The NGSS Design Badge is awarded to top-rated science lessons and units designed for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learn more about the digital badge below.
NextGenScience awards a digital badge called the “NGSS Design Badge” to science lessons and units designed for the NGSS that have earned the highest rating on the Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) Rubric for Science based on a review conducted by NextGenScience or its Science Peer Review Panel. The digital badge includes a logo, the name of the materials, the date the badge was awarded, and a “Verify” button. When a user clicks on the digital badge to verify its authenticity, the badge is embedded with a full EQuIP Rubric for Science report that details the criterion-based evidence and suggestions for improvement for each of the criteria of the rubric.
Many science instructional materials claim to be aligned to the NGSS with little to no evidence. The quality control that NextGenScience’s review process provides helps educators make smarter decisions about which instructional materials to use. The NGSS Design Badge provides an easy way for consumers to be assured that a unit — whether it was found online for free or purchased from a big publisher — is designed for the NGSS. By making this award a digital badge with embedded, detailed feedback, the evidence for why the badge was awarded follows the badge wherever it goes. It's critical that educators not only know that it is designed for the NGSS, but what evidence supports this claim.
The NGSS Design Badge will give also publishers and developers a way to demonstrate to potential customers that their materials are high-quality and designed for the NGSS. By having their materials reviewed, developers can potentially earn a badge and advertise that their materials are some of the top rated in the field.
To earn this digital badge, instructional materials must be reviewed either by NextGenScience (for proprietary materials or materials in development) or its Science Peer Review Panel (for free and publicly available materials) and earn the highest rating on the EQuIP Rubric for Science. The EQuIP Rubric for Science provides criteria for measuring the degree to which lessons and units are designed for the NGSS. The highest rating, “E: Example of high-quality NGSS design,” indicates a high-quality design for the NGSS across all three categories of the EQuIP Rubric: I) NGSS 3D Design, II) NGSS Instructional Supports, and III) Monitoring NGSS Student Progress. Achieve (now NextGenScience) coordinated the development of the EQuIP Rubric for Science after facilitating the development of the the NGSS, and the rubric has widespread adoption in the field.
Each digital badge awarded is an Open Badge issued via Badgr, meaning that each badge is digitally verifiable. By clicking on the badge image, a consumer will see information about the awarded lesson or unit, a link to the complete EQuIP review of those materials that describes the evidence associated with earning the NGSS Design Badge, and a link to a list of all other materials that have earned the badge. Each badge will be accompanied with the name of the awarded materials and date awarded for immediate recognition.
This also represents one of the first times that a digital badge is being awarded to a resource for its high-quality rather than to an individual for skills they have learned or acquired — new technology Concentric Sky has developed just for the NGSS Design Badge.
NextGenScience's priority is to minimize the opportunity for fraudulent badges. Because we use Open Badges, we can rely on the underlying technology standard to ensure our badges are fully verifiable. Each badge is verifiable as described above — if you see a badge that is merely an image and not a clickable link, it may not be authentic. Along with the verifiable nature of the badge, a list of all materials that have earned the NGSS Design Badge can be found here. If you see a badge that isn’t on this list, proceed with caution.
This is significant for both the the education and technology sectors. While recommendation lists exist for science instructional materials, this the first time digital badges will be awarded to specific instructional materials. This seal of approval can be placed on the developer’s website or on the resources themselves for educators to see.
The word “designed” is intentionally used rather than “aligned” because alignment has come to represent a practice that is insufficient to address the innovations in these standards. The common approach to alignment assumes that matching content between the language of the standards and the instructional materials is sufficient for ensuring that students meet the standards; however, the NGSS Innovations cannot be supported by instructional materials that just have the same pieces and words as the standards. Thus, the word “designed” was chosen because it reflects the degree to which the innovations represented by the standards are a foundational aspect of both the organization and content of the instructional materials.
Check out the NGSS Design Badge Materials Page to see a list of all lessons and units that have earned the badge here.
To learn more, see the Badge Webinar recording here.