How ocTEL is configured to issue badges using the BadgeOS plugin

May 30, 2014 in Course Information

Another technical post I’m afraid. I suppose it’s good to get these in during reading week ;). Moira Maley recently wrote to us asking for some details on how the ocTEL course is configured to issue badges. As others might benefit from this and with Moira’s permission here are her questions and my responses.


1. Is there only one default achievement type i.e. badges, and any others you write the code for yourself?

In the BadgeOS menu you should have an option for ‘Achievement Types’ We’ve been using this to create groups of badges for each week. When you add an achievement type make sure you tick ‘Yes, show this achievement in the BadgeOS menu.’ so it gets its own menu option where you add badges for that type. When making new achievement types I’ve found to get them to display in the front end after making them I need to go to Settings > Permalinks and click ‘Save Changes’ (there is a bug in the plugin that doesn’t seem to flush the rewrites so you get a ‘page not found’). Breaking the the badges into a weekly set of achievements has proved useful as you can automatically give a badge for completing a number of badges in that week.

2. Is this correct … your badges tab was created as a page (article) and the dropdowns are either children of that folder (quest week0 week1 badges) or go to an unconnected folder (eg community). To get your week 1 badge .. you send us to a separate tree from root (not ot child of Badges) with a common BadgeOS shortcode form on it. I suppose that’s how you get those badges earned (automatically accept as you had to get there to apply).

We have a standard wordpress page for each ‘achievement type’. We use page parent/child internally within wordpress but the navigation is actually made with the Menus option within the appearance. On each badge page we use a shortcode to display the set of badges. So for the week 3 badges we use [badgeos_achievements_list type="week-3-badge" limit=20]  (we also use WordPress’ post/page scheduling to set up these in advance). We also insert individual badges in the course material by using the [badgeos_achievement id=18129] shortcode where the id is the badge achievement id.

How do I set separate badges for posting comments in separate parts of my blog (not just anywhere) ? Is it by putting the shortcode at that place … but how do you specify which badge the submission shortcode applies to? Is it only by awarding by review rather than accruing points?

We haven’t found a way of attaching badges to individual posts. We use the the Earned by: Submission (reviewed) option and ask the person to include a link. We manually have to approve these which has overhead. The advantage however is we set user submissions to public. We will be using these as part of the badge evidence when we enable issuing open badges (more details on how this is done to be posted soon)

3. Which login/ logout widget do you use (I’ve just put in side-bar-login).

It’s the standard BuddyPress template. We’ve added the Social Connect plugin to allow login via Google et al. In the past we used Theme My Login which has some nice features.

1 response to The open course you cannot fail…

  1. Dear Maren

    “Lurkers” vs “Silent participants”?

    Here are a few other terms that could be used:

    vicarious learners?
    silent participants?
    Non-public user?
    legitimate peripheral participator?
    virtual participant?
    marginal participant?
    passive observer?
    cognitive apprentices?
    potential member?
    proximate member?
    tacit member?

    See Let’s get more positive about the term ‘lurker’

    Which term best reflects the degree/ style/ of learning? If you read a book, but never talk about it, have you learned any less?

    Best wishes


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