Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The OBHE Project is Seeking Collaborators

By Daniel Hickey
I am on my way to the Summit for Online Leadership and Strategy in San Antonio.  This event is hosted by UPCEA (University Professional and Continuing Education Association) and the American Council on Education.  Lawrence Ragan is chairing a panel discussion on open digital badges.  Mike Palmquist from Colorado State and Jason Fish from Purdue are on the panel and that should be a big draw as they are doing really interesting stuff.

I was happy to be invited because I think that the Summit will be a good place to find potential collaborators for the new Open Badges in Higher Education project.  As I elaborate below, my team is funded for two years to support people who are getting innovative badge systems operational in higher education.  We can offer quite a bit in terms of getting systems up and running, and documenting progress and projects in our open case library.
The official name of this new project is Open Badges in Open edX and Beyond.  Now that we have succeeding in getting open badges up and running in Open edX, we are looking for new collaborators and new platforms.  We now know our way around Open edX, Canvas, and Google CourseBuilder, and are quickly expanding beyond that. We learned a lot in the MacArthur-funded Design Principles Documentation Project (final report about to be released) and in the Google-funded Big Open Online Course on Educational Assessment.  Plus, we met a lot of people who have really good ideas and are ambitious entrepreneurs hungry for high-visibility projects.

We have quite a range of talent in-house, including programming, badge design, etc.  I think we are particularly helpful at working with people to figure out how to come up with a badge system where the badges contain enough unique evidence that people will value them and share them out over social networks.

We are happy to chat with anybody about their projects.  Even if you don't need help, we would love to show off your efforts in our open case library and eventual report and various manuscripts.  We may well even be able to help you turn your efforts into a nice article for submission, and we can help you collect and analyze data that might be worthy of peer-reviewed scholarly venues.  Just email me at dthickey@indiana.edu and James Willis at jaedwill@indiana.edu.  I would love to meet with people at the Summit face-to-face and will be there till late on Wednesday.


  1. What an exciting time. I look forward to learning more. What is the best option for WordPress? I want to use badges in my higher ed classes, with Gear Up, and my open classes. I teach primarily in WP.

  2. Replies
    1. Actually, let me suggest that you take advantage of the discussion forums that most folks interested in badges. The most active currently is openbadges@googlegroups.com. But there are a bunch of us in the higher ed working group at Badge Alliance at https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!forum/ba-highered . Definitely sign up and ask. And if your university belongs to EDUCAUSE, you should join the microcredentials and badges constituent group.