Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education
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Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education
Digital badges are used to provide incentives and grant certification for informal learning.
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Curtin Badges

Curtin Badges | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it

A digital badge is an online indicator of an accomplishment or affiliation that contains links that help explain the context, meaning, processes and results of learning engagements.

 

Badges can be outward or internal facing markers of achievement. When displayed to the world, a badge reflects one’s skills and capabilities; and carries the university’s reputation for quality teaching and learning. When used internally, a badge indicates passing a milestone along a journey toward a goal.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Curtin University at the bleeding edge of development and application of Digital Badging strategies.  

 

Recent paper on the topic here: 

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10639-013-9291-7/fulltext.html

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The technology of higher education

The technology of higher education | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
Unbundling doesn’t mean liberal arts will disappear. It may be that liberal arts courses provide high-value competencies that predict career success across many professions. But it does mean that revenue per student will decline, and that colleges and universities will need to work a lot harder and be a lot more creative to capture the lifetime value of student-consumers. No longer will students fork over $200,000 in tuition for a standard four-year bundle. Postsecondary education will become increasingly affordable. Completion rates will rise. Placement will improve.  This is how technology will ultimately disrupt higher education.

While this seems like the stuff of science fiction, it is not far off. Millions of new job descriptions are posted online every month. Colleges and universities are issuing millions of micro-credentials, millions of students are posting work in e-portfolios. Thousands of employers use Applicant Tracking Systems that are transitioning to Applicant Information Systems.
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A standards strategy for stackable global credentials | Christensen Institute

A standards strategy for stackable global credentials | Christensen Institute | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it

Last week, I wrote about the need for stackable global credentials in order to meet the quickly growing international demand for higher education. Globally, the lack of interoperability standards between alternative and traditional educational systems may be the single most significant barrier to making education accessible to the poor, particularly in the developing world. 


How might an interoperable educational system work? To imagine such a system, we need to understand how the parts of the system ought to fit together—much like Legos do. In the traditional educational system, degrees are monolithic bundles similar to Tonka trucks that cannot easily be broken into components unlike a Lego truck that can be broken into components and reassembled into different combinations. If there were interoperable standards in education, like there are Lego blocks, the system would give way to a variety of educational products: people could buy individual lessons or courses (individual Lego blocks); purchase modular degrees, certifications, and other learning bundles (Lego kits); or attend comprehensive modular universities (Lego cities).

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Demystifying the blockchain: a basic user guide

Demystifying the blockchain: a basic user guide | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
Companies around the world are exploring blockchain, the technology underpinning digital currency bitcoin. In this Blockchain unleashed series, we investigate the many possible use cases for the blockchain, from the novel to the transformative.

Most people agree we do not need to know how a television works to enjoy using one. This is true of many existing and emerging technologies. Most of us happily drive cars, use mobile phones and send emails without knowing how they work. With this in mind, here is a tech-free user guide to the blockchain - the technology infrastructure behind bitcoin, and many other emerging platforms.

What does the blockchain do?

The blockchain is software that stores and transfers value or data across the internet.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
The introduction of blockchain technology to education presents some really opportunities for disruption of many systems - credentialling is one area under scrutiny at the moment...  

consider -

upload some work to blockchain and allow assessment to conducted blind by not only peers and mentors but also by the world at large... 
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Alternative Credentialing - USA

Alternative Credentialing - USA | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
To thrive in today’s fast-evolving job market, students need flexible ways to quickly develop and demonstrate new skills. Alternative credentialing helps solve this problem.

UPCEA and Pearson surveyed 190 institutions to determine the role alternative credentials play in higher education. Learn more about the key findings and download the complete report, Demographic Shifts in Educational Demand and the Rise of Alternative Credentials.
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Nadya's Story | Assessment as Bitcoin

Nadya's Story | Assessment as Bitcoin | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
The blockchain technology we use to store all of our data and projects allows community partners and leaders we trust to review our portfolios (anonymously, or course), and give us feedback and rate our competencies, which add up to badges, which add up to credentials. To me, that's much more useful and reliable than a teacher giving me a grade. UA's competency trackers are always adding new experiences in the database, which helps us find vetted learning experiences that can help us build whatever skills we need; that's how we found the Toastmasters coaches. We have no trouble finding what we need to learn, especially with how much is on the Internet.
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A Philosophy of Open Digital Badges | James E. Willis III , Kim Flintoff, Bridget McGraw

A Philosophy of Open Digital Badges | James E. Willis III , Kim Flintoff, Bridget McGraw | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it

Chapter just published in this new book.

Abstract


One of the most promising educational technology tools, open digital badges, is quickly changing curricula, job acquisition, and workforce credentialing. Learning data, assessments, and expert validation made accessible in social media create a transparency that may well be suited for critical questions in education. Operating from a framework of establishing how badges are currently employed in learning—the influential contexts of individuals and communities, and data aggregation—raises questions concerning the roles of instructors, badge providers, and learning management systems. This “philosophy” of digital badges addresses a variety of epistemological concerns including the intersection of challenges to conventional educational motivation, suggestions of how Platonic and modern models of education are complementary, and implications of how badges may represent postmodern credentialing systems. These concerns are framed around understanding how current work in digital badges can feasibly transform learning; this is both an acknowledgment of how badges are beginning to change ecosystems of informal and formal learning as well as an attempt to demonstrate how an epistemological philosophy of badges can change educators’ thinking and accelerate innovation.


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Open BlockChain

Open BlockChain | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
“We envision a world in which the awarding and validation of qualifications no longer occur exclusively under the management of an education institution or an employer and individual students, teachers, and peers take more ownership of the learning experience and its outcomes without compromising on safety, security, and accessibility. The centralised model of the present is no longer sustainable: learning happens increasingly outside the brick-and-mortar lecture halls of schools, colleges, and universities on online platforms, within communities of like-minded individuals, or by contributing to projects and initiatives in the real-world. Learning is far more international than it used to be: key education players open campuses abroad, while students travel to different countries to improve their employability prospects. In the networked, digitally empowered world of the 21st century, education providers often do not have remit or in fact the means and capacity to cover the range of activities learners engage with, which attest their achievements, knowledge, and skills.” – (John Domingue, Director of KMi)
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Credentials Reform: How Technology and the Changing Needs of the Workforce Will Create the Higher Education System of the Future

Credentials Reform: How Technology and the Changing Needs of the Workforce Will Create the Higher Education System of the Future | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
The shift in postsecondary credentialing and the needs of the 21st-century workforce will revolutionize higher education. Colleges and universities have vast potential to be positive agents of this change.


While the modern technology revolution has reshaped nearly every sector of society, higher education has managed to retain its fundamental structure from centuries ago. The U.S. postsecondary landscape is still largely dominated by brick-and-mortar colleges and universities where progress is marked by time spent in a classroom and is denoted by highly simplified transcripts controlled by the institutions awarding them.
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Hiring Experts Still Mostly Boggled by Digital Credentials -- Campus Technology

Hiring Experts Still Mostly Boggled by Digital Credentials -- Campus Technology | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
The future for digital credentials is still a bit foggy. A new survey on the topic found that just over a third (36 percent) of people involved in human resources and talent management have any knowledge of the topic. Only a quarter of those surveyed have already begun using digital credentials, such as badges, in their recruitment or hiring processes.
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re-mediating assessment: 2016 AAEEBL Midwest Meeting Keynote: Open Badges + ePortfolios: Searching for and Supporting Synergy

re-mediating assessment: 2016 AAEEBL Midwest Meeting Keynote: Open Badges + ePortfolios: Searching for and Supporting Synergy | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
This is a brief report and link to a slideshare from the keynote address at the 2016 Midwest Meeting of the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence Based Learning.  It summarizes potential synergy between these two important educational technologies, as well as progress towards this synergy by the seven leading eportfolio platforms and between AAEEBL, the Open Badges in Higher Education Project, and the Badge Alliance.
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Learning Machine, Credly Partner on Competency-Based Admissions -- Campus Technology

Learning Machine has integrated Credly's digital credentials with its enrollment management and portfolio platforms.
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Developing Networked Badging Systems

Developing Networked Badging SystemsHASTAC Badges Competition Webinar October 24, 2012 Daria Ng, Senior Program Associate Joliz Cedeño, Pro…
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Giving Teachers The Freedom To Fail

Giving Teachers The Freedom To Fail | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
If teachers are expected to design and build innovative learning cultures for their students, it is critical that they learn in trusted spaces that allow them to experiment and fail.

Teachers should be able to choose learning pathways that build upon their existing knowledge, experiences and interests, and support their goals for their students. Most importantly, if teachers are expected to design and build innovative learning cultures for their students, it is critical that they learn in trusted spaces that allow them to experiment and fail.

In recent years, disruptive technologies that support alternative credentialing (e.g., digital badges) have introduced the possibility of transitioning to a competency-based system for professional learning. However, a systemic overhaul is necessary for these new micro-credentialing systems to work, allowing districts and teachers to recognize the value of badges to demonstrate the implementation of professional learning — a critical component for effective PD.

Currently, most badges and/or micro-credentials equate to Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and these, in turn, equate to seat time. This is an important first step, but cannot be the only step. Badges and micro-credentials should unlock further learning opportunities and be awarded based on competency. Most importantly, they need to provide teachers with more benefits than a CEU credit hour, which is received at a traditional workshop with little demonstration of learning outcomes or implementation in the classroom.

Professional development should focus on providing teachers with support, research and tools that allow them a choice in what they make, and how they demonstrate the teaching and learning that best reflects the complexity of these processes.
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Oregon Tech Online Launches Digital Badges -- Campus Technology

Oregon Tech Online Launches Digital Badges -- Campus Technology | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
Oregon Tech Online is currently offering more than 20 badges in several areas, including Healthcare and Information Technology, but any course, series or courses, or assessment-based offering at the institution is "badge-able." For instance, "It is possible to develop a badge for an exam, an award, successful completion of a coding 'boot camp,' or to reflect a specific skill set students may achieve at a certain point in their college career," according to a statement from the school. Badges are awarded for "excelling enough to be deemed proficient at the skill," and can be stacked to show specializations.

Awarded electronically, the badges can be displayed on LinkedIn, social media, e-portfolios, electronic resumes, websites or other formats. Each badge is linked to a specific skill set and verified by Oregon Tech, allowing potential employers to view a student's capabilities without having to obtain transcripts. Badges are tagged so that they can be searched by skill area. Employers can even work with the university to design badging "groups" that identify step raises or advancement opportunities for employees.
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Four Questions For Lawrence Lundy about the blockchain & the future of education — Badge Chain — Medium

Four Questions For Lawrence Lundy about the blockchain & the future of education - Badge Chain - Medium

This episode contains a brief discussion with Lawrence Lundy about the blockchain and the future of education. Lawrence is the Head of Research and Partnerships at Outlier Ventures.


1.  How do you define the blockchain and these related technologies?  How do you see it relating to AI, IoT, and other technologies?

2.  You indicated in your Medium post that you believe blockchain technologies present “the most significant democratizing force in history.” What do you see about the current and future trends in blockchain and related technologies has you this excited?
3.  What challenges and opportunities do you see in blockchains as they relate to the field of education?
4.  What elements of the work that we’re doing in badgechain excites you?

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Digital Literacies, Learning Pathways & Open Badges

A keynote presentation at the University of Worcester's Staff Development Day (16 November 2015)
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Doug is one of the most insightful badging investigators in the world at this time... 
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A Philosophy of Open Digital Badges

Abstract

One of the most promising educational technology tools, open digital badges, is quickly changing curricula, job acquisition, and workforce credentialing. Learning data, assessments, and expert validation made accessible in social media create a transparency that may well be suited for critical questions in education. Operating from a framework of establishing how badges are currently employed in learning—the influential contexts of individuals and communities, and data aggregation—raises questions concerning the roles of instructors, badge providers, and learning management systems. This “philosophy” of digital badges addresses a variety of epistemological concerns including the intersection of challenges to conventional educational motivation, suggestions of how Platonic and modern models of education are complementary, and implications of how badges may represent postmodern credentialing systems. These concerns are framed around understanding how current work in digital badges can feasibly transform learning; this is both an acknowledgment of how badges are beginning to change ecosystems of informal and formal learning as well as an attempt to demonstrate how an epistemological philosophy of badges can change educators’ thinking and accelerate innovation.

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Foundation of Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials - Springer

Foundation of Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials - Springer | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
Preface 

Digital Badges represent a valid indicator of specific achievements, knowledge, skills, and competencies that can be earned in formal and informal learning environments. Digital Badges represent an opportunity to recognize such achievements through credible organizations that can be integrated in traditional educational pro-grams but can also represent experience in informal contexts or community engagement. Furthermore, instructional designers can use badges to motivate and influence engagement by providing for example focused goals or challenging tasks. 

 Digital Badges are a relatively new technology and therefore acceptance depends on the level of quality control, the actual design, and implementation in learning environments. They offer a form of recognition of learning, with a focus on qualifications like problem-solving, self-management, flexible, and individual learning achievements, and provide information to relevant stakeholders when they are digi-tally linked with user profiles or shared in social networks. But implementing digital badges in learning environments can be challenging, because different forms of assessment require new forms of instruction and a clear understanding of learning outcomes. 

This edited volume aims to provide insight into how digital badges may enhance formal and informal education by focusing on technical design issues including organizational requirements, instructional design, and deployment. It features cur-rent research exploring the theoretical foundation and empirical evidence of the utilization of digital badges as well as case studies that describe current practices and experiences in the use of digital badges for motivation, learning, and instruction in K-12, higher education, workplace learning, and further education settings.
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What we learned from designing an academic certificates system on the blockchain — MIT MEDIA LAB — Medium

What we learned from designing an academic certificates system on the blockchain - MIT MEDIA LAB - Medium
Over the past year, we have been working on a set of tools to issue, display, and verify digital credentials using the Bitcoin blockchain and the Mozilla Open Badges specification. Today we are releasing version 1 of our code under the MIT open-source license to make it easier for others to start experimenting with similar ideas. In addition to opening up the code, we also want to share some of our thinking behind the design, as well as some of the interesting questions about managing digital reputations that we plan to continue working on.
You can find links to our source code, documentation, and discussion on our project homepage: http://certificates.media.mit.edu.
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How Blockchain Will Disrupt the Higher Education Transcript -- Campus Technology

How Blockchain Will Disrupt the Higher Education Transcript -- Campus Technology | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
Last year, the MIT Media Lab began issuing digital certificates to the participants in its Director's Fellows program. The authentication behind the certificates relies on blockchain technology, best known for its connection to the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

In a blog post, Philipp Schmidt, director of learning innovation at the Media Lab, described how blockchain works: "In essence, it is a just a distributed ledger to record transactions. What makes it special is that it is durable, time-stamped, transparent and decentralized. Those characteristics are equally useful for managing financial transactions as for a system of reputation. In fact, you can think of reputation as a type of currency for social capital, rather than financial capital."
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2 minutes to understand the potential of blockchain technology

The blockchain is a revolution with endless applications.
Let’s get ready for it!
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Taking Competency-Based Credentials Seriously in the Workforce -- Campus Technology

Taking Competency-Based Credentials Seriously in the Workforce -- Campus Technology | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
It sounds cutting-edge, but the concept of a competency-based education that results in an institution-agnostic microcredential isn't new. For well over a century, industries have worked with colleges and universities through various types of extension programs to salt the workforce with better-qualified candidates. But in the Age of the Internet, for-profit online education providers such as Udacity and Coursera have tweaked that model by collaborating with companies to develop programs tailored to their specific needs.

AT&T was one of the first companies to work with the new generation of online education providers to develop a credentialing program designed to fill a specific staffing gap. In 2014, the telecom company was in the market for "a ton" of entry-level front-end web developers, according to Udacity's then COO (now CEO) Vish Makhijani. "They knew exactly what kind of person they needed, so we knew exactly how to build a curriculum to generate those competencies," he said in an earlier interview. Together the two companies created the Front-End Web Developer Nanodegree program, Udacity's first branded microcredential. ("Nanodegree" is trademarked.)
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Open Badges: the BOTOX of education? — beyond credentials

Open Badges: the BOTOX of education? — beyond credentials | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
Two weeks ago, during the Badge Alliance weekly Community Call (link) when Nate Otto presented the outcomes of the Badge Alliance Board Meeting, one of the slides (c.f. below) triggered a discussion on whether Open Badges are “just about credentialing”:
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All sizes | Race to the White House Badges Summer 2012 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

All sizes | Race to the White House Badges Summer 2012 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
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Wiley To Use Credly Digital Badges -- Campus Technology

Wiley To Use Credly Digital Badges -- Campus Technology | Digital Badges and Alternate Credentialling in Higher Education | Scoop.it
Two companies that serve higher education are teaming up to mesh learning resources with digital credentials.
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