Making a badge

Here’s a walkthrough for making a badge. We’ll use the accounts and content on the demo site.

A badge is a set of exercises. Students who complete the exercises earn the badge. How does Cyco know whether students have completed exercises? That’s part of the normal grading process.

Let’s create a badge called Apprentice Jokester. To earn it, students have to complete two exercises:

  • Tell a cow joke
  • Tell a dog joke

The exercises are already on the demo site, but let’s go over the creation process anyway.

Make the exercises

Log in as an author, go to the control panel, and create an exercise:

Add an exercise

Give the exercise a title and internal name:

Exercise title

The internal name is how you’ll refer to the exercise when you insert it into content, copy it to another Cycourse, etc.

Now add the body of the exercise:

Exercise body

This one has a pseudent, as you can see.

The exercise needs a rubric, that is, a set of criteria graders will use to give feedback. There are two for this exercise:

Rubric items

Each rubric item has responses graders can use to evaluate submissions, like this:

Rubric item

This one just has one response in each evaluation category. The other rubric item has more:

Rubric item

Now let’s create a page, and insert the exercises into it:

Editing a page

Note: the demo already has the exercises and page set up. You can try them there.

Here’s the exercise, as students see it:

Cow joke exercise

Here’s the other exercise:

Dog joke exercise

Its rubric items are:

  • About a dog
  • Funny

Does this seem a lot of effort to create a badge? It’s not. Exercises are created anyway, as part of the normal process of creating a Cycourse.

Define the badge

Go to the control panel, and add the badge:

Add badge

Give the badge a title and a machine name. Cyco will use the machine name when it works with an Open Badges server.

Badge title

Enter a description of the badge:


The word “badgee” may not exist, but it brings “badger” to mind. That’s funny!

Specify the exercises that make up the badge:

Exercises that make up the badge

Now you need to upload two images. One is the image to show when a student hasn’t earned the badge yet:


The other is the image to show that the badge has been earned:


That’s it. We have the badge.

Submitting and grading the exercises

Suppose a student logs in and does both exercises. A grader grades them, marking both complete:


Cyco’s badge module uses the complete checkmarks to award students badges.

Students get their badges

The next time the student logs in, this shows up for a few seconds:

Badge notification

Yahoo! The 10 in the upper right is the number of points the badge is worth, and the #1 the student’s position on a leaderboard. This has to do with gamification.

Adding to an Open Badge backpack

The student goes to his/her account page:

Go to account page

There’s a badge tab there. The student clicks on it. S/he sees a list of earned badges, plus an icon to add the badges to his/her Open Badges backpack:

Earned badges

The student clicks it, and sees:

Send badge to backpack

The student clicks the button, and sees:

Persona login

Mozilla uses an authentication system called Persona. For the badge to be sent, the email address the student uses for Persona must be the same as the email address s/he used when registering with the Cycourse. That’s how the two synchronize.

Note: if you want to use the Cyco demo to earn the badge, edit a student account to use your backpack email address. Log in as one of the students, and make the change. You should change the email address back to something fake when you are done. If you forget, your email address will be in the demo until it resets itself at midnight, EST.

Once the student gives his/her Persona username and password, s/he sees:

Accept badge?

When the student clicks Yes, the badge is added to his/her backpack:

Badge in backpack

Now the Whole World will know that the student is an Apprentice Jokester!


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