Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Digital Badges on Resumes and College Applications

by James Willis 

In a recent article, "Where Badges Work Better," we noted the difficulty in getting organizations to value badges. Translating badges to real-world outcomes like obtaining employment or entry into college is one of the next major goals of open digital badge development. This is no small task: even as badges have gained traction in educational technology, they remain a bit more remote to businesses and some college admissions departments. The Sprout Fund, a Pittsburgh, PA-based organization that "supports innovative ideas that are catalyzing change...making our community a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family" is helping move badges into the workplace and college admissions practices.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Digital Badges and the Workplace: Some Recent Resources

by James Willis 

The use and interest in open digital badges continues to grow. This is especially true for the workplace. Seen as dynamic evidence of learning and skills, badges are becoming better known and accepted by employers. This trend is expected to continue as badges become better understood in the wider conversation of credentialing and in alternative models like competency-based education. I've gathered some recent articles (with links) that discuss badges in the workplace.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Connecting Students and Teachers with Open Digital Badges

by James Willis, Dan Hickey, and John Foster*

John Foster, Ph.D. (guest blogger) is President/CEO of NOCTI and its subsidiary, Nocti Business Solutions

The Open Badges in Higher Education project is collaborating with a number of entrepreneurs who are expanding into digital badges. Recognizing prior learning assessment (PLA) has been difficult to work into the curricula of numerous programs. This is due to a number of reasons which may include lack of uniformity, difficulty of assessment, and inability to situate prior learning into an existing curriculum. That is not to say, however, that learning hasn't happened. As those who work to connect prior learning, alternative credentialing, and skills assessment can attest, prior learning can provide compelling evidence for learner capability in job and academic skills.

Friday, June 19, 2015

IBL Studios Issues an Open Source Badging Platform

by James Willis

We worked with Michael Amigot at IBL Studios in a previous project to launch the first instance of open badges in Open edX in Lorena Barba's Python MOOC at George Washington University. The code to issues badges is now available at GitHub as an open source tool for those interested in issuing their own Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI)-compliant badges. IBL designed this to be "[a] platform to award your own institution's badges. The badges you create and earn with this server are compatible with the specifications of the OpenBadges project."

Friday, June 12, 2015

3600 US Cerfication Bodies Lacking Third Party Validation

By Dan Hickey
Lumina Foundation just released a report with some surprising data about the manner in which most of the bodies that award professional certification validate their credentials.  Make me wonder if all of the concern over validity of badges and other evidence-rich digital credentials is focused too narrowly.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Is Self-Paced Participatory Learning Possible?

by Suraj Uttamchandani and Daniel Hickey

In this post, we discuss current efforts to offer the flexibility of self-paced learning with the interactive social engagement of participatory learning. We describe two new features in the Big Open Online Course (BOOC) on Educational Assessment that allow current learners to interact with prior learners and let learners proceed at their own pace.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Competency-Based Education, Badges, and Professional Development

by Benjamin Roome (guest blogger) and James Willis 

*Benjamin Roome, Ph.D., is Chief Product Officer for Badge List and Ethics Consultant at Ethical Resolve



While competency-based education (CBE) has been around for many years, a number of forces are now advancing CBE to the forefront of the educational reform. Major initiatives include the U.S. Department of Education, the Lumina Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many others. This, in turn, is transforming how students, institutions, and employers think about education. Moving away from the traditional metric of “seat time,” proponents of CBE suggest representing learning through the lens of specific competencies. This has re-ignited a debate that has been simmering for decades, which helps highlight one of the many ways digital badges may serve educational reform more broadly.



Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 Learning Impact Awards Announced!

by Gina Howard and James Willis

This year saw the 9th annual worldwide Learning Impact Awards competition put on by IMS Global Consortium. The Learning Impact Awards program encourages and recognizes the exploration and use of technology in diverse contexts within educational institutions where observable and measurable results have been achieved. A panel of expert evaluators select the winners using a series of rubrics to evaluate eight dimensions for improving teaching and learning impact. Given the recent partnership between IMS and Mozilla Open Badge, we were pleased to see that badges were central to the efforts of at least one of the winners.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hollywood Airbrush Tanning Academy Issues Digital Badges

By Dan Hickey
My web crawler just picked up an intriguing new use of open badges as digital credentials for workplace competencies.  Hollywood Airbrush Tanning Academy partnered with Credly to offer digital badges for their graduates.  It was interested enough that I called Academy owner Simone Emmons to learn more. Sure enough, this example highlights some key points about alternative digital credentials.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

IMS Global Seeks Members for Its Newest Initiative with Mozilla Foundation

By Gina Howard and James Willis 

On April 21, 2015, the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS/ IMS Global) announced the creation of the IMS Digital Credentialing Initiative. This new initiative will aim to accelerate the adoption, integration, and transferability of digital credentials and badges in schools, institutions, and corporations. With this new initiative, they are now seeking to form a group of IMS Digital Credentialing charter members.