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Some requirements for badge systems

Slides from presentation at the CETIS 2012 conference, 2012-02-23

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Some requirements for badge systems

  1. 1. Some requirementsfor badge systems Simon Grant JISC CETIS CETIS Conference, Nottingham 2012-02-23 1
  2. 2. Summary  What is a badge? What else is like a badge?  What are the issues with badges?  Four requirements ...  badges must add value over self-authored descriptions  nature and extent of any claim must be clarified  evidence and veracity must be checkable (where needed)  steps on ladders and paths must be sound  … for three interlocking badge systems  personal badge use system  badge quality system  pathways quality system for composite badges 2
  3. 3. What is a badge, anyway?  Wikipedia (2012-02-16)"A badge is a device or fashion accessory, often containingthe insignia of an organization, which is presented ordisplayed to indicate some feat of service, a specialaccomplishment, a symbol of authority granted by taking anoath (e.g., police and fire), a sign of legitimate employment orstudent status, or as a simple means of identification. Theyare also used in advertising, publicity, and for brandingpurposes." [emphasis added]  So I include uniform, T-shirts, ties, colours as “etc.” 3
  4. 4. Badges etc. I may have worn ...  Staff ID  Swimming badges  Conference attendee  personal survival  perhaps categorised  lifesaving  1999 path of totality  Cub Scout badges  Conference helper  PDSA Busy Bees  Choir member  I am ...  Dysgwr  (number of years old) (could have but I think not...)  siaradwch yn araf  Team supporter  Old school tie  NGO org member  School uniform  Religious symbol  Team player 4
  5. 5. So, agreement with Doug …  “visual representations of a skill or achievement”  ability  ability-related achievement  responsibility undertaken (needs abilities)  role (which is often “awarded” according to ability)  also simply completion of a defined experience  Also (but lets not focus on these):  skill aspiration?  identity  membership  support 5
  6. 6. … but issues remain  For “display layer” to be worth anything, people must have confidence in the “assessment layer”  particularly employers and the like who rely on them  If badges are to be “credentials”, they have to be effective in giving clarity and trust (“credence”)  How can we simultaneously  open up the issuing process  avoid hopeless over-proliferation  allow people easy ways of verifying and checking  to their satisfaction (thats the challenging part) 6
  7. 7. Requirement 1:make things better  (than self-authored text and traditional certificates)  We already have electronic certificates and CVs  Badges can still add value in three basic ways  by giving a unique identifier for a self-claim, making it global  by having quality processes in place for something awarded  by plotting out good pathways to something desirable  These relate to three interrelated systems  Lets consider each requirement and system in turn  (The “looker” is the party wanting people with badge) 7
  8. 8. Requirement 2:clarify nature and extent of claim  Self-awarded badges have value only if unambiguous  URIs give clarity independent of human language  then able to be searched for by machine  Awards in general vary in their detail  some are generic or broad, and imprecise  some are highly specific, detailing exactly what is entailed  Needs to be scope for claim to link to further detail  either terms from controlled vocabularies  or free text explanations  Badges may also be private and effective  credentials needed to view claim 8
  9. 9. The personal badge use system  Person claims a badge  Badge has an identifier (URI)  linking to overall description – many languages possible  Detail by further identifiers or free text (e-portfolio?)  E-portfolio claim includes link to issuer site  similarly to electronic certificate, maybe with “transcript”  maybe “issuer” is self or peer – OK if that is clear  Looker goes to issuer site to see claim detail  directly, or linked from badge or claim text  Ties in with systems supporting personal learning, action planning, goal setting and achievement, matching 9
  10. 10. Requirement 3:able to check evidence and truth  Lookers want to check credentials  they have seen the claim, but they still want  a good basis for trusting the claim  confidence in the assessment and awarding processes  to assess the badge claims value for them  Portfolios can give particular personal evidence  Further evidence from site of awarding body  body may be well known with good reputation  or look for more information about the body  including the bodys membership of wider bodies  bodys credentials may include badges (meta-badges?) …  evidence of badge assessment (etc.) process quality 10
  11. 11. The badge quality system  Designing  Specifying and managing assessment  Providing information about significance  Ensuring award quality  Confirming awards and holders to third parties  Expiry or retraction for time-limited or revoked badges  Gathering statistics of use including employer use  Managing versions and revision  Protection against misuse  Managing badge reputation with employers and others 11
  12. 12. Requirement 4:steps on paths must be sound  Open Badges white paper talks a lot about paths  an analogy: you cant trust a path with slippery stones  another: you cant trust a ladder with weak rungs  A badge may define pre-requisite badges  Pathways quality management means ensuring each step is right to fit in with the other steps  select appropriate pre-requisites, not too strict or too lax  check and monitor quality of pre-requisite badges  Composite badges are useful for employers who look  the degree itself is a kind of composite badge, but losing support  time to create better ones 12
  13. 13. The pathways quality system  Devising new ways of reaching objectives  giving up reinventing wheels  adding value by putting together existing badges  Effective goal decomposition  mirroring personal action planning  Investigating providers of each step  Checking and matching quality of each step  Promoting composite badge to employers and others  Managing composite badge reputation 13
  14. 14. Open Badges metadata spec  Badge Title  Badge Image URL  Short Badge Description (plain text)  Badge Criteria (URL, required)  Issuer (Organization name or just individual name)  Issuer Contact (email address)  Issue Date  Badge Expiration Date (optional; default none)  Badge Evidence URL (optional)signed within an Authentication/Verification Framework 14
  15. 15. Missing useful information  Short badge description OK, but distinctions needed:  overall badge significance true of all instances of the badge  individual personal claim giving further specific details  (evidence on which the award or claim is based is OK)  authentication / verification  PKI signing is less than ideal for several reasons  instead, could have a link to verification on issuer site  Quality confirmation for specific badges would be useful  distinct from the overall significance of the badge  Definition of composite badge components + links  and specify quality criteria for component badge selection 15
  16. 16. Conclusions / open questions  Badges can cover every sector  school, HE, vocational, professional, voluntary, hobby  Democratisation of ability credentials  for education, recruitment, training, advancement, matching  but is this the best solution for a common language?  Mozilla Open Badges is a good start  what extra metadata is needed to make badges work well?  Ive proposed some ideas – needs to move towards consensus  Exercise  envision more detailed scenarios  consider SWOT 16
  17. 17. Reference resources   spec is in  (seems more stable than )   (this session)  Scott wrote a very useful page for electronic certificates   most of this could be applied to badges  InLOC project will be taking badges into account  Integrating Learning Outcomes and Competences  17
  18. 18. Thanks...  ... for your attention  ... for any feedback you may be able to give  either now  or send to me at