Open Badges at the DMLL

What are we doing here?

I am a Project Activator at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab at Coventry University, this means that I support the innovation projects including the Open Badges Project led by Jacqui Speculand. This project is piloting the use of Open Badges as a digital accreditation for undergraduate and postgraduate students at Coventry University.

Mozilla Open Badges “allow you to verify your skills, interests and achievements through credible organizations and attaches that information to the badge image file, hard-coding the metadata for future access and review.”

Over summer 2015, Olly Wood and I carried out some initial research to understand what an Open Badge is, and how they were currently being used within education at all levels. We went into this knowing nothing other than the words “Open Badge”. We spent some time trying to understand the differences between a digital badge and an Open Badge, what different badging platforms existed, and, reached out to others working within Higher Education (HE) using Open Badges in the UK to better understand their application.

Since October 2015, our team have been piloting a number of badges with different student cohorts (see DMLL Open Badges project lead Jacqui Speculand’s overview here). So far our badging pilots have explored ideas around methods of evidencing students’ extra-curricular learning and ways of improving student employability after graduation. During this time, as the number of pilots have grown so has our team with Koula Charitonos and Gemma Tombs joining us to research and evaluate the project.

We’re in the process of further developing conversations around Open Badges at Coventry University (and wider!), communicating to students and staff the potential value badges offer and how they can be used. We are also designing an adaptable (and remixable under the Creative Commons license) framework to give students, CU educators, and ourselves a solid understanding of what value our badges offer and how to maintain this value.

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