Saturday, October 27, 2012

CASScot12: Doug Belshaw - Open Badges

{Live capture of session from CASScot12 session.}

Doug Belshaw works for Mozilla Foundation and wanted to make it clear they we a not for profit organisation.

Learning today happens everywhere and often difficult to get recognition for achievements that happen for learning that takes place out of schools. the problem is that qualifications we have live in silos and don't always connect with the rest of our lives.

Open badges are more than just images. Baked into the badge are all sorts of meta-data such as who issued it, who got it and why. Means that you can't just copy someone else's badges. They can represent hard and soft skills and work well with peer assessment. Open badges can capture all sorts of soft and hard skills.

Stealth assessment: learners can just be doing stuff and when they cover enough targets, a badge is unlocked. Can be linked to doing something often enough, or perform a set of related activities, a badge can be unlocked.

All works through a shared badge ecosystem and infrastructure (OBI - Open Badge Infrastructure) and is a universal standard. organisations issue badges. These badges are stored in an "earner's backpack". By default the earner can keep these private or chose to show them on Displayers - organisations that support the showing of such badges. The are also Endorsers - organisations that will recognise achievements.

Easiest way to get an idea of what this means and how it works is to go to the Open Badge site, earn a badge, create a backpack and then share your badges.

Question: how do teachers issue badges? You can install an issuing engine (which is tricky), there are Word Press plugin (see Doug's blog for details), or you can use third party sites such as Badg Us to create and issue badges.

Can issue badges to recognise achievement but can also be used for motivation (e.g. "Most improved behaviour" badge).

Will this take off? Various organisations on board already, e.g. Facebook, some job sites, some universities, Class Dojo, Code Academy, ... Charlie Love also mentioned that they are talking about incorporating Open Badges into SQA/Glow/ePortfolio developments.

Can third parties search for people with specific badges? Absolutely. Some site already doing this.

Special Bonus Stuff

Doug showed us a WebLiteracy curriculum at He'd be interested in feedback. Mozilla are trying to create a generation of "Web Makers" - it is a good thing that people can do more than just consume stuff that's on the web.

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