Anecdote of Badges Encouraging Tutoring

When it comes to biology, Catherine Lacey is a Level 40 Hero. That's her ranking on OpenStudy, where the University of Western Australia student spends up to 30 hours per week answering homework questions posed by students around the world. The level indicates time spent on the site, and Hero is the hardest-to-attain badge. If you think of helping with homework as a game, she's got the high score.

The 20-year-old first stumbled upon the OpenStudy site while surfing the Web. She was hooked after an answer she tossed out yielded an online medal signaling that her knowledge had served as a lifeline to a struggling student. "I said, Wow, people think I'm smart," she recalls. As she spent more time on the site, "achievements start popping up," she says. Now her online persona on OpenStudy, TranceNova, has racked up a page of merit badges, including one for helping people with MIT open biology courses.

She receives no pay for all the time she logs on the site. A paycheck would be "an honor" but would make the experience feel like toil, she told me. "I don't see it as a labor, I see it as no different than going out to the movies with friends." Going out with friends is one thing she doesn't do much (calling herself "not that social"), so for Ms. Lacey the site is an important outlet.


A student is motivated to tutor on a website that awards badges. Two takeaways from this: (1) award badges for mentoring and (2) award badges for content creation. Also, award points that can be spent in moderating like slashdot.

Folksonomies: education gamification mentoring

/sports/surfing and bodyboarding (0.500243)
/science/mathematics/statistics (0.433571)
/science/biology (0.410626)

Badges Encouraging Tutoring (0.994113 (positive:0.887142)), award badges (0.864101 (neutral:0.000000)), Western Australia student (0.779757 (negative:-0.433869)), open biology courses (0.725686 (positive:0.433600)), merit badges (0.606294 (positive:0.475898)), Catherine Lacey (0.563744 (positive:0.350176)), answering homework (0.557306 (negative:-0.433869)), content creation (0.553764 (neutral:0.000000)), award points (0.530021 (negative:-0.264963)), hardest-to-attain badge (0.523172 (positive:0.312344)), Ms. Lacey (0.522135 (positive:0.456560)), high score (0.518687 (neutral:0.000000)), struggling student (0.503709 (negative:-0.564332)), online medal (0.501949 (negative:-0.564332)), online persona (0.500579 (positive:0.228626)), important outlet (0.496273 (positive:0.456560)), OpenStudy site (0.494262 (neutral:0.000000)), time (0.356788 (negative:-0.443614)), Hero (0.338711 (positive:0.331260)), level (0.315869 (positive:0.350176)), takeaways (0.310833 (positive:0.278271)), people (0.299693 (positive:0.495021)), friends (0.296259 (negative:-0.376274)), Anecdote (0.291331 (positive:0.887142)), paycheck (0.269325 (negative:-0.499710)), lifeline (0.267661 (negative:-0.564332)), website (0.263085 (positive:0.887142)), University (0.257188 (negative:-0.433869)), students (0.256852 (negative:-0.433869)), world (0.256793 (negative:-0.433869))

Catherine Lacey:Person (0.853348 (positive:0.385637)), OpenStudy:Company (0.386440 (neutral:0.000000)), University of Western Australia:Organization (0.375259 (negative:-0.433869)), slashdot:Company (0.373128 (negative:-0.264963)), MIT:Organization (0.362285 (positive:0.433600)), 30 hours:Quantity (0.362285 (neutral:0.000000)), 20-year:Quantity (0.362285 (neutral:0.000000))

Answer (0.903249): dbpedia | freebase
Catherine Lacey (0.875760): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Badge (0.872769): dbpedia | freebase
Tutor (0.870008): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Tutorial (0.791288): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 'Badges' Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Young, Jeffrey R. (January 8, 2012), 'Badges' Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas, Retrieved on 2013-12-27
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: education gamification


    13 MAR 2014


    Memes about getting kids as engaged with academic studies as the are with video games.