Posts made by Gina Bennett


Hi Paul, it's great to see your expertise so openly exposed here :) :) :)

I have a question... more of a philosophical one I think. I understand the differences in CC licences & I certainly understand the value of having a "wide" open licence: a CC-BY gives incredible freedom to potential users. But I worry a bit that by honouring this ideal licence so much, we might de-value other good openness intentions. For example, at College of the Rockies this semester we have an instructor who took the bold move of adopting a free textbook for his students. (The course is Introductory Astronomy & the book is Astronomy Notes, by Nick Strobel & you can see it here: As you can see, this is NOT an open as in CC-BY sort of book. But to be honest, as far as the students are concerned it is "open" because it is openly available. The instructor is very happy with the quality too.

I'm just thinking we shouldn't be too hard on those who are generous enough to provide any level of openness to their creative works. Sure, it would be great if this particular author would re-licence his work for re-use etc. but if there's one thing we've all seen from this forum (& other places) openness is a journey & most people don't start at the ideal state.





hi Colleagues,

I'm delighted to join this forum, & the interest I see in Open Textbooks is yet another sign that Openness is becoming mainstream in academia. I've been interested in the Open movement for some time now & am currently serving on BCcampus's Open Textbook subcommittee.

In my day-job I support curriculum, innovation & distance learning for College of the Rockies, a small, rural community college in Cranbrook BC. Encouraging faculty to consider & adopt open textbooks has been a challenge & I'm really interested to see how the adoption process can be encouraged through smaller steps.

Looking forward to learning with/from you all!



hi Peter, you said:

>>why we would consider using badges within the traditional learning experience... the journey toward accreditation is well known, proven and culturally entrenched. Why introduce a new model?

And yes, I understand that this forum is about 'digital badges' & not supposed to be targetted towards uses in higher/tertiary education. But I would like to pick just a bit at your comment about accreditation being well known, proven, & culturally entrenced. Yes, you are right: the current HE system of accreditation *is* well known & god knows it's culturally entrenced. But is it the best way; should it be the only way of credentialling the learning that happens in HE?

The culturally entrenced way of credentialling HE learning is not necessarily fair nor representative of what people actually learn. It is not all that granular, for one thing, & it's often not very authentic. I think there's lots of room for a parallel system that takes the assessment of learning out of the extreme monopoly of the current system.

And yeah, I don't doubt that a far greater percentage of humanity takes part in informal or nonformal education. I'm guessing that in at least some cases, they do it this way because they are not looking for any tangible recognition (not even badges) beyond the satisfaction in learning something new.  

I would love to see something like a digital badge system that recognized the achievement of learning outcomes regardless of where they were learned, something that might gradually achieve some legitimacy & currency within the huge higher ed machinery & perhaps make the promise of 'recognition for prior learning' a little less hollow.

But probably this is a discussion for a later SCoPE!



Hi Pat, you asked:

>>Now that I have seen an actual badge I am thinking shouldn't they have something on them to say what they are for, especially when you want to display them openly? 

Yes, I think the way it is supposed to work is that when you click on somebody's badge, it will open a webpage that describes in detail what the badge is for & what the badge-earner did to earn the badge. But the Mozilla Open Badges project seems to be in permanent beta format & the informational display aspect doesn't seem to be working yet. Not as far as I can tell, anyway.