Developing Open Badges: a comprehensive approach

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Abstract

Open Badges (OBs) have evolved as novel means of recognizing and credentialing skills/competences (either hard or soft skills) acquired in various learning settings (formal or informal, online or traditional classroom). In addition, they offer new ways of motivating learners and scaffolding the learning process, while also promoting values such as openness and learners’ agency, participatory learning practices and peer-learning communities. While OBs are rapidly gaining traction among educational practitioners, education-oriented companies and non-profit organizations, there have been only a few research studies aimed at deep understanding of not only OBs and their potential roles, but also of the larger educational ecosystem within which they operate and evolve. This paper aims at bridging this gap by thoroughly examining benefits, concerns and challenges related to OBs from the perspectives of different stakeholders—learners, teachers, schools, employers, and other institutions and associations. Based on these different perspectives, the paper proposes a comprehensive framework for design and development of OB ecosystems and suggests directions for future research.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Open Badge Infrastructure specification: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Badges/Onboarding-Issuer#Mozilla_Open_Badge_Infrastructure_.28OBI.29.

  2. 2.

    In this paper, the term “badge” denotes an OB, i.e. an OBI-compliant badge, and is used interchangeably with "OB".

  3. 3.

    https://www.buzzmath.com/badges.

  4. 4.

    http://openbadges.org/participating-issuers/.

  5. 5.

    We use the term educator to refer to any individual who assumes the teacher role in various formal, semi-formal or informal learning settings.

  6. 6.

    Digital Studies project: http://digitalstudieswiki.pbworks.com/.

  7. 7.

    http://www.badgealliance.org/workforce-acceptance-employers/.

  8. 8.

    https://sites.google.com/site/llpgrassproject/.

  9. 9.

    http://badgekit.openbadges.org/.

  10. 10.

    http://badgeos.org/.

  11. 11.

    See http://bit.ly/platform-chart for a comparative list of other platforms, but mind the concerns discussed in the Schools' perspective subsection.

  12. 12.

    http://www.itap.purdue.edu/studio/passport/.

  13. 13.

    http://backpack.openbadges.org/backpack/login.

  14. 14.

    http://planetstewards.wordpress.com/.

  15. 15.

    http://discover.openbadges.org/.

  16. 16.

    Badge Allinace Research Working group: http://wiki.badgealliance.org/index.php/Research_Working_Group.

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Acknowledgments

The work presented in the paper is a result of the GRASS Project (reference number: 543029-LLP-1-2013-1-RS-KA3-KA3MP) that is funded with support from the European Commission. The paper reflects only the authors’ views, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Correspondence to Vladan Devedžić.

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Devedžić, V., Jovanović, J. Developing Open Badges: a comprehensive approach. Education Tech Research Dev 63, 603–620 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-015-9388-3

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Keywords

  • Open Badges
  • Micro-credentialing
  • Motivation
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Development framework