Open Badges in Higher Education - Perception and Potential

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Presentation from ALT-C 2013 (#altc2013). Provides an overview of what open badges are, some insight into how they could fit into higher education, and information about how to get started using them.

Published in: Education, Business

Open Badges in Higher Education - Perception and Potential

  1. 1. Open Badges in Higher Education Perception and Potential Dr. Ian Glover – Sheffield Hallam University Farzana Latif – University of Sheffield
  2. 2. What is a badge? Visual representation of achievement, experience, affiliation and/or interest - ideally distinctive and understood within a community. Some examples:
  3. 3. What is an Open Badge? › Many apps, websites, games and organisations issue badges, but they are separate – Open Badges attempt to draw all these into one (Free) place › Include links to criteria and evidence › Add security and verification – can check whether a person was actually awarded a specific badge › Allow 'clusters' of badges to be shared with others
  4. 4. Example Open Badges
  5. 5. Why is there a buzz about them? › Growing recognition that learning happens outside the classroom › Grade transcripts hide the 'truth' about learning › Significant motivational potential in some situations › Strong links with current trends such as MOOCs, Gamification, Mobile Learning – but can be used independently of these
  6. 6. What did you do in the project at City University London? › Aim to identify perception and possible value › Semi-structured interviews with staff – Whole institution › Focus groups with students – Health Sciences and Engineering › None had prior knowledge of badges in HE – but some were aware of other uses
  7. 7. What did you find? › Students want to use badges to stand out from peers › Desire to link badges to requirements of professional accreditation › Important not to issue too many - each badge must represent genuine achievement
  8. 8. What were your other findings? › Badges would act as a motivator – would push students to go beyond the minimum – would support both individualistic and competitive goal structures › Useful when applying for jobs or further study – help students recall their development and developed skills – staff would use them when writing references
  9. 9. What were the common criticisms? How can you respond to them? › "Childish" – plan and design them to be meaningful › "Hard to design without skills" – simple, free tools available › "Lack of consistency in use" – set a policy about the requirements for a badge
  10. 10. Any more criticisms? › "Not credible with, for example, employers" – involve employers in the creation of badges › "I get it, but my students/lecturers won't" – didn't appear true from the interviews › "This could become another assessment route" – ideally it should reflect what is already happening
  11. 11. How are Sheffield's universities using them? › Skills development for History students (Sheffield) › Recognising practical work of Dentistry students (Sheffield) › Staff development activities (Sheffield and SHU) › 'Students as Researchers' programme (SHU) › Course Representatives (SHU) › Integration activities for International Students (SHU)
  12. 12. What is going on elsewhere in the UK? ›UCL to pilot in a new Marketing module from Jan 2014 ›Open Badges in Scottish Education Group mapping use around Scotland ›Open Learning Design Studio (OLDS) MOOC issued badges for completing activities ›Badge the UK promoting value of badges to business
  13. 13. How can I use them? › Showing competency in a skill, – e.g. nursing students taking blood samples › Recognising co- and extra-curricular activity – e.g. a music student participating in an orchestra, participation in Students' Union or Student Council activities › Identifying common themes in a programme – e.g. showing all modules that develop debating skills
  14. 14. Is that all? › Validating informal learning – e.g. certifying a specific standard has been met › Enabling students to differentiate themselves – e.g. highlighting specialisms within a programme › Supporting HEAR activities for students
  15. 15. Is that all? Any Suggestions?
  16. 16. How do I start using them? › Image creation – OpenBadges.me (http://openbadges.me) – Online Badge Maker (http://www.onlinebadgemaker.com/) › Badge creation and issuing – badg.us (http://badg.us) › All-in-one system – Credly (http://credly.com)
  17. 17. How else can I use them? › 'Educational' platforms introducing badges: – Moodle – Blackboard – Mahara – PebblePad – Wordpress – Drupal › Central, common 'backpack' (https://backpack.openbadges.org)
  18. 18. How can I get in touch with you? Dr. Ian Glover i.glover@shu.ac.uk http://blogs.shu.ac.uk/telteam @irglover Farzana Latif farzana.latif@sheffield.ac.uk @farzanalatif (Some further reading) Scan to claim your 'Badge of Badges' badge, or enter code 4aymxp at http://badg.us

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