Mismatch between badges and resource lessons

  • Hi everyone,

    I like the new ‘Resources’ page and all of the fun lessons the kids can be involved in. Unfortunately we have no badges available for any of these, and the badges we CAN award don’t seem to line up with the lessons available (how do we even get to the old beginner/intermediate/advanced lessons?)

    We typically give out colored wristbands based on badges we give out and now we can’t give out badges … and since there doesn’t seem to be any way to track when a student finishes a lesson (or is there and I just haven’t seen it yet?) are we left, then, to come up with our own tracking software or spreadsheet of what every student is working on? We were relying on the Zen platform to help us do that, but now that feels quite out of sync.

    Thanks for any input,

  • CoderDojo Foundation

    Hi @Ian-Douglas!

    Thanks for your question. It’s great to hear you like the new resources page, I’m quite fond of it myself! I’m pleased to let you know that almost all of the content we have developed is on the new site, or will be very soon. You can find the Scratch, HTML & CSS, and Wearables Sushi Cards at the top of the page. Stand-alone projects, like Beginner App Inventor, that we moved over from Kata are further down the page. JavaScript is in the pipeline and our Beginner Python will be going up there soon too.

    Only three of the resources we’ve created in the past won’t be making the move over to the new projects site: Beginner Java, Beginner PHP and Intermediate Python. The first two because they see very little use by the community and would be the only projects for those languages on the entire site, due to comparatively low community demand. The last because it has a few issues and the site has dozens of great Python projects for you to move on to once you’ve done the Beginner level.

    As for the badging, this is an area we’re interested in too. We’re presently investigating the best approach to take in the future for recognising achievements and project completion that will work across all the projects on the site, so young people won’t have to worry about which specific group (CoderDojo, Code Club or Raspberry Jam) the resource was originally created for and can take advantage of the 200+ projects on there. It’s our ambition to include an element of tracking young people’s progress on the site and connecting that information to Zen accounts is also something we’re interested in doing as we keep working to improve this experience. My favourite thing about this new site is the great team of software developers we have actively improving it!

    I would love to hear more about how you use badging in your Dojo to get a better idea of how to best integrate badging with the new projects site. In terms of using wristbands, do you have separate criteria for these or do you use the criteria set out on each badge specifically? Is there something specific to wristbands that makes them work better than, for example, certificates or stickers to go on laptops? Are there any badge criteria you think could be improved?

  • Hi Philip, thanks for the response.

    We use colored wristbands, similar to that of karate belt colors, for leveling up as a student. They get a white belt for being there 5 times (tracked with the attendance badge) and being able to explain the “Be Cool” rule. In the past we’d also asked that they complete at least one beginner-level lesson and demo it to the entire group of kids (or to a mentor if they really really don’t want to get up in front of people)

    To earn their yellow belt, they need to have their white belt of course, but also complete an intermediate level badge (since they just finished some content, it’s usually easy to get them to keep working in that same content). They also have to invite a friend to CoderDojo (even if that friend only comes once), but we go easy on this rule. We also ask that they can name 5 other kids and 5 of our mentors to show that they’re getting to know folks at the CoderDojo sessions and not just working by themselves.

    From there, the blue belt, orange belt, green belt all require more badges of varying degrees of difficulty, and attendance to ensure they’ve been there a “minimum” number of times. The green belt also asks them to come up with a big project idea, the red belt is given for finishing that project, and the black belt is given for a group project idea that several students work on together.

    The initial belts, though, encourage them to work through multiple avenues of learning, so they can’t do just Scratch and get a ton of wristbands, we want to see them expand into other languages, other technologies, etc… We’ve asked in the past for custom badges for things we do in our dojo like modeling something that we manufacture for them on a 3D printer, etc., but we haven’t heard any progress on that either (we’ve been asking for custom badges and other badge cleanup for over a year if I recall).

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