Badge Architectures as Tools for Sense-Making and Motivation in Engineering Education

Razvan Rughinis, Stefania Matei


In this paper we argue that badge architectures are narrative, material and performative repertoires which can be meaningfully employed to provide university students with a coherent understanding of education. Badge architectures function as powerful interpretative tools through which students make sense of their immediate learning world. However, the efficiency of badges in education depends on associated structures of distribution, procurement and display that articulate modes of participation within a local community of practice. By considering our experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of the badge system ‘RL Hit List’, we claim that more insightful perspectives emerge from considering motivation as a socio-technical accomplishment than as a state of mind. This view might be read as an invitation for designers and researchers to reconsider the intrinsic - extrinsic dichotomy in assessing the value of badges to motivate students.


Badge architectures; achievements; gamification; motivation; reputation; engineering education

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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