Badges for Lifelong Learning
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Badges for Lifelong Learning
Supported by the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative
Curated by HASTAC
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Badges for Learning Research

Badges for Learning Research | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

What is the current state of research on recognition and accreditation systems for informal and interest-driven learning? In the Badges for Learning Research Collection, we explore some of the opportunities provided by employing badges and other assessment systems in learning communities, some of the dangers, and consider the pressing research questions that need to be addressed.


Over the last year, a  wide-ranging public conversation about potential future applications of badges and the place of badges in our learning ecosystem has captured the attention of educators, technology makers, and researchers. How can current and past research inform these debates?


What are the most important questions we need to raise about the effective design and deployment of badge and reputation systems? What empirical and theoretical research supports and informs the design, development, and deployment of digital badges and badge systems across a diverse range of learning content, institutions, and approaches? 

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grainnehamilton's curator insight, August 1, 2013 4:53 AM

Collection of posts focusing on thinking and questions around Open Badges.

EsdeGroot's curator insight, August 1, 2013 11:15 AM

Need to look into this. Interesting!

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DML Badges Webinars | HASTAC

DML Badges Webinars | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it
The Badges for Lifelong Learning community meets regularly to talk about badges, learning, and the way forward. Join the conversation about Badges by tuning in to this archived series of Webinars by experts and new advocates on effective ...
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How Badges Really Work in Higher Education -- Campus Technology

How Badges Really Work in Higher Education -- Campus Technology | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Badges Get Serious
Digital badges are getting a serious look on many university campuses because they may allow students to demonstrate a greater variety of skills. "A diploma says as much about the institution you attended as it does about you," notes Bill Wisser, instructional designer in the Graduate School of Education (HGSE) at Harvard University (MA). "A portfolio gets more granular, and badges can show individual records of accomplishment."

 

But badges are only as valuable as the metadata behind them, and that is why the Mozilla Open Badges infrastructure is important

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Chris Carter's curator insight, June 21, 2013 12:25 AM

We covered this very issue in one of our recent podcasts, www.podcast.concordiashanghai.org.

Chris Carter's comment, June 21, 2013 7:48 PM
Thank you, Mark, Kenneth, Ginny, and Margaret!
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Recognizing, Supporting, and Attracting Adult Learners with Digital Badges | Dan Hickey

Recognizing, Supporting, and Attracting Adult Learners with Digital Badges | Dan Hickey | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Shifting demographics and workplaces create new needs for non-traditional adult learners. Two responses to these changes have been online learning and certificates. The use of digital badges is another response to these needs that is full of potential.

 

Digital badges offer new ways to recognize and support learning. This means that they also offer new ways of attracting students. When used appropriately, digital badges contain and present compelling evidence of learning and accomplishment. Students will naturally want to share their badges and the information they contain with their friends and colleagues via social networks, Twitter, or even email. This sharing should help programs and schools connect with previously untapped prospective students. In particular, the sharing of digital badges can help specialized programs gain recognition within whatever networks are associated with that specialization. When done right, this sharing should help busy adults who are not actively considering further education to see the value of a particular program.

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The Future is Now: Unpacking Digital Badging and Micro-credentialing for K-20 Educators | HASTAC

The Future is Now: Unpacking Digital Badging and Micro-credentialing for K-20 Educators | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The use of digital badges has myriad implications for faculty preparing future educators, specifically K-16 administrators; potentially, the repercussions of the movement could reverberate throughout K-20 education, as a “disruptive” technology, compelling the rethinking the existing structures and frameworks of education in formal environments. Are digital badges “insurgent credentials” as recently described by Dr. Mike Olneck? (2012). Or could they be a progressive and conciliatory bridge to acknowledge and validate learning in both formal and informal environments?

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Asking Questions About Badges in Higher Ed | HASTAC

Asking Questions About Badges in Higher Ed | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Amy McQuigge’s prompt How can colleges and universities use badges? is a lot more slope of enlightenment and a little less peak of inflated expectations when it comes to badges in higher ed (Looking at you, major media sources.)

The disruptive potential of badges in higher ed makes for compelling headlines, but the real nuts-and-bolts innovation is happening on the ground. I thought I would contribute something to Amy’s question by taking a look at the variety of badge systems being designed for colleges and universities.

By higher ed, I mean universities and colleges as institutions, not only a place where students take classes. In the major news articles, badges are often tossed in the ring with grades, degrees, and credentials, but there are multiple layers of learning going on in higher ed, and that makes universities an interesting sandbox for innovative badge systems. (Cathy Davidson’s Fast Company series on Changing Higher Education to Change the World is a good primer to learn more about innovative ways to think about learning in higher ed.)

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Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition | What Do We Know Now? | Volume 1 | HASTAC

Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition | What Do We Know Now? | Volume 1 | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

A few months back, we rolled out the Badges Competition Project Roadmap during our first grantee townhall webinar, a virtual opportunity for all 30 projects to share knowledge about designing and building their badge systems.

 

Why a project roadmap for grantee badge system design? No one-size-fits-all approach exists for building badge systems, but a roadmap offers useful guideposts to help thread knowledge and provide jumping-off points to spark ideas. Collaboration by difference -- especially the innovative type -- needs a blueprint that can then be adapted, tweaked, revisited, transformed, and yes -- even ignored.

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Announcement of the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition Winners | March 1, 2012 at the Mozilla Science Fair at #DML2012

Announcement of the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition Winners | March 1, 2012 at the Mozilla Science Fair at #DML2012 | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The opening night of the conference will see the naming of the award winners for the MacArthur Foundation-supported fourth annual Digital Media & Learning Competition. Winners will receive awards of up to $200,000. This year’s competition has been designed to encourage individuals and organizations to create new forms of recognition – digital badges that identify, recognize, and account for new skills, competencies, knowledge, and achievements for 21st century learners regardless of where and when learning takes place.

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Building the Badges for Lifelong Learning Movement | HASTAC

Building the Badges for Lifelong Learning Movement | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

An idea like Badges for Learning builds on the ideas of many people. It gets carried forward until it finds the right moment, the right conditions, and the right influencers who can give an idea traction. We can see flickers of the idea in Eva Baker’s End of Testing, and a case for badges in Philipp Schmidt’s peer to peer recognition. Paul Resnick was hinting at the need for portability of reputation in 2000, and of course Xbox launched achievements in 2002. James Gee and the MacArthur Foundation were talking about badges back in 2007, and Mozilla gotinterested in the badge portability piece in 2010. Not quite enough to launch badges into the stratosphere, but an auspicious start to a good idea.

 

Along came the Badges for Lifelong Learning initiative in 2011, which, thanks to the MacArthur Foundation, made the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition possible, and funded Mozilla to roll out its Open Badges Infrastructure. Our early collaborators included NASA, 4-H, Girl Scouts, Microsoft, Intel, Motorola, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, UC Davis, Department of Education, National Manufacturing Institute, Disney, the Smithsonian, the American Library Association and other big organizations that helped create an early badge ecosystem. 

 
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What reputation systems can teach us about badge system design | HASTAC

What reputation systems can teach us about badge system design | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Dan Hickey's recent post Research Design Principles for Studying Learning with Badges  prompted me to reflect on the distinction between reputation systems and credentialing / badge systems. Why does this distinction matter? In part because the research on recommender and reputation systems that underpin the "anywhere, anytime" learning of the Web have much to teach us about how people participate online, how they establish trust, and how they find, define, and measure quality.

 

Likewise, the information science literature has much to learn from education and learning science disciplines. We need both bodies of research (and many others) if we are to design effective badge systems that genuinely make learning better for the maximum number of learners. 

 

The most important reason for this distinction, though, is because there are asymmetric power-law distributions in online reputation systems and by paying attention to what is already known about technology-mediated social participation, we can consider how we might inadvertently replicate inequity through badge system design. Maybe that's a topic for another post. But there is an implied argument among advocates of reputation-based or peer learning that crowdsourcing credentials is better than the traditional system of credentialing.

 

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PascaleHP's curator insight, July 18, 2013 4:29 PM

via DML Competition - need to consider the peer learning/crowdsourcing credentials more than trad ways.

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Website recognizes military skills with digital badges | Inside Higher Ed | Paul Fain

Website recognizes military skills with digital badges | Inside Higher Ed | Paul Fain | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

It can be difficult for veterans to explain the skills and training they received in the military to potential employers. A new website attempts to bridge that gap by giving veterans digital “badges” that recognize their skills.

 

When it goes live next month, BadgesforVets.org will be a résumé translation and job search service. The extensive project, which includes badges representing training in more than 1,000 military jobs, is also a particularly promising foray into digital badging -- a much-hyped, although still nascent, form of alternative credentialing that could conceivably undermine higher education's role as a primary way of signaling skills to employers.



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re-mediating assessment: Introducing Digital Badges Within and Around Universities

re-mediating assessment: Introducing Digital Badges Within and Around Universities | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Sheryl Grant from HASTAC recently posted a detailed summary of resources about uses of digital badges in higher education. It was a very timely post for me as I had been asked to draft just such a brief by an administrator at Indiana University where I work.  Sheryl is the director of social networking for the MacArthur/Gates Badges for Lifelong Learning initiative.  Her job leaves her uniquely knowledgeable about the explosive growth of digital badges in many settings, including colleges and universities.  In this post, I want to explore one of the issues that Sheryl raised about the ways badges are being introduced in higher education, particularly as it relates to Indiana’s Universities.

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What Badge Designers Talk About When They Talk About Badges | Sheryl Grant @ HASTAC

What Badge Designers Talk About When They Talk About Badges | Sheryl Grant @ HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Sixty badge system designers hit the road last month, traveling to Duke University’s Franklin Humanities Institute for the first face-to-face workshop since February when grantees pitched winning badge system proposals to panels of judges at the California Academy of Sciences.


People representing all 30 Badges for Lifelong Learning grantee teams met over two days for working group and break-out sessions, badge system demos, wiki work, and the ever-popular unconference session led by HASTAC’s Ruby Sinreich. Guest speakers included Connie Yowell and An-Me Chung from the MacArthur Foundation, Robert Torres from the Gates Foundation, Todd Edebohls from Inside Jobs (and formerly Amazon.com), Barnett Berry of the Center for, and Mozilla Foundation’s Open Badges crew, including Chris McAvoy, who shone light on the Open Badges Infracture (OBI), and Erin Knight, who gave the first ever presentation on assessment featuring Duke-UNC basketball smack talk.

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Insurgent Credentials: A Challenge to Established Institutions of Higher Education? | Michael Olneck on HASTAC

Insurgent Credentials: A Challenge to Established Institutions of Higher Education? | Michael Olneck on HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Michael frames badges as a disruptive force within higher education, provoking his readers (initially directed towards sociologists) to evaluate the assumptions and norms of traditional institutions to legitimize and certify knowledge and skills. As Michael writes, his paper "establishes the need to develop sociological explanations for recent developments of certification of skill and knowledge mastery as possible substitutes for, or supplements to, conventional college and university degrees."

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2012 Connexions Conference: Recap Part II « The Saylor Foundation

2012 Connexions Conference: Recap Part II « The Saylor Foundation | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Alternative education refers to those students who are excluded from the traditional education system in one way or another. Those students could visit Saylor.org, work their way through all the content they would need to know in order to obtain the equivalent of a degree in a chosen discipline, earn a badge course by course – and eventually obtain a Saylor Graduate Badge. In the “supplementary” scenario, students currently – or formerly – enrolled in accredited institutions could work to acquire badges that would supplement their traditionally acquired credentials.

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Unpacking Badges for Lifelong Learning | HASTAC

Unpacking Badges for Lifelong Learning | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

In the past week since Badges for Lifelong Learning launched, people have written critical, constructive, and positive things about badges, but I haven't come across anything that really unpacks what badges are. I've read that badges are like credentials, related in ways to diplomas and degrees. Grades are sort of like badges, but worse. Badges can function like currency. The word badge tends to elicit memories of Boy Scouts for guys. Badges are shorthand for skills achieved, and can convey rank and reputation. Badges can be completely silly and extremely serious. Gaming is having a good run with badges, and that bugs some people. People like to collect badges. Marketers are getting drunk on badges and should probably chill. Is there some core definition or badge-ness to explain what makes badges unique?

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