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Joe Grimm

JRN491: Brand You: Public Relations Topics in Journalism
Honorable Mention - Enhanced
“Gamifying Desire2Learn with badging”
- Joe Grimm -

This fully online course focuses on the principles of digital career branding, teaching strategies to help students obtain post-college jobs using the three major career-related social networks: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. The overarching goal of this course is to provide students a hands-on experience in which they create their own digital brand, rather than relying upon theoretical ideas. Activities in the course are designed with this idea in mind: “If they DO, they will LEARN.”

Using gaming language and digital badging to turn Desire2Learn into an environment that incentivizes the learning experience and engages students in learning, course values and objectives are repeatedly reinforced as each activity is completed. Badges were intended as a motivator for course completion, and most students earned more than the 90 points required in order to ace the course.

The first level of badges is basic, received when assignments are properly executed, and are associated with lower point values. Once students have earned enough badge points to “play” at the second level, they are rewarded with more demanding assignments, associated with badges carrying higher point values. Earned achievement badges are posted to individual “badge boards” where students can view the rewards they have earned based upon the tasks and assignments they have completed. Due to confidentiality requirements, these boards are not displayed publically. Often students wish for a more public display mechanism for the badges they earn, so we created a LinkedIn group with a badge of its own, where students can pin their badges to their LinkedIn accounts as a public sign that they successfully completed this course.

Example badges:

No Egg on My Facebook Badge (5): Rid Facebook of embarrassing pictures and posts. Maybe something that went on your page a couple years ago does not reflect well on you in the career market. Get rid of that. Earn this badge by reporting on how much you cleared off your wall and why.
Lesson: Needs, interests, values and maturity grow. Facebook and other platforms archive the way we were, sometimes to the detriment of who we are. Check your online reputation regularly, including what you say and what others say about you.
Benefit: Past is past. Keep refocusing on where you are and where you are going. Don't left things you posted in your past be egg on your face today.

Sign on the Line Badge: (5) Make your email signer work for you. Use it strategically. Besides your name, it ought to contain a compelling phrase about what you do, a way to contact you and a link to your online resume, profile or LinkedIn page. If you can show a sense of humor or passion and stick to five lines or fewer, throw that in, too.
Lesson: The key to brand communications is consistency. Using your signer, an automatic action, to help further your brand just makes sense and replaces a weak or non-descriptive signer. Links can even make every email you send useful to people who might want to reach you.
Benefit: This is a simple practice that you can do throughout your career.

Technologies included in this course:

OTHER TEAM MEMBERS:

Emily Brozovic, IT Services Teaching and Learning, Instructional Design, Graphic Design, Development