As I mentioned some time ago during a Mozilla community conversation, when I first heard about badges in spring of 2011, my first reaction was “This is flaky.” That was just an instant reaction, with no content that I could really express. Recently, I mentioned the idea to a faculty colleague. She laughed heartily, and for quite a while. But, she could not articulate why she was laughing. Then, I read in a January, 2012 piece in the Chronicle
by Jeffrey Young (‘Badges’ Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas
) in which Cathy
Davidson is quoted as having at first thought that the idea of badges was “frivolous.”
I am guessing that part of reason for this kind of reaction is the association of badges with Cub Scouts, Brownies, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. But, if that were all there was to it, people could probably recognize and say that.
So, my question is: What accounts for these kinds of reactions? Have you encountered similar reactions when you have introduced friends or colleagues to the idea of badges? Are they able to explain their reactions? Do you have ideas about the sources of these kinds of reactions?
Looking forward to hearing from others about this. (As well as about other kinds of reactions. What do people think and say upon hearing for the first time about badges?)