I am considering adding badges to a course I am developing to try to get the students to try new things, and acknowledge constructive behavior.
I have seen badges employed in two ways:
all of the badges and what you need to do to earn them is described up front (e.g., Stack Exchange)
all or some of the badges are secret until you earn/unlock them
What are the relative strengths and weakness of each of these approaches and which would be better suited to an educational setting?
Edit: To clarify a point made in the answers. The badges will not be tied to the grading/evaluation in any way. They will be used as a bit of fun and motivation just like they are used here on SE. The grading/evaluation will be completely transparent and described in the syllabus.