Blog Post

Reflections on connected and validated badge data

On the morning of the last day of our workshops I woke up wanting to see a matrix of all of our badges. I wanted a visual to be able to associate our differences, our similarities, what we could share, and a representation of the rigor our badges require. That matrix could be in the form of a grid or maybe its just google docs. I think many of us agree it would be helpful to have an illustration like this at this juncture to keep our ecosystem connected and help us to coordinate our efforts but its only a starting point - a snapshot of where we are now.  

Then there were other questions that came up:

  • How do we share our badges? What if a child in my city moves to a child in your city?
  • Do we need 50000 HTML badges?
  • How do we encourage shared pathways? 
  • Who will recognize our badges?

And also, in the badges weekly call & google group we're continually having a conversation on the validity of badges. See for instance Carla Carsilli's blog post.

These questions and conversations are attempting to define what we think could evolve into a recognized learning ecosystem that is connected and valid. Please keep in mind that I haven't been studying this topic for very long. In fact, pedagogy was a new word for me just this year. My job has been to think about technical implementation. But in order to do that well, I've been paying attention to what the needs of the system may be.

With that in mind, here are some thoughts I've had on how we can connected and provide validation for our digital learning recognition systems:

  • Recognize more meta data in the open badges assertion
  • Use LRMI consistently in our criteria data
  • Create a shared taxonomy
  • Create an issuers database system that:
    • Uses the shared taxonomy to create a cross-reference/searchable instance of badges
    • Is accessible via web & api
    • Badges issuers as OBI compliant
    • Includes a voting/rating mechanism for badges & issuers
    • Creates a membership for badge receivers (employers, colleges, etc...) who can rate issuers and view badge data. Tie badge data to employment data?
    • Provides data on badges issued
    • Does not have an overriding authority but is supported as a system by organizations like Macarthur, HASATC, Mozilla, etc...



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