By Jessica Knott
Today, we hear a lot on education blogs and in conference presentations about gamification and badging, especially in regard to how they challenge the current LMS structure and effectiveness. Purdue University has developed Passport, an app that blurs the line between LMSs, game environments, and e-portfolios.
Passport offers learning activities to students as a series of challenges rather than your typical pedagogical narrative.
“Digital badges create a new common currency for learning that enables us to identify smaller units of learning,” says Kyle Bowen, director of informatics for Information Technology. “Passport connects badges with an LMS-like interaction. In a ‘choose your own adventure’ style, students can self-select how to complete each challenge. Once complete, students are awarded digital badges that they can share as part of an online and mobile portfolio.”
Development on Passport began in May of 2012, and it was released in August of the same year. According to Bowen, developers are partnering with faculty members using the product to “assess the impact related to their use in an effort to find effective practices to teaching with digital badges.”
Purdue’s Studio projects have served as a mechanism for their initial immersion in the mobile market, and they are currently experimenting with the Passport Profile iPad app as a portfolio that can be used to demonstrate student work in interviews, meetings, and job fairs. Bowen notes that Passport is primarily a Web platform, and the Passport Profile portfolio app is currently the only component that is unique to mobile devices. The same functionality is also available online.
Passport is currently in a limited beta, and interested parties are invited to throw their hat into the ring. Bowen also invites those with passing interest to log in and try Passport for themselves. Two challenges have been provided to get you started in understanding how Passport works.
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