Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Introducing Digital Badges Within and Around Universities

Dan Hickey
Sheryl Grant from HASTAC recently posted a detailed summary of resources about uses of digital badges in higher education.[1] It was a very timely post for me as I had been asked to draft just such a brief by an administrator at Indiana University where I work.  Sheryl is the director of social networking for the MacArthur/Gates Badges for Lifelong Learning initiative.  Her job leaves her uniquely knowledgeable about the explosive growth of digital badges in many settings, including colleges and universities.  In this post, I want to explore one of the issues that Sheryl raised about the ways badges are being introduced in higher education, particularly as it relates to Indiana’s Universities.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Initial Questions About Digital Badges and Learning

by Daniel Hickey
This post suggests some initial questions about learning that you might want to ask if you are considering using digital badges.  A version of this post is being prepared for the November 2012 edition of EvoLLLution magazine.  That article will consider how digital badges can be used to both enhance learning and recognize learning in ways that might help colleges and universities attract larger numbers of adult learners back to school.  This post poses these same questions in a more general context.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Incorporating Open Badges into a Hybrid Course Context

By Dan Hickey
I recently incorporated digital badges into the online aspects of my doctoral course on educational assessment (“Capturing Learning in Context”).  There are two aspects of this effort that readers might find useful.  The first aspect concerns the way students award simple “stamps” to highlight significant contributions or insights from classmates. I use those stamps to award three “one-star” badges each week; I will use the one-star badges to determine how to award three two-star badges at the end of the semester.  I will elaborate on this in a later post.  I also removed the section on using the Mozilla Open Badge backpack to another post as well. This post is already going to be pretty long! 

In this post I want to describe how I used ForAllBadges (from ForAllSystems, a small Chicago firm) to issue digital badges within a typical online course management system (CMS).  Anyone who wants to issue badges that comply with Mozilla’s Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI) can easily sign up for a free account at http://www.forallbadges.com/.  The account can be used as a stand-alone site, or it can be accessed from within any CMS that lets you access outside websites.  I am using OnCourse, the Sakai-based open-source CMS that Indiana University helped develop.

Pushing Badges from ForAllBadges to a Backpack and Beyond

By Dan Hickey and Andi Rehak

In a separate post, Dan explained he used ForAllBadges to issue OBI-complaint badges within the Oncourse course management system.  This post explains how these badges earners can "push" their badges out of the class and into their open badges backpack and beyond to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

This post is intended to be a very concise explanation for using backpacks when using the ForAllBadges platform.  In particular it highlights the fact that badge earners must have an open badges backpack before they can push their badges to it.

For more general guidelines, check out Mozilla's wiki on badgesinformation for badge issuers and the open badges FAQs. P2PU's Open Badges 101 sprint and  Mozilla Open Badges google group are also very helpful. If the terms like "issuer" and "earner" are confusing, check out Carla Casilli's blog on the open badges lexicon