Digital Badges - Dec 1-15, 2012

Should badges be open?

Should badges be open?

by John Dumbrille -
Number of replies: 4

In following Christine's discussion, "where are badges being stored and noted?",  I was provoked by one of Peter's comments -

"A persons badges need to be open; in that they are not stored in a proprietary location using a non-standard format"

Question - should openness be inextricably linked to badges, or loosely linked?A related issue - openness and universally exposed are not the same thing, so what does openness look like.

As for badges being stored in a non proprietary location - I think this raises practical concerns as I suspect that stored in a hidden, if not proprietary location, will be needed for some badges. I want some people and not others to know what I've done or achieved in certain areas of my life; by extension I expect badges need to recognise peoples' desire for privacy. Bob may be a Mason or a Rotarian elder; he might want some, but not others, to know this fact....

In reply to John Dumbrille

Re: Should badges be open?

by Peter Rawsthorne -

John,

Very good question! This is one item that I believes falls very well in Mozilla Open Badges favour.

The idea of openness falls into a few areas;

  1. The Mozilla Open Backpack allows the earner to set a badge or a set of badges to be public or private. So even though the badges are in their digital badge backpack they won't display everywhere. They will only display where the earner wants. They could create a set of badges for display in facebook, which may be different than another set they display in linkedin. each of these sets can share badges if the earner wants. Gives a lot of privacy and display options.
  2. Proprietary badging systems may not provide this sets feature and if they want they could change it based on what they deem best. We have seem facebook change direction and display information that users previoulsy thought was private.
  3. All the source code is open source so it can be utilized and altered by anyone if needed. So the privacy attributes can be enhanced if required.

In the end I believe openess refers to the source code, the philosophical approach to the badge system features and design, the meta-data standard and ability to engage the development team.

In reply to John Dumbrille

Re: Should badges be open?

by Bronwyn Stuckey -

I agree John!  That's why I like the idea of the Mozilla OBI - in that it is users who choose which badges can pushed into open spaces. We as accreditating or issuing organisations can attach metadata to a badge and a URL so that people can see how a person eraned the badge, but in the end it is the user who decides which badges become part of their identity outside the community/project/course that it was earned. In my book, as you say the people who earn badges should be able to decide where they display and where and how they form part of their identity/ies.

In reply to John Dumbrille

Re: Should badges be open?

by Julia Hengstler -

Hmm--interesting point. I did/do like the open concept. But maybe there needs to be a proprietary "badge locker" for people who want to go that route? Would need to publish badges from there as well...

Julia