Now that Reilly and Caitlin have designed a compelling new badge system, Reilly and I have begun setting up the badges on the site. We have carefully designed the code in a way to include the non-one-to-one mapping of skills (such as coding skills, community skills), which affect badges but are not always directly alligned with them. Hopefully, when Patrick's world tests become live on the API, we will be able to grab his code and run with it to determine what skills a user has successfully demonstrated with his or her shared world. Once this final piece falls into place, users will be able to earn badges based on their world submissions and actions, and we (Looking Glass) will be able to more intelligently guide the user's learning experience (which will definitely help Mary's magic sort; I love how it all fits together!).
This week, I began implementing badge challenges. A few weeks ago I proposed the idea of badge challenges. I have been trying to design a way for badges to easily migrate from the community to the Looking Glass IDE, and challenges seem to provide a compelling bridge. Badge challenges will act much the same way as the user challenges already implemented, including an entries page on the site, provided code and scene setup, and a prompt. However, badge challenges will be designed to specifically guide the user with an ideal scenario to earn a specific badge.
Challenges would provide compelling context for why a specific badge skill is useful. For example, one badge might prompt the user to work with multiple characters using a "for each in together", and so a fitting badge challenge might suggest that the user complete a line dance scene with four boys and four girls, giving them the context for which a "for each in together" is ideal and allowing them to bypass the scene set up and brainstorming processes.
Challenges also serve badges by providing an easy way to view other worlds submitted to earn a specific badge. The challenge page would give the user examples of how the required skill set to earn a badge served to make the submitted challenge entries complete. These examples can be directly observed through remixing, since the badge system will encourage remixing to earn a "first round" of a badge.
Challenges provide information to the IDE and to the user about what a user is supposedly building. Challenge prompts, available within the IDE, remind the user what goal they are working toward. They could also display which coding structures and actions are necessary to earn the selected badge, either by listing them in challenge info or highlighting them within the IDE.
Last, challenges are highly prominent within the IDE. Including the concept of badge challenges would render badges prominent within the IDE, as well.
Some questions remain. Badge challenges are not a requirement to earn a badge, so what is the solution for making badges prominent for users who want to earn them with their own custom worlds? How can they easily compare to and remix from fellow badge entries? Some of these design details for a help badge page still need to be ironed out.