Digital Badges - Dec 1-15, 2012

What do you want to know about digital badges?

What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -
Number of replies: 38

If there are any specific questions that come to mind regarding digital badges (pedagogical, technical, or otherwise), please ask!?!

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Christine Horgan -

Peter:

I'm tempted to say I want to know everything, but I'm not sure what to ask. (Everything you ever wanted to know about digital badges, but were afraid to ask.)

I see references to the concept of badges more and more frequently. As I have a reluctant learner in my own family, the concept of badges (and I'm thinking the Girl Guide/Boy Scout approach--which is probably too simplistic) is a concept that interests me personally as it's something that might make PSE more "do-able" for this very bright family member. However, ever mindful of the necessity at PSEs to grow business, I'm more and more interested in creating opportunities for learners -- and badges may present that opportunity.

Could we start with . . .

  • defining the concept.
  • briefly exploring the history of the concept.
  • looking at the business model for badges.
  • discussing whether or not badges will/can/could/should be non-credit, continuing education-type courses or whether or not they could be combined into a self-determined, PSE-recognized qualification.
  • looking at the "shape" of badges (hours, resources, evaluations, learner support).

 

  • Cheers, Chris
  • (SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

In reply to Christine Horgan

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Christine,

I will do my best to cover "everything" over the first two weeks of December. If topics are not covered and there is enough interest I am sure we could convince Scope to do a follow-up seminar or two... and please don't be afraid to ask anything... I never know where the diamond on the beach question is ;)

I'm totally with you in applying badges to PSE and surrounding areas. I think you will find my approach to badges (and much of life-long learning) is outside the traditional institutions and I will focus on the possibilities of creating badge systems that map to an individuals personal learning. I'm a fan of William Pinar and the importance and benefit of personalizing curriculum. I think badges fit very well here.

So yes... I will spend some time exploring the concept of badges and dive into some history... and I would enjoy discussing business models that may emerge. I've had a few discussions with businesses and CPD and they see business benefit to badges. Not necessarily from where you would expect.

And where badges fit within credentialing (or not) and how they can be within learning. The shape of badges has so many possibilities. So much to discuss... Also looking forward to others contributions in this discussion, so if you know of anyone who would also like to join in, please encourage them.

Thanks so much for jumping into the discussion now... great to get things going early. be well...

Peter

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Juanita Foster-Jones -

I play World of Warcraft in my spare time and was intrigued to see the effect of Achievements (Wows digital badges) on game play in terms of motivating players, increasing activity in particular instances, and encouraging OCD tendencies (people have got to get all the achievements, will rerun instances over and over again to get the achievement).

 

What is interesting in the latest patch instead of having to do each Achievement with individual characters, once the achievement is done it is then carried across other characters a player might have.

So my questions are:

  • Do digital badges provide motivation in education settings. I come from a Library and INformation Studies Background so am also interested as to whether badges can encourage library use? Where is the evidence
  • How portable can these badges be across institutions/organisations

Look forward to following the discussions on this topic

Juanita

In reply to Juanita Foster-Jones

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Vance Stevens -

My colleagues and I have been exploring this topic in other communities of practice.  Jonathan Finkelstein of LearningTimes came online and told us about Badgestack.  His presentation started light, easily listenable, but got quite meaty at the end as he showed us through screenshare how you might design and trigger badges according to criteria you can set in BadgeStack. The recording is here: 

http://learning2gether.posterous.com/jonathan-finkelstein-walks-us-through-learnin

 

Another project you might look into is the Mozilla Open Badge project.  One place to go for more information is Doug Belshaw's blog http://dougbelshaw.com/blog/tag/mozilla/.  I became aware for Doug's work listening to this podcast series on badges

http://www.teachersteachingteachers.org/category/doug-belshaw/

 

Hope this helps and I hope to follow this thread a little more closely,

Vance

In reply to Vance Stevens

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Yes, there are many great CoP that find themselves into discussing badges these days. Just the simple idea of recieving a badge for participating in a CoP.

I am aware of badgestack and have spent some time poking around within it. There is also a good challenge up on P2PU that also mentions badgestack and some participats have used it in their final projects; https://p2pu.org/en/groups/the-world-of-open-badges/

I have been involved with the Mozilla Open Badges project for a while and was a team member for the six months assisting with onboarding people to open badges. Interetsing work... I agree that the discussion gets meaty when you start looking at badge systems design and the events that trigger the issuing of a badge. Setting criteria for the issuing of a badge kicks off some good thinking here. I believe that Alex Halavais has a great presentation that speaks to this thinking... and at later stages of the presentation looks at how chunky [thin (or thick)] a badge should be and the impacts of this chunkiness... I also see us discussing this during this two week seminar series...

http://alex.halavais.net/eld12-presentation-more-on-badges

Yes, Doug Belshaw is doing great work!!!! I was also on the panel (and the previous panel) you refer to with teachersteachingteachers. These two series were very good and exposed me to many great thinkers in this area;

http://www.teachersteachingteachers.org/category/peter-rawsthorne/

I hope to draw on my experience with the Mozilla Open Badges project during this seminar series. I learned so much from diving into the technology and assisting in building learning resources and onboarding new users... all good!! Keep in mind I have equal experience in both software development and adult learning spread over 25 years... I hope to draw on all this as we explore digital badges; current technology and pedagogical futures... so excited!!!

fyi, I consciously chose the wording of "digital badge" rather than "open badge" in this seminars title. There is so much work going on in the digital badges realm beyond Mozilla's open badge... I also believe Mozilla is the best (and only) organization on the planet that could successfully move the badge into being an open standard... which I think is an end point of the digital badges technology... if time and interest allows it would be great to discuss this further...

Thanks so much for jumping in Vance. I look forward to your contribution to the discussion, And if you know of others who may want to join in please extend the invite! be Well....

In reply to Juanita Foster-Jones

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Juanita,

I also am facsinated in how achievement levels (could be considered badges) in games are a motivator for learning the skills to achieve the new levels.

Your questions regarding do badges motivate in educational settings is a good one. One that I believe people believe intrinsically, but I wonder if it applies equally to all people. And I believe that is it still early times with digital badges and the research hasn't been completed to show how / if they motivate in the educational setting... and if this motivation is any different that traditional grades and diplomas etc...

Could badges be used in Library settings... I believe so. And I think it would be a very interesting process to discover what kind of badges could work and what kind of badge system design would emerge. Exciting times...

One of the attributes of the Mozilla Open Badges project is its openness so it could be used across institutions / organizations. But also that I see one of the end goal of this project is the definition of an open standard describing a digital badge so the badges would be portable even beyond the traditional institution / organization. I plan on speaking to this topic later in this seminar series...

Juanita, thanks for contributing to this discussion. really helpful in focusing the seminars. If you know others who want to join in please extend the invite.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Julia Hengstler -

Hello.

Julia Hengstler here (@jhengstler). I'm the Educational Technologist @ the Faculty of Education, Vancouver Island University. I couldn't help but jump in--I monitor a lot of discussions by email lurking.

I found www.classbadges.com and am thinking of using it with a post-grad social media course. I need to define the compentency groupings==>badges and the sub-competencies==>descriptions. It looks like it runs very slickly. One of my twitter followers used it and said her K12 students loved it--found it very motivating. I'm trying to track her down in my tweets--so far no luck but have put out a twitter call. (Tried a bunch of archiving & searches to no avail.)

I think the system is worth checking out.

Julia

In reply to Julia Hengstler

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Julia,

Yes, classbadges looks very good. I always like a simple user interface... I think you could use this site for a post-grad course. My biggest concern would come in display and integration. What I mean by this is a badge earner should be able to display thier badges where ever they choose (fb, blog, linkedin, etc...) It looks like classbadges are displayed on thier site... I also believe it is important the badges earned in one place should have the ability to be displayed with badges earned elsewhere. All badges a person earns should have the ability to be displayed together, this will really allow the earner to create and fulfill their own personal learning journey...

I did a little research and it looks like classbadges is considering an integration with mozilla open badges. Therefore, these classbadges badges could be integrated with other badges and displayed together where the earner would like. All good!

These ideas of display and integration we will be exploring in more detail during this scope seminar series...

And if you know anyone else who also has an interest in digital badges please invite them to this two week seminar series...

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Julia Hengstler -

Have since signed up for a Purdue Passport beta account where the badges will push out to the Mozilla backpack. It looks like a good framework.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Gina Bennett -

hi Peter

I know a little bit about open badges & even earned a couple while navigating my way through Mozilla's open badges site :) But here's my wish list for learning more about digital badges:

  • I would be most interested in exploring some ideas for introducing badges into the credentialling machinery of the postsecondary system. I *know* that the traditional higher ed. system has its own credentialling but I question the value of developing yet another 'parallel' system with no communication or transfer between the 2. 
  • I'd also appreciate some hands-on information about how to add my own digital badges to a website: to my LinkedIn profile or other such page. And how an institution or a course could create & distribute its own badge.

Looking forward!

Gina Bennett

PS: can you please clarify what the acronyn PSE stands for? Thanks. 

In reply to Gina Bennett

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Christine Horgan -

My apologies. PSE is short for post-secondary education. Chris

In reply to Gina Bennett

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Gina,

Thanks for providing this input. I agree with you about developing another "parallel" credentialing system. But it is early times with all this and it will be interesting to where is all shakes out. And yes, if digital badges do become more accepted with the traditional how these two communicate / transfer between each other will IMHO become important. Personally, I would hope that digital badging begins to focus more outside the traditional. I actually believe there is far greater opportunity for success in the areas outside the traditional and much larger "audience". This is an area of digital badges I am increasing my research efforts and would like to see more dicussion around this. Time will tell...

I intend on spending time looking at how to display your digital badges and provide the hands-on information to do so...

Thanks for your input... it helps me alter the session curriculum so it better meets the participant needs... please feel free to invite other to this scope seminar session on digital badges...

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Leva Lee -

 Hi Peter and everyone,

I don't know much about digital badges so all that's been mentioned so far sounds just great.

 I was thinking wouldn't it be fun to create and offer a badge to participants from this session and possibly other sessions. Not sure what's involved but would be keen to actually create one (and some interest from my colleagues too to help.)

As a bit of background, ETUG is offering this seminar/webinar as the first in a series of T.e.l.l. sessions for this coming year. We started this program last year as a series of one hour monthly webinars  with the idea that people share presentations, resources that they've already developed to the wider ETUG community and beyond http://etug.ca/event/online-events/. It's exciting to include the opportunity for people to continue  their discussion of this topic of digital badges in SCoPE.

Let me know what you think about creating a badge for participants from this session. Not sure how doable but we could give it a try.

Anyhow looking forward to your session on digital badges!

In reply to Leva Lee

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Pat Tymchatyn -

I agree I had no idea about badges until this stream started so I would be keen on hearing on how they are used and Leva's idea about creating one is a step in the right direction!  Go for it!

In reply to Leva Lee

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Leva,

I love the idea of creating badges for this two week event. if we can figure out the graphics and some bccampus hosting location, I could take care of the rest... I like the idea of three badges

  1. learner badge (mostly for lurking over the two weeks)
  2. participant badge (contributes to most of the discussion questions)
  3. contributor badge (does everything the participant does with some additional contributions like badge design, blogging, etc...)

I am going to build this seminar series badge system design into the series and give us something real to discuss where we feel the impact... by earning a badge.

Thanks for kicking off the idea... looking forward to the discussion....

Peter

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Joyce McKnight -

I like the idea of badges for this forum too but where

do we store them?  Or is that part of the course?

In reply to Joyce McKnight

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Joyce,

Yes, we will be discussing where we store badges during this course.

The short answer is; the badge issuer needs to store data regarding the badges they have issued. If we also consider Mozilla's Open Badges, they store instances of the issued badge in the Mozilla open badges backpack.

More on this during the two weeks starting December 1st.

Thanks for asking...

Peter

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Leva Lee -

That's great Peter. No time like the present to give it a try and many of us keen to help.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: yes to digital badges?

by bronwyn hegarty -
Peter and all I have been reading the discussion so far with interest, and really like this three-tiered way to earn badges. perhaps the learner badge needs to include some participation, otherwise how will you know someone is lurking? I have heard of badges and found a site where you could learn to make them - will have to hunt for that. Bronwyn
In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Zack Lee -

I'm really interested in hearing out ideas as well as critiques on how to implement badges. In my head,  we need to tie badges to ePortfolios or PLEs where people can pull in badges into their space.

I'm also mulling around the idea of a "grassroots model" of awarding badges where the value of the badge lies not only because it was awarded within an institution but it was awarded by colleagues/mentors who recognized something in your work.

In reply to Zack Lee

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Zack,

Thanks for the contribution. Yeah... the possibilities for badges and how / where they are implemented is very wide open. I agree associating with PLE and ePortfolios is a great idea, also how to fold in peer assessment is important...

What I have become amazed about with badges is the diversity. As mentioned previously I titled this seminar series "digital badges" on purpose (rather than "open badges"). This is because there are a number of different approaches to badges that are emerging, with some interesting ways of assessing and awarding of badges. I hope to discuss the differences over the two weeks...

Thanks for chiming in and please invite others who may be interested...

Peter

In reply to Zack Lee

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Bronwyn Stuckey -

Zack, I could not agree more with what you have said. See my post below about a project that I think ties together much of what you have suggested. We have to get beyond the notion of badges as trinkets and there is a lot of work that can be done to do that.

In reply to Bronwyn Stuckey

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Zack Lee -

I was looking over your project and it sounds amazing. I really liked the idea of having pathways and having "the other half" as being driven by community members.

My idea of that "grassroots model" stems from my experience as an undergraduate student a few years back. I was never a keen student but the most rewarding moments I had was when somebody recognized something in me that I didn't know. It was these little pokes of encouragement that made me want to do more.

In reply to Zack Lee

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Joyce McKnight -

I really like the idea of having colleagues be able to award

badges or some other form of recognition for expertise.

It sort of reminds me of the model used in the LinkedIn

community where colleagues can attest to your expertise--

sorry I forget the exact term.   It would be really cool to

somehow connect such recommendations to badges that

could be stored with other learning experiences...just a

thought.  By the way, I am having trouble with reading and

writing in this seminar...the page will not center properly

Suggestions?  J McK

In reply to Joyce McKnight

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Christine Horgan -

Joyce: "Endorsed" is the Linked in term. It's a fairly new feature. Chris

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Juanita Foster-Jones -

A serendipitous discovery via Josie Fraser on Twitter - a blog post on Open Badges with an example of how they are being applied :

http://latkin00.our.dmu.ac.uk/2012/11/26/get-recogonised-learners-on-open-badges/

Regards

Juanita

In reply to Juanita Foster-Jones

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Juanita,

Great post. And references to the S2R and DML competition are both very valuable. I am aware of both of these as they are frequently discussed in the Mozilla Open Badges community call... all good.

We will be discussing both these "projects" and others throughout the two weeks seminar series. There has been so much great work around badges already... I'm looking forward to sharing and collaborating with other over the next few weeks!

Thanks.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Patric Lougheed -

Judging by the level of discourse even before this seminar has begun it looks to be a stonking good time!

Hi, my name is Patric Lougheed (@patriclougheed) and I am an Instructional Technologist at the University of Victoria. My interest in badges stems from my own experience as a "gamer" and as a father who can see how badges can be a fantastic motivator. My 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with high functioning autism and is already an established collector. My 3 year old son is already displaying strong gamer attributes.

I am very interested in modes of integration with Moodle and Mahara (I host my own) and the potential in K-12. I have been working in higher education for over 13 years and I am way to familiar with the inflexibility of the institution to believe it will be adopted or accepted.

My question would be how do you (we) counteract the stigma that the term badges suffers from? I have tried to discuss the concepts and uses with colleagues and receive a common reaction of disregard. It seems the association with a type of boy scout reward system blinds people to the potential.

 I would also like to volunteer my design skills (6 years of art school don't fail me now) in badge creation should it be required. 

In reply to Patric Lougheed

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

Patric,

Thanks for chiming in. I agree, given the engagement already this could become a very good seminar series. I get the gaming connection, and am a big fan of James Paul Gee. I also see a good pattern in how games recognize levels of achievement and keep people challenged along a learnning trajectory.

I do know that Moodle and Mahara has a project underway to integrate Mozilla Open Badges, this is a good thing! http://docs.moodle.org/dev/openbadges

How to deal with the stigma of badges? Yes I have found people with strong objections and an unwillingness to see the value. I agree this is particularly strong within the traditional institutions. And I get it, why do they need another form of accreditation? I believe the greatest success for badges is outside the traditional. More on this later. I have three primary ways to deal with the objections or offer a way in for traditional institutions;

  1. Tie badges to co-curricular activities. the co-curricular transcript is being increasingly requested. I believe institutions would do well with using badges here. Its a safe place to start.
  2. Begin a discussion around the branding of the institution into the badges. Badges are going to start showing up all over the place (facebook, linkedin, blogs, etc...). All the badges become "free" marketing for the institution and tie back to institutionally hosted course curriculum. Great way to drive more interest toward the institution. Could increase enrollment... I'd hope sceptics could see the value of that.
  3. Ignore the sceptics. if badges prove out, they will come around. Just following a standard adoption curve... we are early adopters...

Awesome! If you want to mock up three badges following the pattern I suggested in this forums other post, that would be great! I will dedicate a discussion thread to badge design.

Thanks Patric... looking forward to the next two weeks...

In reply to Patric Lougheed

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Leva Lee -

Hi Patric, that's terrific that you can help us with the badge design work. If you need help let me or Sylvia know as we have two crackerjack co-op students from SFU who do wonderful work and could also help out.

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Bronwyn Stuckey -

Hi All

I am just getting into this conversation. I have been working in a project here in Australia to 'gamify' acitvity within an educator professional development community of practice. The project is called PLANE ( http://plane.edu.au ). It is a Federally funded Digital Revolution project to support teachers nationally in using ICT with quality pedagogies in education.The community activity is accredited with Australian teaching regulatory bodies and counts toward teacher continuing accreditation.

We built our eight level game layer framework around the the Joseph Campbell framework of The Hero's Journey. Teachers enter a Hero and can level up through to Ninja and finally Maven. The idea is that they embark on an epic journey and face many challenges, realising the value of colleagues in conquering these and emerge back in their homeland as leaders. Their activity in the community gains them points, badges, missions, status and levels etc. We have worked very hard to engage teachers in meaningful actities and many of the awards and rewards are earned only through evidenced professional activity. Into this we have built a peer review process (higher levels support the lower), roles, social gifting of rewards with a view to recognition and community ownership of the game layer.

We have worked with Badgeville as the SOAS architeture for the game layer but all the content and rewards etc are designed by educators. It has been a 12 month process to get the first levels of the game layer into the burgeoning community and we are now at the the particpatory design phase where we are running, surveys, focus groups and interview to form a steering committee to evaluate the early design and effectiveness and to form an informed steering committee to take the project forward.

We have been dealing with a lot of tensions in this design. See attached PDF file of a very recent presentation I gave the the Games for Change Summit here in Australia. I do have to say I am having a blast with this convergence of my two greatest academic loves/areas of research - games and communities of practice.

In reply to Bronwyn Stuckey

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Joyce McKnight -

Sounds very cool...I don't usually like games just for the

sake of playing but to play a game and learn something

useful as well would be great.

In reply to Bronwyn Stuckey

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Julia Hengstler -

Hi, Bronwyn.

Any chance that you'll be opening up access to teacher education institutions outside of Australia?
Julia

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Jeffrey Keefer -

I am wondering if there is much (any? lots?) of research in the area of digital badges yet. It seems to me that short of somebody making money from them, that some formal research is one of the clearer ways of demonstrating something is more than just a passing fad. 

Perhaps it is already going on, such as using CoP, networked learning, or actor-network theory as a frame for considering it?

In reply to Peter Rawsthorne

Re: What do you want to know about digital badges?

by Margot Croft -
Similar to Christine, I'm tempted to say everything. Reading through posts and clicking a few links has already been hugely helpful. Interested in finding out how badges can be linked to digital portfolios and transcripts and what weight they may carry.