Badges can be given by board owners and administrators for any post or comment on a Yellowdig board. Typically these will be used to acknowledge and reward particularly insightful or conversation-generating Pins or Comments. We recommend instructors use them as a way to give their learners a quick "good job" (and a point bonus!). This feedback on posts can be really powerful as a way to reward good discussion and drive better engagement.
To award a badge, instructors simply click on the grayed-out badges accompanying Pins and Comments (as seen below). The badge icon will turn yellow when it is activated and the user who posted the content will be given the currently configured point bonus.
Likewise, everyone following the board will be able to see that the badge has been given, which gives them a model of the kind of content that an instructor wants to see.
Because of the recognition and the point bonus conferred by instructors who use badges, we find that the badges help motivate all users to paste higher quality content that is contributing to the kind of discussion that instructors want to see. Badging posts definitely helps make Yellowdig a more valuable experience for the entire learning community.
Note: All points are rewarded at the time an action is executed according to the set point rules at that time and are NOT changed retroactively if the point system is changed. This does allow you to edit the point system at any time if you need to, though we would typically recommend leaving other parts of the scoring system the same during a course. Editing points for badges can be especially useful because an instructor can assign whatever value they want to a badge just before giving it. If an instructors wants to give a particularly big point bonus or wants to do something like promise students double badge points if they participate at the beginning of the week, it is easy to change the point rewards. Just edit the badge point reward in the points area of the Settings tab, award the badge, and then change the badge point value back to whatever you like.