Issuing my first open badge #wweopen13 #openbadgesMOOC

Lately I have become interested in the idea of digital badges – how they might be used for credentially, micro-credentially, and learner motivation. I posted my initial inspiration about Open Digital Badges and Medical Education (http://rjh.goingeast.ca/2013/10/16/open-digital-badges-and-medical-education-openbadgesmooc/).

I've been sneaking some time now and then to work through the Open Badges MOOC. It seems to be doing a good job of helping me think through creating a digital badge ecosystem. It also does a pretty good job of explaining some of the issues associated with implementing digital badges. Where it falls short is on the reliance on Blackboard for actually creating the digital badges. When I saw the workshop activity using Blackboard, I immediately logged into my University’s system, only to learn that the option was not available. I could not use their system to play with digital badges.

After asking around some more, Jenni Hayman mentioned responded to my inquiry in the #wweopen13 Facebook group that there is now a WordPress Plugin that allows anyone with a self-hosted WordPress site the ability to create their own digital badges (WPBadger – https://github.com/davelester/WPBadger). Since I host this site, I had to give it a try. I used the plugin, and within the span of about an hour, I can now officially issue a digital badge. The WPBadger plugin integrates directly with the Mozilla Open Badges platform (http://openbadges.org), so badge recipients are provided a link to add their badge directly into their backpack. 

Want to give it a try? Sign up for an Open Badges Backpack at http://openbadges.org, and then leave a comment about this post and I’ll give you a badge for joining the conversation 😉

7 Comments on Issuing my first open badge #wweopen13 #openbadgesMOOC

    • Installing badges in Blackboard requires that your insitution have the one of the latest versions of Blackboard Learn. I think it is release 13. Unfortunately, I don’t have access. It looks pretty simple to implement once the plugin is there. To issue you a badge from WordPress, I need your email address.

  1. Badges are harder that I thought.

    Don’t make the same mistake I did. I set up a whole ecology of badges for my students, but when they found out that it reflected their grade (I did this in Moodle), and they could find out how much they needed to complete the course by the number of points, they didn’t pay much attention to the badges. It was partly my fault, for not preparing the students well enough, and the fact that they have been conditioned to measure everything with a test score or number (I am in Japan).

    • Interesting. I’d like to hear more about what went wrong? In reading your short description (and putting your two comments together) it sounds like you used badges as a replacement? Was there anything new or different about how you implemented badges versus how you implemented grades? I’m looking at a couple of scenarios for badging. The first is micro-credits – so they would need to collect a number of badges before they get a credit. In the case of faculty development for medical education this is a problem that doesn’t have an easy / non-technical system. Others are doing it, but they do it with a bunch of specialized programming and their systems are all internal – so they cannot be shared with other insitituions. The second value add becomes the sharability and tracking. At the moment, credits are tracked by individuals collecting physical certificates and submitting them once a year. Or if they are part of a faculty, we have adminstrators that manages this through a collection of spreadsheets and whatever other means they choose to use – it is a completely manual process – and so badges here would allow for some automation of current manual processes. In both cases I see it as a concrete value add.

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