Open Badges

Open BadgesRecently, here in the TEL team, there has been quite a bit of discussion about Open Badges, their potential in HE, and in particular in staff training & development.

So when it was announced that MyKnowdlegMap would be presenting at the Higher York eLearning Conference, at York St John on 4th June, I was keen to go along and find out more.

Here are the slides from their presentation…

What Are Open Badges?

Open Badges are a new online standard for recognising and verifying learning – we like to think of them as Cubs, Scouts, or Brownies badges for the digital age ☺

Individuals can earn badges for the things they learn, both online and offline, and then display them in their Backpack, or on their website or social media profiles. With Open Badges, every badge is full of information. Each one has important data built in that links back to the issuer, the criteria it was issued under and evidence verifying the credential.

Institutions and organisations can issue badges as recognition for the things they teach. Open Badges is not proprietary – it’s free software and an open technical standard. Open Badges are designed, built and backed by a broad community of contributors, including NASA, Disney, Intel, and many more. The open source model means that improvements made by one partner can benefit everyone, from bug fixes to new features.

How Do Open Badges Work?

What Does It Mean For Teaching & Learning?

Open Badges could be issued by institutions to verify students digital literacy skills or employability attributes, and teams like ours could use them to verify academic staff eLearning skills.

Moodle 2.5, which we will be upgrading to over Summer 2013, has built-in support for Open Badges, which would allow us to issue badges directly through Moodle, something which we are keen to explore.

What’s Next?

I will be attending the White Rose Learning Technologists Forum at Sheffield Hallam on 24th June 2013, where the theme for the day is Open Badges, and there will be a presentation from Doug Belshaw – Badges & Skills Lead for the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.

We will also be exploring the Badges feature of Moodle on our development server over the coming weeks.

In the Meantime…

Badges 101You can view some of the Badges I have earned so far in my Mozilla Backpack.

Learn the basics and earn your first Badge with Badges 101.

You can also have a go at creating your own Badges using this great Open Badge Designer by MyKnowledgeMap.

What do you think about Open Badges? Let us know in the Comments below…


Open Badges II >>>

Phil Vincent

Phil’s focus is to work across Faculties to support the implementation of the Academic Strategy, and in particular contribute to the effective development and implementation of technology enhanced learning.

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1 Response

  1. Mark Dransfield says:

    I like the principle of Open Badges and I can see a lot of potential in our use of them, particularly with students and enabling them to evidence their learning through displaying badges in systems such as Mahara. The use of badges might be something we can work on with our colleagues in WP and Schools Liaison. Perhaps we can issue badges to those demographic audiences via their engagement with Moodle – something I know is being worked on by Martell Baines.

    My main concern is around how we engage our academic staff in the potential of Open Badges (issuing and gaining) and their perceived value vs academic credit, for example.

    I’m excited about the potential of this emerging tech and look forward to our exploration of it during the summer months and the coming academic year.

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