
collaboration with Duke University and the Mozilla Foundation. The
University of California Humanities Research Institute and Duke
University's John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute are the principal
administering bodies of the DML Competition on behalf of HASTAC.

Sheryl Grant
Director of Social Networking
HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation
Digital Media and Learning Competition

Duke University
114 South Buchanan Blvd.
Smith Warehouse
Durham, NC 27708

sheryl.grant at duke.edu

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