Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scotland! A Constellation of Participants in Badges

Full PDF Link

There are some great things happening in Scotland.  About 70 different institutions,  organizations, and colleges/universities have joined together to create the Open Badges in Scottish Education Group (#OBSEG), which will try to create, adopt, and incorporate badges into "learner progress," "staff development," and "technology and design."  For a more detailed list of their objectives: OBSEG JISC Post

One of the most exciting features of the group is their goal to integrate badges into their programs for recognition of prior learning (RPL/PLA/APL).  They are also mapping some of the badges to their national qualification framework (The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework).  

This is a wonderful combination of formal, nonformal, and informal learning that can lead to student degree completion and success.  Even the Scottish Qualifications Authority is on board with using badges to help students display their competencies, skills, knowledge, and experience in a digital format.

Joe Wilson, Head of New Ventures at Scottish Qualifications Authority, states, "Within the national context we believe that Open Badges have the potential to: accredit significant small steps in a learner’s journey from informal learning to formal certification,  offer recognition for the achievement of single competencies and outcomes,  provide recognition for chunks of learning or performance smaller than would normally be recognised in national certification and national credit rating systems and that badges can  be used towards accreditation of prior learning where appropriate." 

For More Information on Scotland and Open Badges: So What Are Open Badges? and SQA Investigates Opportunities with Mozilla Open Badges

Friday, October 18, 2013

Badges, Beyond the US

Several countries--UK, Portugal, Spain, Lithuania, Germany, and Slovenia--have banded together to create Unique Learning Badges.  They are just starting to develop a tool to allow educators to create and issues badges, specially to move badges from paper versions to digital versions.  The group also strives to make badging resources available in other languages, so they are accessible to all.

It's interesting that the conversation of using badges in Europe leads to the value and translation of badges across countries, which is something that has come up in the US for transferring badges across institutions.  However, the language barriers and educational differences across Europe does lead to a new set of issues.  The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) was developed for formal degrees and certifications, but hasn't been applied to badges, yet.  It might be an interesting place to start, since most countries, including several in the Unique Learning Badges network have aligned their own QFs to the EQF for transferability already.

(They are connected to the Unique Network, which is an online community that focuses on innovation and quality in education across Europe. )

Friday, October 11, 2013

Badges for Veterans

I've already used the survey data from Eric Burg and Bob Sparkman's work on using badges for veterans for employment. We were discussing if badges are relevant credentials at COLLO.

They surveyed 500 registered veterans and 300 human resource professions and found that not only would the majority of veterans use badges in their resumes, but that employers would like them to.

You can see the results of the survey: HERE
You can see the badges and the website for veterans: HERE
More information: HERE

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Course Offered on Badges as Professional Credentials

Course Description:

"Courses, credits, certificates, credentials -- will badges be added to this list as professionally valued ''currency''? A badge is a symbol or indicator of an accomplishment, skill, competency or interest. Badges provide evidence of learning that happens in and beyond the classroom. Badges give prospective employers, professional groups, community groups, schools, collaborators and other learners a more complete picture of knowledge, skills and abilities. Please join WCET, the Mozilla Foundation, Blackboard, Inc., and Sage Road Solutions LLC – and an array of influencers from education, business/industry, government, veterans’ affairs, accreditation and key foundations – for this 6-week, interactive, Open Online Course exploring badges as the emerging currency of exchange for creating high value post-secondary and professional credentials. This course is appropriate for participants with different levels of expectation and time commitment, including: (1) Learners who want a general understanding of the topic; (2) Those who need to report back to their organizations about what badges are, how they work, and what opportunities they present; (3) Leaders who want to guide teams and peer groups in designing and implementing badge systems; (4) Teams and peer groups who want to work together to develop and implement badge systems; (5) Individuals who want to define badge systems for their own purposes. There are no pre-requisites for this course, and no prior knowledge of the topic is necessary. Participants from all backgrounds are welcome, including but not limited to education, business, industry/trade associations, standards bodies, accreditation organizations, foundations, and government. "Badges: New Currency for Professional Credentials" by Blackboard, Mozilla, Sage Road Solutions, and WCET is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. We encourage sharing, reuse, and remix of these course materials, in whole or in part, with attribution, for non-commercial purposes."