Are you looking for information on creating a new achievement for your pathway?
Look no further! In this guide, you will learn what components you need to build your achievements and how to compile those components for the best experience for your students.
Note: within this article, 'Achievement' and 'Badge' is used interchangeably.
Components of an Achievement/Badge
1. Activities - activities are the building blocks of achievements and what students will interact with directly to engage with your program. Think about events (Attend a Student Engagement Fair; Go to an Advising Session) or tasks (Submit a Copy of your Resume; Write about your experience as a Student Org Leader) that would be a part of the student experience. You'll want to ensure that you have activities in your Suitable pathway before beginning on Achievements/Badges. Here's some more information on Activities within Suitable.
2. Badge Title + Description - how will you name this badge and describe it to students? What do students need to do to earn this badge? Will students earn some type of incentive for completing this badge? Use these questions to guide you towards the proper title and description to adequately describe the purpose of the badge to your students. Read this article for information on formatting your badge description to catch a student's eye.
3. Student List - for every achievement, you can determine what grouping of students should be able to see this badge. This grouping could be all students in your program, or it could be a specific segmentation. Decide what this group should be before creating your badge, or leave the badge open to No Students to save it as a 'draft' until you're ready to make the badge available. Read on about badge segmentations here.
Grouping Activities into an Achievement/Badge
After gathering all of the above components for your badge, you'll want to decide how students will earn the badge. Will they need to complete a certain amount of points in a competency or level? Will they need to complete certain activities? Do you want to provide students with options for which activities they should complete? Let's break down each of these questions below:
1. Students Need to Complete a Certain Amount of Points in a Competency or Level - Point Total Activities - point total activities, or PTAs, allow you to define a certain number of points that students must complete in a competency(s) or level(s) (or both!) in order to complete that component of the badge. PTAs will automatically pull in all activities from the competencies and levels you defined so students get a clearer picture of what is available to them within the parameters you defined. PTAs are typically used when you'd like to allow students to explore each of the competencies, allowing students more independence in their journey. Read more about PTAs here.
2. Students Need to Complete a Certain Number of Activities, but They Can Choose Which Ones - Experience Sets - experience sets, or containers, allow you to give options to students on what activities they need to complete in order to satisfy a requirement of the badge experience. With this activity type, you'll need to define which activities can be included as options for students, as well as how many options will be required to be completed. You can also use experience sets as an organizational tool if there are multiple sections of your badge that students need to complete. Read more about experience sets here.
3. Students Need to Complete a Defined Set of Activities - Experience Sets or No Grouping - for this option, you have two paths to consider: experience sets or no grouping. Experience sets can include only requirements with no options and is typically used in this fashion if you have multiple sections of activities that need to be completed by students, to keep the badge organized and prevent students from feeling overwhelmed when they view your badge experience. If there aren't a lot of activities, or if you don't have multiple sections of activities that students need to complete in a badge, you can directly add the required activities to the badge without using an experience set.
Keep in mind, you can combine each of these options as well to best suit your student population. Below you'll find an example of a badge experience that combines the PTA option with direct activities:
Forming an Achievement/Badge Experience
After adding your activities into Suitable, working through the required components, and deciding how/if you'd like to group the activities, you're now ready to create your Suitable badge experience for your students! Read this article to walk through the badge creation process, and reach out to your University Success team if you have any questions or would like a review of your first badge. Great job!
If you have additional questions, chat with us below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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