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badges vs degree

Jeanne Boyarsky
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What do you think of this idea? I like the idea of more specific details, but it seems like deeper knowledge would be hard to show.


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Joe Ess
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Joined: Oct 29, 2001
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    9

College degrees are easy for HR people to understand. They have names that resemble the position (looking for an engineer? Look for engineering degree) and come, for the most part, from credentialed institutions.
"Badges", on the other hand, have no standards, no institutional backing, and nobody knows what they mean. Catherine Lacey, the woman who volunteers answering biology questions, would get big points in an interview saying that she volunteers rather than she's a "Level 40 Hero".


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Matthew Brown
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:I like the idea of more specific details.


The article suggests that a degree doesn't tell you much about what was studied, but all students get transcripts nowadays showing exactly what they took, and what grades they got for it (at least in this country) - employers already have access to that if they want it.

fred rosenberger
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  16

Matthew Brown wrote:all students get transcripts nowadays showing exactly what they took, and what grades they got for it (at least in this country)

that tells you what the class was called, but not what was actually studied. I have a class on my transcript called "topics in modern mathematics" (or something like that). Each professor could teach whatever he wanted, so what you learned depended on what prof you had.

I think the badge idea is interesting, but there would need to be some kind of standard, or accreditation agency. I mean, right now I could put up a web site that gave out badges, but they wouldn't mean anything.

I logged on to the site mentioned in the article, and looked at the Mathematics path. The first badge had me add up two 1-digit numbers five times. I even got the same problem twice within that set of five, and BAM!!! I had my first badge.

Not sure what that really qualifies me for, beyond getting out of first grade.


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Matthew Brown
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I'm still not entirely convinced. If the badges are fine-grained enough to be more meaningful than a degree transcript, I reckon they'll become pretty useless because of information overload.

(I also have a problem with the conflation of training and education, which this doesn't do explicitly but it does seem to head in that direction, but that's a whole other debate that I don't really want to get into right now!)
Saurabh Pillai
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Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 509
Matthew Brown wrote: If the badges are fine-grained enough to be more meaningful than a degree transcript, I reckon they'll become pretty useless because of information overload.


Not if we have proper GUI to access the information along with what Fred said, "there would need to be some kind of standard, or accreditation agency."
Joe Ess
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Matthew Brown
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Saurabh Pillai wrote:Not if we have proper GUI to access the information along with what Fred said, "there would need to be some kind of standard, or accreditation agency."

Having a proper GUI won't make an employer more likely to want to trawl through hundreds of badge names and definitions.
Saurabh Pillai
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Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 509
you parse through resume,transcript,? and you have GUI that let you filter on badges. Later would be quicker.

The point is, if I get more information about the subject before making decision, it is likely that the decision would be better.
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
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    5

I think this is a terrible idea. A university is not a trade school.

The point of getting a college degree is to show the world that you know how to think and solve problems. It is *not* that you learned technique X or language Y.

It is wrong to focus on X or Y, because the degree sets the foundation for a 40 year career, and neither X nor Y will be used for more than 1/4 of your career.

Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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While badges could be used for skills (if supplemented with non-online activities) like speaking, analysis, etc there is still the problem with info overload. If someone could group the skill badges into a useful program like a degree...
Vijitha Kumara
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Joined: Mar 24, 2008
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Concepts of a centralized/standardized body to issue the badges is fine. But for anyone the university degree should be the foundation which actually responsible for learning and/or achieving any other recognition properly in future.


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