Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Passport for Your Backpack: Purdue’s New Badging System

Purdue University just launched a beta version of their digital badging ecosystem: Passport.  So far, I’ve explored it as a badge earner, and it’s beautiful.  The interface is clean and easy with linked accounts (Facebook, Google, Purdue), an iPad app, and a direct push to the Mozilla Openbadges Backpack.  I appreciate how many organizations are using linked logins now, which decrease the number of user names and passwords to remember.  It’s also helpful to use the same email address as my Backpack.

There are only two open groups right now: “Getting started with Passport” and a course called “Purdue University’s Passport to Intercultural Learning.” Since the course doesn’t apply, I went through the “Getting started” badge challenges.  Both of the badges in this group take you through Passport, explaining the different functions.  Although these badges are automatic if you complete the quizzes, Passport does include uploading and linking functionality.  How badges would be awarded in this case-peer-to-peer vs. top-down-is unclear, but I’m glad to see various assessment types.

Here is a basic chart of how Purdue arranges their ecosystem:

I wish I could explore the badge creation backend called “Badge builder”, but it’s still being tested.  They are requesting early-adopter instructors from other institutions to beta, specifically for courses of about 30 students.

So far, most of my badges are extremely meta; I only have badges about badging.  Though it does accurately represent how much time I devote to all things “open.”  As Passport claims, it “show[s] what you know.”

Also, I can finally post on Twitter through the Backpack!

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