Open Badges in Higher Education: Disruptive, Desirable, and Democratic

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  • Open Badges in Higher Education: Disruptive, Desirable, and Democratic

    Dr. Doug Belshaw8th March 2016

  • Overview

    Five years since the first pilot, there is now a flourishing ecosystem of (millions of) Open Badges putting learners in control of their digital credentials. Existing purveyors of qualifications have been both excited and concerned about what this 'disruption' means for them. What can the Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) offer? How can/should educational institutions respond? And what are the best places to start?

    In this opening keynote, Dr. Doug Belshaw will use his experience in all sectors of education, at Mozilla, and as a consultant helping organisations deal with these issues, to articulate clear steps forward for educational institutions looking to get to grips with Open Badges.

  • Who are you?

    Dr. Doug Belshaw

    Teacher Senior Leader Jisc Mozilla Consultant


  • DML Conference 2012Occupy Badges

  • Contents 0. Open Badges 1011. Open Badges are Disruptive

    2. Open Badges are Desirable

    3. Open Badges are Democratic

    4. Getting started: some advice

    5. Conclusion

    6. Q&A

  • #OpenBadgesHE

  • 0. Open Badges 101

  • How the Open Badges Infrastructure works in practice

    (taken from the Badge Alliance website)

  • 1. Open Badges are disruptive

  • Every age has a theory of rising and falling, of growth and decay, of bloom and wilt: a theory of nature. Every age also has a theory about the past and the present, of what was and what is, a notion of time: a theory of history Our era has disruption, which, despite its futurism, is atavistic. Its a theory of history founded on a profound anxiety about financial collapse, an apocalyptic fear of global devastation, and shaky evidence.

    (Jill Lepore, The New Yorker)

  • Open systems are open. For people used to dealing with institutions that go out of their way to hide their flaws, this makes these systems look terrible at first.

    (Clay Shirky)

  • 2. Open Badges are desirable

  • 3. Open Badges are democratic

  • The world of credentialing is evolving. Degrees have long been considered the basic unit of educational currency. But it appears that were experiencing an accelerating shift away from the gold standard of degrees and toward a more inclusive credentialing world that embraces badges, microcredentials and nanodegrees and is based on a market-driven floating exchange rate.

    (Carla Casilli)

  • +

    =+ individuals and organisations around the world

  • The (non-profit) Badge Alliances constellation model

  • Director: Nate Otto

    Steering Committee:

    Rob Abel (CEO, IMS Global) Mark Surman (Executive

    Director, Mozilla Foundation)

    Connie Yowell (Director of Education, MacArthur Foundation)

    Founding members

  • 4. Getting started: some advice



  • MoodleConquerer


    Example 1: Borders College





  • Example 2: Open Research Badges


  • Example 3: City & Guilds

    By using the Mozilla Open Badge framework, TechBac rewards learners who demonstrate their skills and competencies in the form of digital badges.

    These badges can be easily transported and shared via social media or collected into the learners online CV builder.

  • 5. Conclusion

  • Important points to note about Open Badges (1) Open Badges are not controlled by any one organisation. The technology

    that underpins the whole system (the Open Badges Infrastructure, or OBI) is a free, open-source and run for the world wide community.

    Open Badges are evidence-based. The information about who, why, and for what the badge was issued is hard-coded into it as metadata.

    Open Badges are stackable. Badges from one organisations system can build upon ones from another system. This creates a rich ecosystem that individuals can use to build the story of their skills, knowledge, and experience.

  • Important points to note about Open Badges (2) Open Badges are transferable. Badges earned in one environment can

    be shared in another. Although Mozillas badge backpack is often used as the default place to send badges, they can be stored anywhere including on your own computer, if you prefer.

    Open Badges put the user in control. Badges are private until they are published by the user. They provide an easy way to show a portfolio of skills without third parties having to wade through a mountain of data.

  • Get in touch!

    Twitter: @dajbelshawEmail:

  • 6. Q&A



  • Path of Exileskill tree