Designing digital badges for educational games: The impact of badge type on student motivation and learning

Melissa L. Biles, Jan L. Plass, Bruce D. Homer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Findings from two studies on the design of digital badges for a middle school geometry game and their impact on motivational and cognitive learning outcomes are reported. Study 1 compared the effect of badges in the game to a group with no badges. Badges did not increase posttest performance for all. Learners with high situational interest performed better with badges, learners with low situational interest performed worse with badges. Study 2 compared mastery goal orientation badges with performance goal orientation badges. The interaction of condition and situational interest from Study 1 was replicated. Furthermore, students receiving performance badges performed better on the posttest than students in the mastery badges condition; the no-badges condition was not different from either of the other conditions. Results suggest badges do not always help in educational video games: Types of badges interact with students’ interest and motivation to affect learning outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Achievement
  • Badges
  • Game-Based Learning
  • Goal Orientation
  • Incentive systems
  • Motivation
  • Situational interest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications


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