Badges are one of the most known gamification elements out there. And unfortunately, they’ve become one of the most infamous ones recently. And the main reason for this, I would say, is the overuse of badges in gamification platforms.
Badges are still one of the handiest gamification techniques, and you can find them in most of the successful gamification platforms. You shouldn’t avoid using badges in your gamification platform. Instead, you should avoid overusing them.
Badges are one of the best gamification tools for designing Onboarding and Scaffolding phases, but they usually can’t engage the players in the long-term. However, there are some ways to make the badges more long-lasting and engage high-level players with them, too.
In this chapter of the Gamification of Learning Techniques series, we’re examining a useful way to make badges more long-lasting.
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational institution created by Salman Khan with the purpose of creating a set of online tools that help educate students. Khan Academy uses badges interestingly to engage their users. To make the players’ engagement more abiding, they divided the badges into six categories.
- Meteorite: Meteorite badges are common and easy to earn when just getting started.
- Moon: Moon badges are uncommon and represent an investment in learning.
- Earth: Earth badges are rare. They require a significant amount of learning.
- Sun: Sun badges are epic. Earning them is a real challenge, and they require impressive dedication.
- Black Hole: Black Hole badges are legendary and unknown. They are the rarest Khan Academy awards.
- Challenge Patches: Challenge Patches are unique awards for completing topic challenges.
This way, there are new challenges for almost everyone in the game. High-level players strive for achieving Sun Badges, and newbies focus on unlocking Meteorite Badges.
Black Hole Badges are unpredictable, mysterious, and extremely rare. Thus, all users have at least a glimmer of hope for finding these Badges. Adding a little bit of unpredictability to the game will make the users’ journey much more exciting.
In the end, players can share their badge stats and recently achieved badges with others to boast about their skills and achievements. Letting the players show off their successes is a common way to make the experience more engaging.