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 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.

Text adapted from BlendKit Course: Badges shared by University of Central Florida (UCF) under CC-BY-NC-SA

12 responses to Badges

  1. Hi,
    Just a thought about badge submission – it would be really usefult to see exemplar comments of what should be added for each different submission – and how that is later displayed. At the moment it’s not quite clear whether you add a link to something, a statement of what you did to earn the badge, leave it blank, etc – especially for the explorer badge.

  2. Dumb question of the day… I have posted my answer to Activity 0.1 in my blog, using the label ‘octel’. How do I get my badge? (I though I wasn’t bothered about badges… turns out I am!)

  3. I’ve managed to claim a couple of badges, for the webinar and activity 0.1; i’ve created both credly and mozilla backback accounts and would like to see my badges in credly so that I can display them on my blog, can anyone help or signpost how or if this is possible please. 🙂

    • I think this was mentioned in the Q&A in the webinar and I don’t think you can. I would like to as well, but I think the badges are only visible within octel.

    • Hi Paul – for ocTEL we haven’t enabled Credly integration but we are working on you being able to export all your badges directly to your Mozilla Backback

  4. I am playing catch-up and trying to complete Week 0 tasks. It says to click on Submit to gain badges but I have no Submit button for Week 0 or Week 1 badges. Please can someone tell me what I am missing?

    • Hi Rosemary – the badges shouldn’t be time limited so you should see the submit. First thing I’d check is that you are logged in. If you are still having problems drop a line to

  5. Martin,

    Badging for week O; Mozilla and certification

    I have emailed the ocTEL people as follows:

    Dear ocTEL people

    I have watched the week 0 webinar tonight, but cannot be badged for “rosebud” because it says:

    No access to “Webinar Badge” at this time.

    The week 2 webinar is just about to start in 15 minutes, so it must be 12.15 there in the UK (I am in Australia)

    And I do hope you can link our badges to Mozilla – this is part of my ongoing learning as an educator and I suspect it will be useful to prove that I have done the work involved. An alternative would be a certificate of completion similar to the one I have had issued to me from Gilly Salmon’s carpe Diem MOOC on online learning (attached as an example for you).

    Kind regards

    Charlotte Steer