Open Badges are a method, proposed by the Mozilla Foundation, to recognise skill acquisition and ‘informal’ learning, particularly as part of Lifelong Learning. However, there is also significant potential in the formal education sector. This paper outlines a project at City University London to identify whether Open Badges should be supported across the institution, and includes some possible uses for badges. The project involved interviewing staff and conducting focus groups with students to understand their needs and level of interest. The paper includes some anticipated and actual findings from the research and summarises the subsequent work being undertaken as a result of the project. The findings of this project could be used by other institutions considering the use of Open Badges in their own context.
Open Badges are online indicators of skills learned inside or outside the classroom. In order to understand how badges might be used to support learning and development in higher education, Ian Glover and Farzana Latif have been looking into the uptake of these badges. There is a desire for broader mechanisms like badges to help students promote their own unique set of skills, knowledge and experience.
Digital ‘Badges’ Emerge as Part of Credentialing’s Future By Frank Catalano
For decades, the most common form of a professional or educational credential has been a paper certificate (or, for college graduates of a certain age, a “sheepskin” on parchment).
That is changing in a small, but significant, way. Due to a combination of foundation activity and technology standards, the digital “badge” is rapidly gaining traction as a new representation of a credential and has the potential to become an accepted marker of knowledge, skills or achievements — up to, and including, professional credentials.
Recognition is one of the biggest motivators for people. Being singled out for excellence among your peers is incredibly motivating. For many years, badges, pins, medals, plaques and other pieces of paper have been given to people to recognize their achievements.
However, it is hard to share this recognition with others in a virtual way. Especially on your website, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or other social networks
Thanks to the Mozilla Foundation, we have a better better way: Digital Badges! Continue reading →
Micro-credentialing can provide ways to acknowledge an individual’s completion of work, whether it is a noncredit course, a seminar, or other professional learning. Below are resources that explore various ways credentials, including digital badges, are being used by institutions of higher education.
I was exchanging some emails with an a esteemed educational researcher and administrator about our Big Open Online Course on Educational Assessment and open courses in general and mentioned badges. In his reply he asked, "what do you mean by 'badges'?" After an amazing day of progress working with digital badges yesterday, it was a nice reminder of just how new this concept is. So I figured I would reply with a basic explanation and provide some timely updates on one aspect of our badges work. Digital badges are web-enabled credentials. Unlike traditional grades, transcripts, certificates, etc., badges can contain specific claims about accomplishments, along with detailed evidence (and links to more evidence) in support of those claims.
The concept of digital badges, as an important means to motivate and reward achievement, is appearing in industries ranging from education all the way to retail. In the preceding blog on the topic, Will Digital Badges Replace Resumes… and Diplomas?, we discussed two distinct benefits: motivation and certification. The motivating element in badging derives in part from gamification which has special resonance with Gen C. The certification aspect provides widely-accepted recognition to an individual’s development. Looking into the progress and adoption of digital badges, I’ve found a common theme of encouraging individual engagement in the creative ways industries are utilizing badges.
Higher education has been a leading adopter of digital badge systems for student development and learning recognition as the educational environment evolves to a hybrid online / on-campus setting. This hybrid environment has created a new outlet for students to learn and build their skills, but presents a challenge for motivating and recognizing student achievement. Companies including Blackboard and Pearson, along with universities such as Purdue and Quinnipiac, are developing innovative uses of digital badging to meet this challenge.
A digital badge is a validated indicator of accomplishment, skill, quality, or interest that can be earned in many learning environments. Open badging makes it easy for anyone to issue, earn, and display badges across the web—through a shared infrastructure that's free and open to all.
The world is changing fast and, today more than ever, traditional modes of assessment fail to capture the learning that happens everywhere and at every age. Digital badges are a powerful new tool for identifying and validating the rich array of people's skills, knowledge, accomplishments, and competencies. Digital badges inspire new pathways to learning and connect learners to opportunities, resources, and one another.
I pulled together some additional resources for folks attending the Advancing Learning 2014 conference at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. To make it easy for people to dig deeper into some of the resources I mention during my presentation, I've pulled them together and posted them here. Feel free to post any question, comments, or additional resources related to badges in higher ed.
We owe it to the future to develop the purposeful leadership needed to use technology and technology standards now to unlock the human ingenuity that will create high-tech reductions in the cost structures of educating and high-touch personalization in the human quest for learning. Further, we will have to overcome the natural impulse to resist change by thinking globally about the Wellsian challenge, while ensuring that local results can add up to global solutions. Can we cooperate locally and globally through the proposed ELC to realize a vision and mission along the lines that you might have guessed would conclude this essay?
Ask anyone in international education and you will hear the same story: the world of higher education is changing! Between online courses, online degrees, MOOCs, and joint degrees melded into changing political currents, concerns over loss of local intellectual talent (brain drain), the cost of education, and others, the future of international education — while even more critical than ever — is an unchartered road.
Teachers earn credentials at the beginning of their careers, but they learn new skills every day. Through our micro-credentialing for professional educators initiative, Digital Promise is building a coalition of educators and partners to develop a micro-credentialing system that provides teachers with the opportunity to gain recognition for skills they master throughout their careers.
As an emerging professional development strategy, teacher micro-credentialing can enable our public education system to continuously identify, capture, recognize, and share the best practices of America’s educators so all teachers can hone their existing skills and learn new ones.
Key TakeawaysExtending low-cost, quality educational opportunities was the focus of the recent "Badges to Breakthroughs" panel session at EDUCAUSE 2013.Here, session participants offer individual summaries of their views on positioning MOOCs, exploring personalized learning, and examining how badges can provide value in the stakeholder ecosystem.Taken together, their perspectives illustrate the many breakthroughs occurring that both activate learner potential and validate alternative learning credentials.
A digital diploma could serve as a record of a person's life, organized around the awarding of different diplomas indicating various levels of educational achievement.
The owner of the diploma could add family and personal history, including events, people, and places important to his or her life story.
Publicly available digital diplomas could inform future generations as well as the current one, highlighting good and bad episodes in a person's life and serving as a resource for future research into communities and events.
It's not easy to write about badges -- they touch on so many social norms that we take for granted, and that means unpacking assumptions about things like assessment, credentials, and accreditation -- but Paul Fain knocked it out of the park with his latest article about the UC-Davis Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Badge System in Insider Higher Ed.
Blackboard, Mozilla, Sage Road Solutions, and WCET have initiated an international discussion on the role of badges as a new currency of exchange for high value, post-secondary credentials for professionals. Using a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) format for this highly collaborative discussion, we are exploring the ecosystem for a new credential economy based on badges and requirements for adopting such an approach