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?
President Bill Clinton today announced a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action to massively expand access to a new method of academic and technical skills assessment known as Open Badges – online representations of earned knowledge and skills – to improve the futures of two million students and U.S. workers.
Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, an annual event of the Clinton Global Initiative that seeks innovative solutions for economic recovery, Clinton said three partners – the MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla, and HASTAC – have created the commitment to Open Badges. Outreach and technical assistance will be provided to help employers and universities across the country incorporate Open Badges in hiring, promotions, admissions, and credit over the next three years.
While this block hasn't yet been released, it is a great preview of what's to come when badges can be pulled directly into Moodle and displayed or can be customized by and displayed on a specific site.
Some great work here by Ian Checkland. Read his other posts somewhere else on this Scoopit
Integrate OpenBadges in Blackboard Learn to allow faculty to display student badges from mozilla backpack, allow faculty create new badges in courses, allow students claim badges. A student photo roster will accompany this project, so the facutly can preview not only the faces of students, but badges earned in other classes. This will help faculty to get to know students prior to start of a class and to track their progress in the learning networks outside of the classroom.
In case you missed it, Coursera announced its new Signature Track option for credentialing students (and making money for Coursera) and connecting them to future employers. It's future could be in: headhunting.
This weekend, I attended MozFest at Ravensbourne College in London. It was one of those intense event experiences, where you chat with inspiring people and have your mind stretched with new and exciting ideas.
We discussed areas where badges could add value and then developed the criteria for a specific badge idea. The group I was working with focused on rewarding contribution in an online community and we covered concepts like how to surface that contribution in large communities such as MOOCs or HASTAC, peer voting, data visualisation...
Interview with Daniel Hickey, Director of Learning Sciences at Indiana University, where he discusses his study on how Open Badges could be used to recognise, assess, motivate and evaluate learning, including the potential impact on peer learning.
Success and how it is measured continues to be one of the "known unknowns" for MOOCs. Debate (hype) on success is heightened by the now recognised and recorded high drop out rates. If "only" 3,000 registered users complete a MOOC then it must be failing, mustn't it? If you don't get the certificate/badge/whatever then you have failed. Well in one sense that might be true - if you take completion to equate with success. For a movement that is supposed to be revolutionising the (HE) system, the initial metrics some of the big xMOOCs are measuring and being measured by are pretty traditional. Some of the best known success of recent years have been college "drop outs', so why not embrace that difference and the flexibility that MOOCs offer learners?
Well possibly because doing really new things and introducing new educational metrics is hard and even harder to sell to venture capitalists, who don't really understand what is "broken" with education. Even for those who supposedly do understand education e.g. governments find any change to educational metrics (and in particular assessments) really hard to implement. In the UK we have recent examples of this with Michael Gove's proposed changes to GSCEs and in Scotland the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence has been a pretty fraught affair over the last five years.
"I started by considering the kinds of behaviours we wanted to promote. The key behaviours I identified were engagement, attainment, contribution and peer support...
I wanted to be able to create links across different series of badges, clustering for example, badges issued for peer support in a variety of different contexts...
This process didn’t happen in a linear fashion, I went back and forth, refining, making new connections and finally ending up with the key indicators which will be consistent across all our badges. Once I had this information, I was able to develop graphical indicators that would represent each of the aspects in each badge..."