Category Archives: Open Badges

Open Badges - LinkedIn Profile

How to: Display Open Badges on your LinkedIn profile

Here’s a short ‘how to’ guide on displaying your Open Badges, or a Mozilla backpack, on your LinkedIn profile.

There’s the simple way, which is not very visual or appealing, which is to edit your profile and use one of the three links available under ‘contact info’, which will display on your public profile like this:

Open Badges - LinkedIn ProfileI don’t know about you, but that doesn’t really do it for me. You?

  • This post has been updated to show how to display badges from either a Mozilla backpack or the Cred.ly website.

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Badges - New Currency for Professional Credentials

Learning Providers (wk.4) #OpenBadgesMOOC

Badges - New Currency for Professional CredentialsHere we are at week four and challenge four. At the moment of writing I’ve earned three out of four badges that have been issued, with my response for the third challenge updated to take into account the feedback and comments about the lack of details I made about the competency framework and individual student ‘persona’.

You can read all my posts from this MOOC on the OpenBadgesMOOC tag, when I’ve written them!

Week 4 – Learning Providers
I can see the benefit of looking at badges for the soon-to-leave-education school leavers, and those already in work either actively looking for a new role or to up-skill themselves. But please don’t ignore higher education and both staff and students in it. Undergraduate degrees (and postgraduate degrees too) have as much to do with life skills as the specific subject of the degree award, and badges are a new and clear way to showcase these skills if, as I’ve said before, the criteria is selected and applied carefully and considerately.  Continue reading

Badges - New Currency for Professional Credentials

Employers (wk.3) #OpenBadgesMOOC

Badges - New Currency for Professional CredentialsHere we are, week three and challenge three. You can read all my posts from this MOOC on the OpenBadgesMOOC tag (when I’ve written them)!

Week 3 – Employers
The natural ‘end point for badges in any education setting is for those who have earned the badge to show them off for personal gain. This personal gain obviously will point to their employment prospects, at some time or another, and therefore employers will need to know what they are looking at, and why.

During the online session there was mention that “employers are in the early phase of early adopter stage for badges” (@sharonlflynn) but I have not seen evidence of this, and what type of employer (large, small, graduate employer, etc.)? Certainly Open Badges can only gain mainstream adoption in learning environments (MOOCs, degrees, adult education, social learning, etc.) if the employers recognise and value the output and badge criteria.  Continue reading

Anatomy of an Open Badge

Fundamentals (wk.2) #OpenBadgesMOOC

Badges - New Currency for Professional CredentialsHere we are, week two and challenge two. While we don’t have to keep to any timetable on the challenges, I decided I will – it’ll be a neater blogging experience this way.

MOOC: Badges – New currency for Professional credentials

You can read all my posts from this MOOC on the OpenBadgesMOOC tag, when I’ve written them!

Week 2 – Fundamentals
The context and concept for badges is being discussed and documented by those at Mozilla – Open Badges for Lifelong Learning – and those who, like me, see them as a tangible benefit for showing skills that are not assessed.

The paper by Antin and Churchill (2011) explores the gamification of social activity, through the rise and popularity of system like FourSquare, and more recently, although not covered in the paper, Get Glue (film & TV) and Lemon Tree (library game). This interaction with content and achievement has “popularized badges as a way of engaging and motivating users”, so why not as part of their learning? Why not indeed? Continue reading

Badges - New Currency for Professional Credentials

Openness (wk.1) #OpenBadgesMOOC

Badges - New Currency for Professional CredentialsWith the best will in the world I’ll be taking part in the Mozilla / BlackBoard MOOC called “New Currency for Professional Credentials”.

MOOC: Badges – New currency for Professional credentials

You can read all my posts from this MOOC on the OpenBadgesMOOC tag, when I’ve written them!

Why this MOOC?
Why is this MOOC interesting to me? I have posted about Open Badges a number of times, and how I feel the ability to demonstrate skills and knowledge obtained during a formal course of study (University) are not always easy to spot, and certainly not easy to show through the normal / formal certification received. If students can earn badges for skills, group work, ability, etc. rather than an overall ‘grade’ which is considers pass / fail then this is of use to prospective employers? Aren’t we always hearing how students are not being prepared for the modern workplace? With a Mozilla BackPack full of badges (here’s my Backpack: Mozilla Open Badges) the student able to show and demonstrate these skills will have an edge. Yes?

Now that the CourseSite has opened up the meatier sections we can see what the next six weeks is about. We’ll be looking at Openness, Badge Fundamentals, Employers and Learners, Providers, and Opportunities. There are a number of groups for us to join, no doubt to help us focus on the area(s) of most interest or importance to our own badge requirements (personal or professional). I joined the following groups:

  • Badges for Higher Education Instructor/Faculty Professional Development
  • Badges for MOOCs
  • Badges in Traditional Higher Ed Courses

Week 1 – “Openness” 
Week one is about ‘openness’ and the disparity between job descriptions and alignment of knowledge that formal courses have to the job specifications. This fresh approach (badges) could be viewed as a new ‘currency’ exchange “between job seekers, learning providers, and employers”. Continue reading

Badges - New Currency for Professional Credentials

Blackboard, Student Achievements, and #OpenBadges

Badges - New Currency for Professional CredentialsAs many of you will have heard, either from the tweets or Blackboard notices, there is building block for Blackboard that allows you to assign and issue badges of achievements to students which they can copy to their Mozilla Back Pack.

I think there still needs to be some proper consideration on what the badge is being issued for: the video below states the badges are issued based on “specific student performance metrics” (don’t get me wrong, I’m in favour of badges and some gamification of learning, but it needs to be an appropriate badge for an appropriate activity) such as:

  • a section of a course … possibly using the ‘mark as reviewed’ status? This is not meaningful as the students can just mark everything as reviewed and get the badge (I’ve done it before).
  • complete assignments … why give a badge for this? if they complete the assignment they get a mark and progress to the next module (would a student want to show a badge for a B grade when their friends are showing A’s)?

I would argue that a badge issued to a student who shows a skill learned, not a score or grade given, is more meaningful: e.g. debating skill, team or group management, individual goal attainment, etc. The badges could be carefully aligned to skills and metrics that are as much about the learning and subject as about the professional nature of the course – something the student can use to demonstrate a skill and understanding, something that an employer or interviewer would want to see from an applicant? That would make it more valuable to the student, and increase the importance of the badge.

There are more to badges in learning than just being able to show that the student passed an assignment or activity. What do you think?

YouTube: Blackboard Learn – Achievements

Badges - New Currency for Professional Credentials

Another MOOC – this time #OpenBadges and Professional Credentials

Badges - New Currency for Professional CredentialsAs if my MOOC failure rate isn’t bad enough, I’ve signed up for another MOOC in the vain hope that I’ll complete it (only 1 completion out of 6 so far). This one is run through the Blackboard CourseSites environment and is run available for self-enrollment now for a September 2013 start.

The MOOC aims to expand flexible learning opportunities and authentic evidence-based assessment with the use of the Mozilla Open Badge system for “accreditation and employer recognition”. The participating organisations plan to use the MOOC to

“… convene and moderate an international discussion on the role of badges as a new currency of exchange for high value, post-secondary credentials for the new workforce … [and] will explore the ecosystem for a new credential economy based on badges and surface aspects of what would be required to adopt such an approach.”

YouTube: Badges for Lifelong Learning: An Open Conversation

Starting on September 9th this will run for 6 weeks, so hopefully I’ve done what I need to before I start on my Masters degree with Grainne Conole at the University of Leicester. I do however see one very large downside to this MOOC – there are regular synchronous online sessions planned each week and, being on the other side of the Atlantic, means they will running at an awkward time for those in the UK or Europe.

Show students’ skills along with degree #OpenBadges

YouTube: Digital Badges for Learning

This is the first instance I’ve heard of where a major University (Purdue U) is using Open Badges, and have called the system/process ‘Passport’:

“[Passport] is learning management, mixed with gaming, meets ePortfolio. Students earn badges by completing learning activities presented as a series of challenges. Passport guides students through each task by providing a framework to submit documents, share links, complete quizzes, or gather approvals. Instructors can follow each students’ progress and connect badges with course objectives. As badges are collected, they can be shared online as Mozilla Open Badge or through the mobile portfolio.”

This is what Open Badges can do when implemented across, and through, the whole Institution. They’re going to be far more important and recognised when used for course related activities (simulated business exercise, research, etc) as well as giving the students the ability to showcase their other activities (portfolio, careers, sport, societies, charity, etc?) and when applying for placements and graduate jobs.

Whether employers will embrace badges is another question, but anything that can make it easier for an employer see the best candidate from the noise of the good candidates should be a good thing, yes?

 

Open Badges: Doug Belshaw

Open Badges: Badges for Learning?

I have only taken one certified or official course since I completed my undergraduate degree in 1996, and that was the PG Cert in 2010. Everything else I have done I have done on my own because I (a) wanted to, (b) needed to. But I have nothing to show for it other then the knowledge and experience it has helped me achieve – but how can I show colleagues or employers this knowledge? Why, ‘Open Badges’ is how!

I wonder how many badges I could be displaying about now if Open Badges were around when I started? I bet there are a few!

It wasn’t until I worked through Doug’s presentation below (given to the eAssessment Conference 2012 last week) that I realised just how clever these badges are: they’re images with metadata hard-coded into them including name, description, and details of the issuer (date, origin, name, organisation, etc) as well as the recipient (so you can’t nick someone else’s and pass it off as your own achievement!) and expiry date (!).

Open Badges are (adapted from Doug’s presentation above):
  • visual representations of achievements, learning, skills, interests, competencies – anything you want the badge to represent,
  • a complement to traditional education ‘certification’,
  • capable of accommodating formal or informal pathway for learning,
  • representative of hard & soft skills, peer assessment, and ‘stakable lifelong learning’,
  • snapshots of learning wherever or however it occurred,
  • ‘stealth assessment’!

I like Doug’s work and agree that (on slide 17/18 above) open badges are not an “either/or” decision when considering degrees, certificates, or diplomas, but “both/and”.

Open Badges: Doug Belshaw

If you’re at all interested on how we “get there” (“there” is the open badges displayed, for example, on a LinkedIn profile – above) then check out slide 23 for an excellent graphical representation of the ‘open badge infrastructure’.

I for one would love to be able to show my learning experiences in this way, and will be keeping an active eye on the developments of Open Badges (

Mozilla Open Badges

Mozilla Open Badges, adding a “reputation layer”?

“Learning today happens everywhere. But it’s often difficult to get recognition for skills and achievements that happen online or out of school.”

Mozilla is hoping to bring something to the learning-table – “open badges”. Mozilla Open Badges helps “solve that problem, making it easy for any organization to issue, manage and display digital badges across the web” as they say on their website: http://openbadges.org/ This is billed as new method of recognising and rewarding skills learned, both in and out of the classroom. Learners earn the badges which display their achievements and 21st century skills across the web, unlocking learning and employment opportunities. The badges system is open source and available to all.

Is this something that can be integrated with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) to show progress and learning?

Here are some more links/resources on the topic:

  • Mozilla Open Badges: “This (BrowserID) opens the door for users to create a single user-centric identity across the web, with tools like Mozilla Open Badges adding a “reputation layer” that provides a complete story about what they know and have achieved. All through an open, standards-based infrastructure that puts user sovereignty, privacy and security first.”
    http://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2012/04/10/mozilla-open-badges-beta/
  • WebProNews: “By turning our accomplishments and skills into a digital achievement, more people might be pushed to achieve something greater. We already have people spending ungodly amounts of time to earn achievements in video games so the same should be true for a person spending a lot of time to learn astrophysics. ”
    http://www.webpronews.com/mozilla-open-badges-enters-public-beta-2012-04
  • HackHigherEducation: “The proposed Open Badges Project challenges not just certification, but also assessment. What does it mean that anyone can issue any sort of badge? Does a badge offer a better representation of skills or competencies than having a formal degree? If so, when? Will these badges be meaningful — to students, to schools, to employers? Will they be accepted? If so, by whom?”
    http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/hack-higher-education/how-will-mozillas-open-badges-project-affect-higher-ed

Steve Wheeler recently wrote on the subject of Running a MOOC:

“The question of open, free of cost participation in a MOOC is a given. But what about those who wish to receive some tangible form of accreditation at the end of the programme? Who provides that?”

While the Mozilla badges could be one way to show the quality of learning, there is no form of checking (at the moment?) of the quality of work completed to gain the badge, so is this just like obtaining a certificate to say you attended the course rather than getting a certificate to say how well you did on the course?