Badges of Friendship: Social Influence and Badge Acquisition on Stack Overflow

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Badges can provide a number of advantages to networked, self-directed learners, including making visible social networks of support and direction. If badges do allow for this, we would expect to see badge acquisition to be predicted by the presence of a particular badge among a learner’s social connections.

In examining the badges and “tags” used on the question-and-answer site Stack Overflow. We find that the more general badges are closely related to tenure on the site, while the numerous “tag” badges provide for more socially-determined differentiation.

The emergence of connected learning environments has influenced the degree to which we consider social connections always important to the process of learning to be especially vital to the process of creating personal learning networks and environments.
Source: IEEE
Authors: Alexander Halavais | K. Hazel Kwon | Shannon Havener | Jason Striker

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