What are badges?
This year in ocTEL we are experimenting with digital badges. Badges are an alternative form of credentialing popular in informal learning contexts, while some academic institutions have begun to use badges within courses/programs as well. Demonstration of specified learning outcomes are represented visually by a “badge:” a digital image displayed on a website. The use of badges is one manifestation of “gamification” in learning contexts. Some individuals are motivated to earn badges, and the accumulation of badges does make evident to other learners and to facilitators how engaged an individual is with the learning context. While individuals or organizations may create and distribute their own digital images for their learners, proprietary and open source badging platforms have begun to emerge as well. The Mozilla Foundation has established http://openbadges.org as an open source badging platform. Other badging platforms include Purdue University’s Open Passport and the freemium service Credly. In ocTEL we are using the BadgeOS™ plugin for WordPress developed in partnership with Credly.
Can I display ocTEL badges with my other Open Badges in my Mozilla Backpack?
Unfortunately for this pilot the answer is no. The BadgeOS™ plugin does permit awarded badges to be displayed in a Credly account which would then allow these to be added to your Mozilla Backpack but as our preference is for you to directly receive an Open Badge without an additional 3rd party we have disabled this feature for now. You are free (and we encourage you) to display badges earned in ocTEL in your own sites. You can do this by downloading each badge image or copying and pasting it.
Why are you using badges in ocTEL?
We are offering badges in ocTEL as one method for you to make evident your progress through the learning activities associated with the course. This can be useful for you to track your own progress, but also as a way for other participants and tutors to identify who is active in the course. In addition, given the recent and growing interest in badges for learning, offering a first-hand experience with badging is an added benefit as part of your TEL journey.
How do I earn ocTEL badges?
For each of the weekly topics there are four badges you can achieve.
- Check-in: awarded for reading the week’s course material
- TEL One: awarded for completing each week’s ‘If you only do one thing’ activity
- TEL Explorer: awarded for completing each week’s ‘TEL Explorer’ activities
- Webinar: awarded for attending or watching the webinar
Completing at least three badges in each week will earn you an ocTEL topic badge. All badges can be awarded in any order so if you join us in week 4 you are free to go back and complete earlier badges
Additionally will be issuing several community badges. These will be used to acknowledge various forms of contribution to the course. These badges will evolve during ocTEL and added to the community badges page.