A shorter version of my living deck for Higher Education. Prepared for the Educational Developers Caucus, held in Winnipeg in 2015. This version emphasizes educator PD at the expense of student employability.
Other humanitarian learning systems, e.g.: -RCRC -CDC -UNHCR Global Learning Center
Open Badges...more than Gamification or Gold Stars
Gamification or Gold Stars
Educational Developers Caucus
February 13, 2014
LONGER PRESENTATION PAGE:
Not all learning takes place in the classroom
Personal Learning Networks
Learning about learning never stops
Alec Couros 2010
Issues with certification today
• Transparency issues
– “Dumb” paper often needs other
documents, e.g. syllabus
– Proxy only – not the “whole story”
– Easy to forge
• Recognition issues
– Lack of granularity
– Lack of context
• links to supporting evidence
– Experiential learning not valued
– Lack of alignment, transfer,
• Physical issues
– Difficult to share, easy to lose
What are Open Badges?
Origins of Badges
• Since pre-Roman
• Heraldry, Military,
Blue Light, Boy Scouts
• Public recognition:
Badge Tracking Android App
A digital representation of an accomplishment,
interest or affiliation that is visual, available
online, and contains metadata including
trusted links that help explain the context,
meaning, process and result of an activity.
As an open artefact, the earner can present the
badge in different contexts from which it was
• Clear progress markers
– Motivating learners, supporting advisors
• Flexible learning pathways
– Granular, incremental, multi-source,
• Visual branding
– Issuers and learners
• Online trust system
– Demonstrate skills & capabilities
– Proof of performance
– Backed by issuer
What is an Open Badge?
Micro credentials - modular record of learning
A modular skills ecosystem
Open Badges and “Micro-portfolios”
“Going Digital” helps:
• Sharing, searching
• Validating, “valorizing”
– Assessing, aligning, combining, separating
Open Badges & Social Media
Curated in ePortfolio…
Pulled from Backpack…
What is an Open Badge?
• A portable graphic with an embedded description and links to
• A reward for positive (prescribed) behaviour
• A marker on a development path
• A micro-credential
• A discrete record in a modular transcript
…a simple digital standard for recognizing and sharing
achievements, skills and performance
Emerging public policy: US
Secretary of Education
Badges can help speed the shift from credentials that
simply measure seat time, to ones that more
accurately measure competency. We must
accelerate that transition. And badges can help
account for formal and informal learning in a variety
Today's technology-enabled, information-rich, deeply
interconnected world means learning not only can –
but should – happen anywhere, anytime. We need to
recognize these experiences, whether the
environments are physical or online, and whether
learning takes place in schools, colleges or adult
education centers, or in afterschool, workplace,
military or community settings.
Emerging public policy: UK
Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise
“In broad terms, the conferring of an Open Badge
on a learner is similar to the award of a
qualification certificate, and the same quality
standards must be ensured.
The emerging opportunities offered by Open
Badges in the areas of peer assessment,
employer partnership, learning analytics and
the engagement of learners means that it should
be considered in learning technology at various
We will encourage Awarding Organisations, Ofqual
and Ofsted to be aware of the potential of this
Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) recommendations: government response
Matthew Hancock, June 2014
Some uses of badges
Can be combined...
• Motivate learning
– “Game mechanics”:
• Set goals (missions), evaluate, track progress
• Provide learning pathways
• Recognize status, reputation, group affiliation
• Keep souvenir of experience
• Assess, recognize learning
– Formal, non-formal, informal
– Fill recognition gaps not currently well-served
Mozilla “Discover” (Gates funding)
Open Badges: Lifelong, Lifewide Learning
Open University, UK
Student engagement and retention
See analysis: MOOC Badging and the Learning Arc
Open Learning Design Studio (OLDS) MOOC
Balancing Badges with Grades
Digital Badges vs. Grades
Open Badges Grades
Learner control over
A-F grading system focuses
on extrinsic, opaque and
Transparency of learner
attainments and mastery
Grades are not reliable
indicators of actual
(Often) provide specific
evidence for learner
attainments from lifewide
Do not address formal
Adapted from Bill Watson, PurduePoly 2014 (YouTube )
Badges and OER at BYU
David Wiley makes you work…
Badges for Employability Soft Skills
Recognizing Co-Curricular Learning
University of Michigan
“Badging the Badger”
Open Badges for Teacher Development
The California School-Age Consortium:
Europe - Adult Education Made Accessible:
• Accessibility Quality Badges for Adult Education
• Accessibility Competency Badges for Experts
Community Educator PD
• Community Service
• Leadership Development
• Subject Matter Development
MSF Canada -> International
PLEs for Humanitarian Workers
New MSF role?
External Performance Support
Just Ask Google, Ask YouTube
PLN/Communities of Practice
Coaching and Mentoring
Other External Learning
MOOCs, self-directed OER,
PLN/Communities of Practice
formal->informal, online / F2F
A new skills currency
Open Badges, ePortfolios &“Badge Passports”
• Visually efficient and appealing
– Engages, builds confidence, provides continuing feedback
• Individual pathways, multiple sources of learning
– Formal <---> non-formal <---> informal learning
– Modular, stackable, diverse, remixable, portable, shareable
• Programs not completed can be partially recognized and recombined
• Add evidence, reflection as appropriate
• Drill down to specifics, or roll up into larger outcomes
• Combined in badge passports & ePortfolios
• Common standard for skills exchange
• Trustable, easy to understand
– Transparent criteria, evidence, issue/expiry date
– Flexible alignment to frameworks, requirements, training plans
– Issuing organization is validated and branded by the badges it issues;
maintains ongoing connection to earners
– Learner centred, employer friendly
Are Open Badges for You?
Some questions to ask
• Behavioural goals?
– Engagement, feedback, recognition, development...?
– Skills frameworks?
• Value add?
– Worth the effort? Filling a void?
• Redeemable worth?
– What would your badges “buy”?
– Have you talked to employers?
– Internal leadership? Employers in the community?
– Cost structure? Who will maintain & improve it over time?
Open Badges and EDC?
Inspired by Action Groups...for validation
• Evidence for portfolios
• Flexible recognition of Centre Programs &
Courses for ED professional development?
– SEDA accredited, plus other public/internal
programs & courses
->transparent outcomes, options for embedded
evidence, emerging potential for alignment
• Support for Rewards and Recognition?
• An element of Community of Practice?
– Expertise/interest, mentor/mentee, peer
recognition, online activity...
DIY versus Supported
• Do It Yourself
– Explore: earn a badge, display a badge
– Experiment: design a badge, design a small badge system
– Pilot, build internal support, implement
– Workshops: “Open Badges 101”, “201”...
– Train the trainer
– Design and implementation support
– Technology support
• Technology choices
– Make your own (open source)
– Software as a Service
Design Principles Card Deck