Thursday, April 3, 2014

AERA 2014 Sessions on Digital Badges

by Christine Chow

Several of my colleagues in the world of open digital badges are heading to the AERA conference April 4-6 in Philadelphia. It looks like there’s a great program of sessions lined up, including some interesting research on digital badges. Here’s a rundown of the badges sessions at the conference.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Gold Standard of Education

Nate Otto, the project coordinator for the Open Badges Design Principles Documentation Project posted a nicely detailed post about credit hours at  It covers some important ground for RMA readers.  He quotes a 2012 report by Amy Laitinen that points out that while universities continue to be organized around credit hours, they routine refuse to refuse transfer credits from other institutions.  This is a complex issue and there are certainly related issues of keeping tuition flowing for large undergrad courses.  But is a great point.  Check it out!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Varied Functions of Digital Badges in the Educational Assessment BOOC

by Dan Hickey and Tara Kelley

This extended post details how open digital badges were incorporated into the Education Assessment Big Open Online Course.  In summary there were four types of badges:
  •  Assessment Expertise badges for completing peer-endorsed wikifolios and an exam in each of the sections of the course (Practices, Principles, and Policies)
  •  Assessment Expert badge for earning the three expertise badges and succeeding on the final exam
  • Leader versions of the Expertise and Expert badges for getting the most peer-promotions in the networking group
  • A Customized Assessment Expert badge for completing a term paper by assembling all of the insights gained across the 11 wikifolios assignments into a coherent professional paper.  This badge allows earners to indicate the state, domain, or context in which they have will have developed local expertise about assessment.
Along the way, this post explores (a) how open badges are different than grades and other static (i.e., non-networked, evidence-free) credentials, (b) how we incorporated evidence of learning directly into the badges, and (c) the role of badges in making claims about general, specific, and local expertise.

Previous posts describe the BOOC, the peer promotion and endorsement features, the role of the textbook, and how one student experienced the course and the badges.  Future posts will describe the code and interface used to issue them in Course Builder, the entire corpus of badges issued, how earners shared them, and what we learned by analyzing the evidence they contained, and the design principles for recognizing, assessing, motivating, and studying learning that the BOOC badges illustrate.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Excited about Earning my Assessment Practices Badge!

by Christine Chow

In this post, I describe my experiences as a student in the Big Open Online Course on Educational Assessment at Indiana University.  The twelve-week course is halfway finished, and I just earned a digital badge for completing the first section on Assessment Practices.  The instructor, Dan Hickey, asked me to write a firsthand account of my experience in the course so far.

Friday, October 25, 2013

What Do You Mean by 'Badges?'

I was exchanging some emails with an a esteemed educational researcher and administrator about our Big Open Online Course on Educational Assessment and open courses in general and mentioned badges.  In his reply he asked, "what do you mean by 'badges'?"  After an amazing day of progress working with digital badges yesterday, it was a nice reminder of just how new this concept is. So I figured I would reply with a basic explanation and provide some timely updates on one aspect of our badges work.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

xMOOC, cMOOC, DOCC or BOOC: What's in a name?

Tomorrow is the official start of the Videogames and Learning Coursera MOOC developed by Kurt Squire and Constance Steinkuehler at University of Wisconsin Madison.  In this post I compare the pros and cons of Coursera's more expository "xMOOC" format with the connectivist "cMOOC" format  advanced by Siemans and Downes and show how the the more modest "big" format of IU's Big Open Online Course is turning out to be a useful interim context for design-based research of hybrid formats for future massive courses that can exploit the advantages of these very different formats while minimizing the negatives.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In Theory and In Practice: Digital Badges in Education and the Challenges that Arise.

This post is an article by Roshni Verghese about badges that features an interview with Cliff Manning and Lucy Neale of DigitalMe .  The article describes the possibilities and challenges of incorporating digital badges into Supporter to Reporter (S2R), a program designed to introduce young sports enthusiasts in the UK to sports reporting.