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A simple introduction
to Open Badges
Created by
Bob Price
There are many academic studies online about
Open Badges. This is not one of them.
This e-book is designed to be a simple
...
What?
Digital Badges, Digital Credentials, Open Badges ? In the world
of learning there seems to be a lot of ‘buzz’ surrou...
At its heart an Open Badge is a graphic file which has an
embedded a chunk of code. This code gives the badges its
credent...
Badges provide evidence
that the competences the
badge was awarded for has
been fulfilled
CVs are a
bunch of
claims
Badges...
The
Process
Issue
Collect
Store
Display
6
Issue
Issuing badges? Take your pick!
The open principles behind Open Badges have resulted in the
development of a range o...
But I only want one!
For one off badges, such as
event badges, there are stand
alone websites such as
BadgeCub
The badges ...
How do I make them?
Physically creating a badge needs a simple graphic editor that is
capable of saving a PNG file with a ...
Collect
Who is issuing badges? The list is getting longer every day.
This is just a snapshot from the UK:
Businesses:
IBM,...
Younger people may discover that their summer activities
make use of badges to recognise the part they took in an event.
T...
Store
At the heart of Open Badges is portability. Badges that are
issued are done so to an open standard, allowing them to...
The Open Backpack is free to sign up to and use. When creating
a Backpack make sure you use an independent e-mail address,...
How do I organise my badges in my backpack?
Collection of badges can be created and made public. These are
used to display...
Display
The main aim of being able to collect Open Badges is to be able
to display them and share them for other people to...
Badgr is an app that runs on Android and iOS which allows users
to store and display badges from any badge issuer.
As well...
Open Badge Passport (created by Discendum Oy, the
developers of Open Badge Factory) is an online tool that allows users
to...
Open Badge Passport users can create a page and add
badges, headings, text boxes and other files to create a full online
b...
How can these tools be used?
Open Badges can be used to accredit as part of
qualification frameworks or to recognise infor...
Lucy
Grade 2 in Literacy,
Grade 1 in Numeracy
Matthew
Grade 3 in Literacy,
Grade 2 in Numeracy
The picture without badges
...
Having gained badges Lucy is keen to show them
off. She uses Badgr and is able to easily access
her collection and compare...
How can these tools be used?
Mandy Griffiths is a further education student about to enter
University. Over the course of ...
Awarding badges to develop employability
Newport City Homes (NCH) is a housing association working in the
city of Newport ...
Badge
designs
Flat form
Badges are not dependent
on each other
+ =X Y Z
Dependent
Key badges are dependent
on other badges...
The
future
At the start of May 2015 the Badge Alliance, the group who oversee
Open Badges, released version 1.1 of the Ope...
Links
General sites
Open Badges openbadges.org
Badge Alliance www.badgealliance.org
Open Badge Factory openbadgefactory.co...
Credits
The bit at the back to say how it all happened:
Font - cafe and brewery by Brittany Murphy Design, available from
...
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Badges book

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A simple introduction to Open Badges

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  • May I add that it will interesting to apply Open Badges credentials to learning activities of all sizes, as classified in the Untitled Universal Taxonomy of Learning: http://www.slideshare.net/alphabetasocio/the-untitled-universal-taxonomy-of-learning-first-draft | Also some more thoughts on making Open Badges relevant and awesome: https://medium.com/@alphabeta_sociologist/how-to-make-openbadges-relevant-and-useful-a-brief-rant-fd96791576fa?source=latest
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  • Good job! A useful resource on Open Badges.
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Badges book

  1. 1. A simple introduction to Open Badges Created by Bob Price
  2. 2. There are many academic studies online about Open Badges. This is not one of them. This e-book is designed to be a simple introduction to the subject of Open Badges and how they can be used. It is UK focused because that is where I live and work, but can be applied to countries globally. At the end of the book are links to all the websites and apps that are mentioned and one or two resources that may help you learn more. This is version 1 of this book and it will evolve as the whole process evolves - and the process will! Enjoy Bob Price Cardiff UK 2
  3. 3. What? Digital Badges, Digital Credentials, Open Badges ? In the world of learning there seems to be a lot of ‘buzz’ surrounding the subject, with it being a feature of many learning conferences in recent times. Today a lot of that ‘buzz’ has translated into actual applications with badges becoming a part of the learning process for schools, colleges and work places. Open Badges started as a project involving the MacArthur Foundation, HASTAC and Mozilla and has continued to function as an open, collaborative approach. The open source principles means that many groups and organisations are looking at the standards and making them work. 3
  4. 4. At its heart an Open Badge is a graphic file which has an embedded a chunk of code. This code gives the badges its credentials and includes: Badge name Description Criteria Issuer Evidence Date issued Standards Tags The heartbeat of a badge 4
  5. 5. Badges provide evidence that the competences the badge was awarded for has been fulfilled CVs are a bunch of claims Badges are a bunch of evidence 5
  6. 6. The Process Issue Collect Store Display 6
  7. 7. Issue Issuing badges? Take your pick! The open principles behind Open Badges have resulted in the development of a range of issuing methods. The two largest learning management systems used in the UK have badge issuing built into their architecture. Therefore any organisiation using Totara or Moodle, or a developed version of either (for example the DLE from Learning Pool) has a badge issuing system to hand. If you don’t want to make use of an in house solution, there are a number of dedicated sites available to use. 7 These include: Open Badge Factory (which includes a free trial), Digital Me and Makewav.es. The latter system is aimed strongly at education and offers schools a free social learning environment from where badges can be earned and stored.
  8. 8. But I only want one! For one off badges, such as event badges, there are stand alone websites such as BadgeCub The badges created will have a reference to the site that you use to issue them and are time limited to 30 days, but they are a great way to get started. Other methods of issuing badges include through plugins for Wordpress, the blogging software. There are more new and exciting ways to issue badges being created, including links via xApi (TinCan). Watch this space! 8
  9. 9. How do I make them? Physically creating a badge needs a simple graphic editor that is capable of saving a PNG file with a transparent background. The size of the graphic ideally needs to be 90 x 90 pixels. Any bigger and it may not display correctly. If you have graphic designers to hand (school projects are good for these) then you can create some very sophisticated designs. However it’s not about the design but the reasons the badge is being awarded. To build a simple badge just take a circle, add a second unfilled circle with a large line and centre the two. Add a graphic, or text that represents the subject that your badge is being awarded for. Save the graphic as a PNG file and you have your first badge. 9
  10. 10. Collect Who is issuing badges? The list is getting longer every day. This is just a snapshot from the UK: Businesses: IBM, Samsung, BBC, Barclays Bank, Newport City Homes, Learning Pool Higher and further education: University of Sussex, University of Suffolk, Borders College, Cardiff University, Nottingham Trent University, University of Derby, Open University OpenLearn Schools: Abbotsmeade Community Primary School, Bernard Gilpin Primary School, Downlands Community School, Kirkcaldy West Primary School, Other issuers include Digiskills Cymru, City and Guilds, iLM, Shaw Trust, Skills for Justice and a number of local young carers’ projects. 10
  11. 11. Younger people may discover that their summer activities make use of badges to recognise the part they took in an event. These would supplement badges gained during their education. Badges can be collected from multiple sources and combined into one collection. A user may gain badges from a workplace, add more from studying on a MOOC and perhaps gain one or two from conferences that they attend. 11
  12. 12. Store At the heart of Open Badges is portability. Badges that are issued are done so to an open standard, allowing them to be collected and displayed in a single place. Therefore as part of the service offered by Mozila in supporting the process, they have created the Open Backpack. This is a cloud storage repository for Open Badges independent of the issuing systems. 12
  13. 13. The Open Backpack is free to sign up to and use. When creating a Backpack make sure you use an independent e-mail address, not a school or workplace one. Once set up you can link your backpack to your learning management system and your badges will easily upload. Alternatively if you have stand alone badges, you can manually upload them to your backpack. 13
  14. 14. How do I organise my badges in my backpack? Collection of badges can be created and made public. These are used to display directly from your backpack or to import into other display applications and websites. 14
  15. 15. Display The main aim of being able to collect Open Badges is to be able to display them and share them for other people to view. Built into the Mozilla Backpack is the ability to share collections with the public. However the resulting url is long and complex and needs a shortening site (ow.ly or tunyurl) to make it workable. The resulting page layout is also limited in its layout and features. Therefore to complement the backpack, there are a number of other methods to display your badges. Two in particular are relevant to different target audiences:- Open Badge Passport and Badgr 15
  16. 16. Badgr is an app that runs on Android and iOS which allows users to store and display badges from any badge issuer. As well as linking to a backpack, it also lists some of the organisations who are issuing badges, helping to explore the learning and badge-earning opportunities they provide. 16
  17. 17. Open Badge Passport (created by Discendum Oy, the developers of Open Badge Factory) is an online tool that allows users to upload and import badges and display them using a variety of portfolio pages. The site also has a gallery of the badges earned by everyone who has registered (though it is optional to display yours) and a set of portfolio pages. 17
  18. 18. Open Badge Passport users can create a page and add badges, headings, text boxes and other files to create a full online badge portfolio. It is possible, for example, to display your badges and add a heading explaining where they were obtained. There are themes that can be added to personalise the page, so that users can decide on the style that suits their personality. 18
  19. 19. How can these tools be used? Open Badges can be used to accredit as part of qualification frameworks or to recognise informal learning and behaviours. The open nature of badges means that it is up to issuers to decide how they will best fit the end users needs. Therefore there is no ‘one size fits all’ badge, instead each badge is unique to the end user and the criteria by which it is earned. Two of the following three examples are based on scenarios of how they can be used in schools and further education. This is followed by a real example from the world of work. 19
  20. 20. Lucy Grade 2 in Literacy, Grade 1 in Numeracy Matthew Grade 3 in Literacy, Grade 2 in Numeracy The picture without badges Lucy Grade 2 in Literacy, Grade 1 in Numeracy Matthew Grade 3 in Literacy, Grade 2 in Numeracy Coder -> <- PlaysRoller Derby Sings -> <- PlaysTouch Rugby Reads -> Blogs -> <- Loves to cook <- Loves Art The picture with badges Open Badges can be used to identify and recognise skills both within and away from a curriculum. Badges enhance the overall picture of a pupil and their abilities. How can these tools be used? 20
  21. 21. Having gained badges Lucy is keen to show them off. She uses Badgr and is able to easily access her collection and compare achievements with her friends. How can these tools be used? The new one 21
  22. 22. How can these tools be used? Mandy Griffiths is a further education student about to enter University. Over the course of her two years studying A levels she has collected badges for both academic and informal learning. She has linked her backpack with a profile on Open Badge Passport. Mandy has also created a portfolio using the re.vu portfolio site, and created a professional network using Twitter. She has then used an about.me page as a method of disseminating this information. 22
  23. 23. Awarding badges to develop employability Newport City Homes (NCH) is a housing association working in the city of Newport in South Wales. As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting sustainable communities, they run a six month paid work experience program called The Academy.  Six to eight trainees are employed by NCH, full or part time, to work, build experience and gain skills. Part of the learning that is carried out is recognised by awarding badges to recognise their achievements. The first badges are awarded on successful completion of their induction and outlines what they have learnt during their first few weeks. The essential training and safety training badges are then awarded as they complete their e-leaning and classroom modules. Subjects include welfare reform, social housing, fire safety and manual handling. Finally on successfully completing their six months with NCH they are awarded an alumni badge. These badges are stored in backpacks and Open Badge Passport pages are created to allow their achievements to be promoted as part of future job applications. How can these tools be used? 23
  24. 24. Badge designs Flat form Badges are not dependent on each other + =X Y Z Dependent Key badges are dependent on other badges Levelled Graded badges with increasing difficulty. There are many methods of allocating badges to achievements and competencies. These are three methods that are currently used in different projects. Which method you choose is all about designing your badging ecosystem and how users can earn badges and what for. 24
  25. 25. The future At the start of May 2015 the Badge Alliance, the group who oversee Open Badges, released version 1.1 of the Open Badges specification. This was aimed mainly at developers, but includes some exciting potential developments that could extend the range of badges use even further. Extensions allow elements to be embedded such as the name and co- ordinates of the place where a badge was issued. This would allow the data to be extended to display sites, for example offering a map showing where all users badges were earned. Endorsement would allow companies or other organisations to endorse a badge. For example a badge may be earned at a summer coding meet, but could be endorsed by a large software company to add kudos to the award. These are just two of the proposed developments to badges, with more to follow. The future for Open Badging is very exciting. 25
  26. 26. Links General sites Open Badges openbadges.org Badge Alliance www.badgealliance.org Open Badge Factory openbadgefactory.com Badgr info.badgr.io Sites to collect badges Barclays Digital Driving License www.digitaldrivinglicence.barclays.co.uk OpenLearn www.open.edu/openlearn/get-started/badges- come-openlearn Further reading Slideshare Two slideshare presentations on Open Badges delivered in the past twelve months www.slideshare.net/learning_pool/creating- learning-pathways-with-open-badges www.slideshare.net/Huxleypiguk/preparing-for- the-job-market-in-2015-using-open-badges My ScoopIT! site with links to badge projects www.scoop.it/t/open-badges-by-bob-price-1 Doug Belshaw - lots of in depth information about badges and Digital Literacy http://dougbelshaw.com/blog/ 26
  27. 27. Credits The bit at the back to say how it all happened: Font - cafe and brewery by Brittany Murphy Design, available from dafonts.com. Pictures - either created by myself or labelled as public domain for reuse. Logos - all used with permission. Created using Apple Pages on a Mac. Copyright 2015, please ask before reproducing. If you are using badges and you are not listed in the book, please let me know. Contact via http://about.me/bob.price Thanks to Gaynor and Cath for proofreading 27

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