If you went camping with me, you’d realize early on that I’m not a very happy camper. You certainly wouldn’t want to trust me with tying a knot – I’m knot that great at that, either. No, I never got many Boy Scout badges; granted, I only stuck it out for two years. I had a dramatic exit after I didn’t win the Halloween costume contest. I thought the Sherlock Holmes costume my mom made me was way more creative than the mummy costume my friend’s mom made him, out of toilet paper. But I’m not bitter.


Purdue University is currently in the process of implementing their own system of badges into the classroom. But these badges can’t be sewn onto a sash; they’re all digital. The Information Technology team at Purdue has developed an operating system called Passport, which encourages students to “show what you know.”

  • It connects all of the students in the classroom and gives them a virtual space to share class content and probably a good YouTube vid.
  • It allows instructors to track each student’s progress in specific areas of the class.
  • Achieving a specific course objective earns the student a badge.

Obviously, students’ GPAs aren’t measured in number of badges. What the platform does is translate badges into grades. Grades that could be a more accurate depiction of what and how much students are actually learning in a particular class, as compared to more traditional methods. Passport is described as “learning management, mixed with gaming, meets e-portfolio.”

Gaming, you say?

Why, just a couple weeks ago, I touched on the topic of gamification and how it has nothing to do with the Incredible Hulk, but that it could have everything to do with higher ed. Purdue certainly seems to think so, and they also want to help get other schools on board with badges. They are currently accepting applications for instructors to test out Passport at their own schools.

Check it out! Love it? Hate it? Comment and let us know what you think…

Author: Gray Gill is our Spring Editor & Word-Smith here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.



Lead Copywriter at Verge Pipe Media
Gray has a degree from Auburn University in English, but believe it or not, HE DOESN’T WANT TO TEACH, OK MOM. He’s much happier at Verge Pipe Media, creating entertaining and original work. When he’s not doing that, he enjoys being on his road bike or on the lake, wakeboarding. His spirit animal is a gummy bear.

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