Certification and Mentoring Systems
A screen grab from the Certification System in socialPsych appears on the right. In this image, you can see the badges associated with each level of accomplishment in the Certification System. In socialPsych, students were able to complete one 10-question multiple-choice certification exam per course area every 4 days. To reach the maximum rank during the summer semester, it would thus take a minimum of 20 days - assuming that the student passed every exam, which became increasingly difficult to do as higher ranks were reached. To maximize participation, there was no punishment associated with failing an exam - students could never lose a rank.
When a student reached a new rank, that rank would appear in two places: 1) their profile and 2) whenever they chatted in a course discussion area associated with that test. For example, the student in this picture has completed Newbie rank in Lifespan Development. Thus, any time this student posted a comment in the Lifespan Development discussion area, the earned badge would appear next to their name.
The question database was taken from course textbooks associated with each course. For the SOCL Project, new question sets will have to be created for any participating institutions. For the most widely represented departments involved in the project, core question sets will be generated as a standard available unit.
The Mentoring System was closely integrated with the Certification System. In this system, students who had successfully reach higher ranks in the Certification System could volunteer themselves as mentors to other students within those course areas. Any student could request a mentor. A matchmaking system then associated mentors and mentees, encouraging them to send a direct message within the system once a match was found. Especially considering the short time students would have had high ranks in this system, this system was also enthusiastically adopted.