Archive for July, 2011

Badge System Design

July 21, 2011

POST-it Notes from P2PU Badges Mtg II (July 18-19)

In the agenda building process, Post-it notes were grouped by the participants into clusters and the clusters given titles. Two of those clusters are reproduced here as they may shed light on design questions or framework ideas for an upcoming white paper funded in part by Hewlett Foundation via P2PU
Nils Peterson editoral comments made while posting these notes are show in [ ]
  • How to learn from mistakes of educatational games. Build on theoritical framework instead of trying things in a hit or miss fashion
  • What are the types of “power ups” that getting badges can unlock? ie. teach a topic
  • Define the informal learning space where badges can play a role for identity, process, participation, achievement, etc.
  • Foreground the educational outcomes over the technical whizbangs.
  • How can others learn from your badges?
  • What can badges tell us about who we want to be (model identities)?
  • How do I see patterns in other people’s careers [badge collections]? How do I learn from that?
  • Is the assessment [criteria] public?
  • Is displaying evidence for obtaining a badge is optional? [seeing the evidence could be useful to other learners]
  • [Badges should be] Pedagogically agnostic: but can there be values? [Possible values might be:] Language and culture, building the tools, and building the community.
  • Are there different badge considerations for different ages? How can one sytem support life-long learning?
  • Are we scoping badges just in the learning and EDU context?
This heading was also the topic of a breakout session. The original post-its were augmented with new ones and organized into a structure
Guiding Questions:
  • What makes a good badge system?
  • How do you know if you have a good badge system?
Responses were classified into 4 groups. Group #1 was giving higher weighting
Group #1
  • Learning objectives are being met
  • How are assessment criteria made public?
  • Do peers learn from doing assessments?
  • Does system record what learner is =NOT= good at doing?
  • What to do with “failed” applications for badges
Group #2
  • Is the system used for long periods in [the learner’s] life?
  • Does user advertise their badges in Facebook, etc?
  • Do learners participate voluntarily?
Group #3
  • Does the system have a user community?
  • Does it have learners using it?
  • Does it have robust assessors?
  • Is awarding of badges automatic or does it require human judgement?
  • Why will peers assess each other well? [assumes system facilitates peer assessment]
  • Are badges better to mark a learning process completed or an assessment passed?
  • [Does the Community reflect on the utility of the assessments?]
Group #4
  • Has robust assessment instruments/ criteria
  • How to assess the system without distrubing it == Portfolio==

Unconference Mechanics

July 19, 2011

I just spent 2 days at a meeting hosted by P2PU to talk about badge systems.

The meeting used some “unconference” techniques. One activity, early on, was to work in pairs and create Post-it notes with a question, or statement, about badges, e.g., “allow badges to operate as reputation currency.” People were encouraged to generate as many stickies as they wanted. Each team had a different color stack of stickies.

Stickies were posted, randomly, on a wall (photo 1) and then during a break, the group read them and lumped them into groups and gave each of those groupings of post-its a title, e.g., “Badge Discoverablilty” (photo 2)

Later the first afternoon the conference organizers picked 3 of the groupings and invited the audience to divide itself among the 3 topics, nominating a facilitator for each.

On the second day, the organizers posted a grid (rooms and times) (photo 3) and posted a few events into the structure and invited others to post events (which were drawn from the groupings from the previous day). This formed the agenda of sessions for the 2nd day.


Co-op Job Application

July 1, 2011

I am a finalist for the Moscow Food Co-op General Manager. As the process goes public, they are asking us to write responses to 3 questions. Mine are below.

1) Why do you want this job?
I’m excited to be considered for the position as GM because I believe the mission and strategic directions of the Co-op are urgently important for Moscow’s long term sustainability. I want to help the Co-op contribute to our community’s successful transition through these changing economic/energy/climate times.

Specifically I want to help the Co-op to facilitate the food-awareness of members/ shoppers and the success of local growers and producers. This addresses two aspects of food security that concern me: 1. As fuel prices rise, people in our community may be forced to choose between food and other necessities. Knowing how to use bulk and local fresh foods will be important to achieving good nutrition. 2. A local food economy could buffer our community from shocks from global food markets and our long supply lines.

I also value the ways the Co-op leverages its resources to help the community in other ways. Examples include Dime in Time, a micro fund raising mechanism and co-marketing with Fish People and local growers. I will encourage activities that support the Co-op community without detracting from the mission as a natural food cooperative.

2) Give us a brief history of your experiences to help us understand what you bring to the position.
The GM is much more than chief retailer. To implement the Co-op’s Strategic Plan, the GM must work within a complex ecology, responding to the Board, helping managers, and serving as the Co-op’s representative to multiple stakeholders, including member-owners and other shoppers, suppliers, and the wider Moscow community.

I have many years of experience that prepare me for the complex role of GM, including:

  • As Palouse Prairie School’s Board Chair, I learned to implement the Co-op’s “policy governance” model.
  • For the last 10 years at WSU I have supported the success of professional managers via peer-coaching and serving as a sounding board and strategist.
  • My last years at WSU focused on a variety of assessment strategies and I will use assessment data to aid decision-making by the Co-op team.
  • I learn quickly, can persuade diverse audiences and get the job done, as I demonstrated founding Palouse Prairie School.
  • As a member of Moscow’s Planning and Zoning Commission I bring experiences with the City and see the Co-op as a key anchor store downtown.
  • Palouse Prairie School’s consultants taught me to facilitate collaborative work and problem-solving, which I will use to further the goal of making the Co-op Moscow’s best workplace.
  • I have led seven barn raisings and am able to help a diverse group learn, work and have fun together.

3)  What is your vision of our Co-op’s future?
The Co-op is progressing toward its Sustainability strategic goal. The store could produce hot water and electricity with roof-mounted collectors, but the payback periods will be long. I will help the Co-op own its building so it can explore these long-term investments.

I envision a financially healthy Co-op that chooses to how to focus its resources to advance its member-owner’s goals.

I will help the Community Food Works partnership increase engagement and education about food systems and local food options.

Initiatives to encourage non-motorized shopping trips are laudable, but the Co-op serves a wider region than Moscow. As GM I will explore if satellite ventures in other towns can strengthen the Co-op community, reduce shopper travel, and compliment existing local merchants.

Sodexo is struggling to meeting its contract to serve 15% local foods at UI. This may be because local growers operate on a different scale than Sodexo. In keeping with the Co-op’s goal to develop and support the local sustainable food economy, I will partner in exploring ways to create local markets at larger scales to meet institutional needs.

Recently the size of the Newsletter was reduced. I will develop New Media methods to preserve the editorial richness at lower production costs.

Nils Peterson Co-op Resume