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Badges + credentials, another visual take

Badges + credentials, another visual take | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
Badges can slot into a variety of environments and be used in a myriad of ways, and so are the chameleon of the credentialing world. Or maybe they’re the cuttlefish of the credentialing world: able to assume various conceptual shapes and sizes according to their context. Either way, chameleon or cuttlefish, they are unique. For some people this wide ranging flexibility—to grow to the size of a degree and shrink to the size of an essential component—is a feature and for others, it’s a bug. Again, because nothing else has the capacity to be as flexible as this in the current credentialing world.
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An Empirical Framework for ePortfolio Assessment | Distance-Educator.com

An Empirical Framework for ePortfolio Assessment | Distance-Educator.com | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
This research focuses on ePortfolio assessment strategies that yield important accountability and reporting information. Under foundational categories of reliability, validity, and fairness, we present methods of gathering evidence from ePortfolio scores and their relationship to demographic information (gender, race/ethnicity, and socio-economic status) and criterion variables (admission tests and course grades) as a means for stakeholders to ensure that all students, especially traditionally underserved students, strengthen their connection to the academy. Data is drawn from two sources: University of Idaho first-year writing program’s ePortfolio student certification assessment (n = 1208) and its relationship to the State of Idaho’s K-20 longitudinal data collection system; and New Jersey Institute of Technology’s longitudinal ePortfolio-based first-year writing program assessment (n = 210). Following results and discussion of these two case studies, we conclude by offering guidelines for quantitative reporting based on fairness as a framework for integrative and principled action.
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Digital Badges and Academic Transformation

Digital Badges and Academic Transformation | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
We know that both students and institutions are using badges to recognize development of what is called the "T-shaped" graduate: the combination of deep 'vertical' knowledge in a particular domain with a broad set of 'horizontal' skills such as teamwork, communications, facility with data and technology, an appreciation of diverse cultures, and advanced literacy skills.
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From blockchain to BadgeChain 

From blockchain to BadgeChain - Badge Chain - Medium
While not initially coined to describe a technical object, but rather a team of Open Badge enthusiasts willing to exploit the benefits of blockchains, BadgeChain is also a word that might be used in the future to describe a new technical object resulting from the merger of blockchains and Open Badges.
When we started the BadgeChain group, the initial idea was to explore how blockchains could contribute towards improving the Open Badge technology and experience. There are a number of limitations to what one can do with Open Badges today that blockchains seem to be able to outsmart. Our initial reflection looked at the application of blockchain ideas to Open Badges. What has not yet been explored is the application of Open Badge ideas to blockchains: what could we do to blockchains if they used what we know about Open Badges?
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OpenBadges: formal vs. informal recognition — BeyondCredentials part 2

OpenBadges: formal vs. informal recognition — BeyondCredentials part 2 | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
In this post, we will move the discussion from the critique of equating Open Badges to credentials to exploring the potential of badges as signs of recognition, setting the foundations for making informal recognition as valuable and potent as formal recognition. This can be achieved by moving the centre of gravity of Open Badges from institutions to individuals and self-organised communities.
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4 Tips for Meaningful Student Portfolios

4 Tips for Meaningful Student Portfolios | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it

Holistic portfolios allow students to showcase all the best traits and qualities of themselves.


Student portfolios (especially digital versions) are a great idea. By providing the time and the means for students to collect things that document their challenges and successes, students become more meta-cognitive and invested in their growth and learning. However, the reality for many students (and teachers) is that portfolios have become a chore, a stale exercise -- but it doesn't have to be this way.

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The Advent of the Personal Ledger — #ePortfolios and #OpenBadges Unite!

What blockchains allow is a clean separation between the storage of data and the associated services — the blockchain is first and foremost a [trustworthy] storage mechanism. The same blockchain could be used to store badges, and prior to that, the evidence submitted to get a badge such as references to work, artefacts, achievements, testimonies and more. From the data stored in the blockchain multiple services could feed-in and be fed-from: resumé builders, accreditation portfolios, learning and assessment plans, etc.
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Badges + credentials, another visual take

Badges + credentials, another visual take | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
Badges can slot into a variety of environments and be used in a myriad of ways, and so are the chameleon of the credentialing world. Or maybe they’re the cuttlefish of the credentialing world: able to assume various conceptual shapes and sizes according to their context. Either way, chameleon or cuttlefish, they are unique. For some people this wide ranging flexibility—to grow to the size of a degree and shrink to the size of an essential component—is a feature and for others, it’s a bug. Again, because nothing else has the capacity to be as flexible as this in the current credentialing world.
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Replacing the SATs in admissions-what comes next?

Today, standardized tests are being once again closely examined and testing companies are moving to make exams even more inclusive. This is largely due to institutions recognizing that they might be missing out on good students who do not test as well as their peers.

One solution to this ongoing issue is the early introduction of ePortfolios to collect evidence of experience related to outcomes that matter to higher education success: leadership, persistence, teamwork, unsupervised work, et cetera. Though high schools have provided inclusive opportunities to help develop these skills for eons, they haven’t tracked them with a systematic approach that an ePortfolio can offer.

And while It’s easy to acquire software, making it successful is another story.

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What Gives a Badge Value?

What Gives a Badge Value? | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
What gives a badge value? As ideas about badges continue to turn into the implementation of badges in various organizations, there continues to be an important conversation about what gives a badge value. There are many ways to approach this conversation, but in most of the conversations, people gravitate toward one of seven answers to this question. Of course, these are not independent of one another. It is certainly possible (in most cases probable) that the answer is a mix of each of these, not to mention perspectives that I did not represent here. Nonetheless, I continue to find it valuable to look at these seven as starting points.
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The major momentum behind micro-credentials

The major momentum behind micro-credentials | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
Educators are, by definition, continuous learners. They spend their careers striving to become better practitioners, whether through formal professional development activities like workshops and in-service days, or informal engagements like Twitter chats, EdCamps, and virtual coaching and communities. In fact, research conducted by Digital Promise and Grunwald suggests that educators often pursue these learning activities to satiate their own love of learning and desire to better serve their students.

While we know educators are always learning, our systems for recognizing that learning have not quite caught up. Professional development structures typically recognize educators for the time they spend learning in formal activities and rarely acknowledge informal learning. Similarly, these structures often do not focus on competency (whether an educator can apply their learning in their classrooms), which is an important step toward understanding the impact of each learning activity.
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How Affective Data Could Change Learning Outcomes

How Affective Data Could Change Learning Outcomes | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
Love it or hate it, Big Data is changing K–12 education.

Collecting and analyzing student data — including grades, attendance, disciplinary issues and test scores — gives schools and districts new, valuable insights into student performance and behavior.

For example, after my colleagues in Washington helped Spokane Public Schools set up a virtualized data warehouse, the district began using an in-house data analytics system to determine predictors of dropping out and to monitor at-risk students. As a result, graduation rates improved by nearly 8 percent over a three-year period.
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Reinventing ePortfolio technology and Practice - White Paper | Europortfolio

Reinventing ePortfolio technology and Practice - White Paper | Europortfolio | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
To inform future decisions related to ePortfolio technologies and practices, this White Paper aims at providing an understanding of the possible benefits of the adoption of the blockchain (public, distributed ledgers) a technology that is creating the conditions for an entirely new approach to creating, storing, sharing and exploiting ePortfolios.

The emergence of the ePortfolio at the beginning of the 21st century was the result of the encounter of established practices (portfolio and reflective learning) with emerging digital technologies (the Internet and the World Wide Web). This encounter has lead to the emergence of new technologies (e.g. ePortfolio Management Systems) that in turn have influenced ePortfolio practice (e.g. authentic learning and assessment), that in turn...
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E-Portfolios Are Not the Fitbit of Higher Education

E-Portfolios Are Not the Fitbit of Higher Education | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it

Portfolios, if you like, should borrow more from Gardner Campbell’s old description of blogging’s educational goals–narrate, curate, share–rather than Fitbits. What’s wanted are not so much an e-portfolio as a quantified dashboard, but rather a site where the design and navigation themselves reflect the values and skills of the learner. There are other educational moments when the kind of approach they describe is useful–for example, as part of a degree assessment or some other advising conversation–but it strikes me as tangential to what a portfolio might be.

 

To the extent that e-portfolios simply represent the quantification of higher education, then precisely to that extent we tell our students that the most important goal of education is compliance.

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Balancing Pedagogy and Assessment in Competency-Based Education

Balancing Pedagogy and Assessment in Competency-Based Education | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
Most instructors would acknowledge that assessment is a necessary part of teaching and learning; they just don't think highly of educational assessments developed by people who are not hands-on in the classroom. Assessment experts, for their part, often take a dim view of assessments in instructional contexts; they see grades as based on factors other than measurement of learning. Hence the need to find the right balance between instruction and assessment. Ultimately, instructors and assessment experts have the same goal — better-educated learners.
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What we learned from designing an academic certificates system on the blockchain

What we learned from designing an academic certificates system on the blockchain - MIT MEDIA LAB - Medium
A cautionary note about the blockchain hype. During the year that we have been working on this project, blockchain-based certification systems have become a hot topic (type the term into Google and see for yourself). Needless to say, much of the rhetoric has been exaggerated (and the same is true for some of the criticism). One important takeaway for us has been that the blockchain is a lot more complicated than most people make it out to be. Building applications on top of it–which is what we did–is getting easier, but there are still very few people who deeply understand its inner workings (and we don’t consider ourselves part of that group). The blockchain is not a simple solution that will fix everything that is wrong with today’s credentials. But it does offer some possibilities for improving the system we have today–and that’s what we are excited to explore.
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Open BlockChain for Education

Open BlockChain for Education | 21st Century Assessment | 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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OpenBadges: the BOTOX of education? — #BeyondCredentials

OpenBadges: the BOTOX of education? —  #BeyondCredentials | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
If we accept equating Open Badges to credentials we loose the opportunity to address the wider field of recognition, so my question is: what should we use as a means of recognition if Open Badges are just credentials?

As this is a rhetorical question, we will assume from now on that Open Badges are signs of recognition and that some of them are credentials.
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“Edublocks” Could Change How We Learn by Adapting Bitcoin Model to Continued Education

“Edublocks” Could Change How We Learn by Adapting Bitcoin Model to Continued Education | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
The other component of Ledger, aside from record keeping, would allow analysis of learning opportunities to see which ones generate income. Remember, the goal is to empower employees to gain the skills that will help them earn more. Investors could conceivably offer funds for activities that would make you learn more marketable skills, with payoffs down the road. Employers looking to hire would have more current information about a candidate’s skills, says McGonigal.

Jean Hagan, executive producer at IFTF, says, “Today’s students who are, in fact, working learners, many of whom are weaving diverse experiences in learning and working throughout their entire careers are disrupting all of the traditional institutions and economic models of higher ed already.” While unbundled or, as IFT calls it, unbounded, learning seems futuristic, it is really already happening. Edublocks and Ledger are one way the trend might continue empowering working learners to have more control over their destinies.
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A Digital Badge Initiative: Two Years Later

Two years ago, Coastal Carolina University implemented Coastal Composition Commons (CCC), a university-wide digital badge initiative designed to make student learning outcomes tied to first-year composition courses more visible to both faculty and students while providing a more unified experience across the program. Just before the initiative was launched, the program founders, Alan Reid (assistant professor) and Denise Paster (assistant professor and coordinator of composition), published a 2014 piece in Campus Technology that concluded with a promising outlook: “[We] anticipate that the Coastal Composition Commons project will yield positive results and become a model template for future badge programs in higher education.”

While this sentiment seemed hopeful at the time, the CCC initiative has positively impacted Coastal Carolina’s first-year composition program by providing a programmatic framework for teaching and assessing academic literacy skills central to students’ development and success. This is not to say that the initiative was implemented flawlessly; as the program evolved both technically and conceptually, faculty and student populations had to adjust to a new format for teaching and learning in first-year composition courses. As we reflect on this initiative two years later, we would like to share our insights on designing and building an entirely organic digital badge program in the hopes that others might embrace a similar model that recognizes and rewards student achievement.
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The Death of Testing and the Rise of Learning Analytics

The Death of Testing and the Rise of Learning Analytics | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it

 I know that it is sad news for some, but more than a few of us have assessed the situation, and the prognosis is not good for our friend (or perhaps the arch enemy to others of us), the test. We might be witnessing the death of testing. Tests are not going away tomorrow or even next year, but their value will fade over the upcoming years until, finally, tests are, once and for all, a thing of the past. At least that is one possible future.

Tests are largely a 20th century educational technology that had no small impact on learning organizations around the world, not to mention teachers and students. They’ve increased anxiety, kept people up all night (often with the assistance of caffeine), and consumed large chunks of people’s formative years.

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Open Badges in Higher Education: Disruptive, Desirable, and Democratic

Five years since the first pilot, there is now a flourishing ecosystem of (millions of) Open Badges putting learners in control of their digital credentials. Existing purveyors of qualifications have been both excited and concerned about what this 'disruption' means for them. What can the Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) offer? How can/should educational institutions respond? And what are the best places to start?

In this opening keynote, Dr. Doug Belshaw will use his experience in all sectors of education, at Mozilla, and as a consultant helping organisations deal with these issues, to articulate clear steps forward for educational institutions looking to get to grips with Open Badges.
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Blockchain for Education: A Research Project

Blockchain for Education: A Research Project | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
So buzz and bullshit aside, what – if anything – can blockchain offer education technology? And more generally, how does blockchain work? (And then again, specifically how does it work in an educational setting?) What problems does blockchain solve? What are its benefits? What are its drawbacks? Who’s developing and who’s investing in the technology? To what end?
This is still very much a work-in-progress. But for those interested in reading up on their own, I have posted a list of resources and reading materials here.
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Sony Global Education Develops Technology Using Blockchain for Open Sharing of Academic Proficiency and Progress Records

Sony Global Education Develops Technology Using Blockchain for Open Sharing of Academic Proficiency and Progress Records | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
Sony Global Education has now developed technology that applies blockchain to the educational field, leveraging blockchain's secure properties to realize encrypted transmission of data - such as an individual's academic proficiency records and measures of progress - between two specified parties. The technology has the potential to realize an entirely new infrastructure system for sharing records securely over the network in any number of ways, opening new doors of possibility for academic records and how they are assessed. For example, after taking an examination to demonstrate his or her academic proficiency level, an individual could direct the testing organization to share the test results with one or more third-party evaluating organizations. This would be a first if implemented on a system-wide basis.

As education paradigms evolve, technological innovation is expected to diversify the ways in which tests are designed and individuals are evaluated. With this diversification and the changes it brings about, different evaluating organizations may come to utilize individuals' test results in different ways, each in accordance with its own evaluation methods. Open and secure handling of academic data will become possible through the adoption of application programs that leverage Sony Global Education's new technology, leading to the emergence of new educational services in the future. With this infrastructure in place, each evaluating organization sent an individual's testing records could assess those results and calculate a score in a way that fits its own methods. Additionally, the creation of an open yet secure infrastructure has the potential to draw many educational institutions to the network, resulting in high credibility in test administration. Finally, given its strength as an open data exchange protocol, Sony Global Education's new technology can be applied not only in the educational arena, but also in a wider range of industries, from medical care to environmental services to energy.
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Can Badges Help Education Recover from Credentialism?

Can Badges Help Education Recover from Credentialism? | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
I saw badges as a means of helping to create a future where the increased percentage of college graduates was modest but the education “level” of communities was, nonetheless, greater than past eras. I looked to the example of open professions and intellectual communities in society and saw that many of the thriving communities are among the least enamored with credentialism (with the major exception of the health care industry that I will address momentarily). I saw this in entrepreneurial endeavors, many tech industries, sales and marketing, service industries, as well the tech-meets-social sector that continues to grow. In open professions, the high school diploma or college degree is still a common and respected pathway, but not at the exclusion of other, admittedly less traveled routes. I saw badges as a way to validate and expand these alternatives.
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Why doesn't everyone have an ePortfolio

Why doesn't everyone have an ePortfolio | 21st Century Assessment | Scoop.it
If ePortfolios are such a wonderful thing, we should all have one, shouldn’t we? Why isn’t this the case? What does it say about the state of the art of learning and technologies? Is it because technology is not mature enough? Is it because the learning environment, especially the formal one, is not conducive to ePortfolio practice?

Put differently, what is the causal relationship? Is the underdevelopment of ePortfolios an indicator of the current underdevelopment of authentic learning and assessment, or do we seriously believe that any valuable ePortfolio practice can take place in an unauthentic, artificial learning environment? 
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