1. Please introduce yourself. And include information about your experience with badges (both traditional and digital) and what you want to learn specifically about badge systems design.
While I feel I am a youngster in the field of Learning & Development, I should probably start to admit that I have been around for quite a while. The last 13 years I have been working in L&D in International Non-profit organizations. The last 4 years in the humanitarian sector for Oxfam Great Britain, and before in conservation for WWF International. I have a MSc in Educational Science and Technology from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, and did not complete the PhD programme in Instructional Systems at Penn State University in the USA, where I did learn a lot in my four years there.
I first learned about digital badges at the AECT conference in Jacksonville, Florida in November 2011. And in the Spring of 2012, I participated in David Wiley’s open course on Openness in Education , where one section was dedicated to open assessment.
For me it made sense immediately. In professional development tracks, one often get the question ‘where does this lead to?’ or ‘do I get a Master’s degree at the end?’ The answer is ‘NO’.
But what do they get? In my humble opinion, learners in on the job training develop skills that are first and foremost useful for the achievement of company goals. Sometimes staff members are strongly encouraged to develop these skills and luckily more often they are close to the interests of in beneficial to the individual staff members (am I sounding to British rather than Dutch now?)
While I feel that participating in a training (programme) should at least enable them to explain how it adds value to their jobs and to them personally, I realise that some people are better at verbalising these things than others. And where (print your own) certificates and proof of participation does not mean much without a description of objectives and content (do we ever see proof of achieving those objectives?) digital badges provide a great opportunity to bake all that information into one simple graphic. I really like how it links to the criteria for earning the badge and the evidence of meeting those.
What I want to figure out is how to actually start using them; what systems I can incorporate in Moodle to issue them, or how else I can start experimenting with them. I have kind of been waiting for the technology to crystallise, and it appears to be moving slow. What can I do to help advance this?
I am particularly interested in testing if badges can play a motivational role in one of our distance learning courses, that is long (1 ½ years on average), consists of 7 units, and is generally considered difficult to complete by the target audience. Could badges given for each unit help motivate participants to continue with/complete the course?
2. Describe your experience with course and curriculum design. Don't be shy, tell us about a small lesson you created for yourself or a complete degree program. Or any possible descriptions of works in between.
I am an instructional designer. I have studied Educational Technology from 1988. In my work and studies I have always been interested in integrating new media into the design of instruction. My focus has mostly been adult learners; in higher education, and professional development.
In the WWF College for Conservation Leadership we developed an 18 months blended learning programme; a combination of two workshops with facilitated online modules as well as some self-study modules.
In Oxfam we do a lot more face-to-face work, especially with local staff and partner organizations in the field locations. It is fun to think about integrating more elearning in these programmes, given the technological barriers that many of these locations bring.
3. Tell a story about rubrics or learning outcomes. And if or how you have you used them? and within what context? Do you know what a rubric or learning outcome is? And how they would apply to learning. If you don't know what a rubric or learning outcome is, describe a badge (traditional or digital) you have earned or someone you know has earned. Describe the requirements to earn the badge.
When I was studying at Penn State, a few of my fellow students were involved in research around rubrics. At the time they were building a computer-based rubric builder in Oracle. The research was amongst others aimed at looking at the value of the involvement of students in the creation of the rubrics. I must admit, I left Penn State before I learned more about the results. I was happy to discover recently that there is now a web-based version available: https://www.e-education.psu.edu/facdev/id/assessment/rubrics/rubric_builder.html
I try to integrate rubrics in the facilitator guides for our facilitated online learning modules. Often internal experts are facilitating specialist courses, without having a background in training. Clearly defined expectations, a rating scheme and suggested feedback for common mistakes help to speeds up the process and makes sure different facilitators grade in a similar way.
4. Consider your commitment to this challenge. Do you want to just complete each task within the challenge or do you want to contribute to creating each task within the challenge. Building this challenge as collaborative effort will make it way better. Either way, engage, contribute, enjoy...
It depends … I would hope that my contributions would benefit more than just myself. And I hope to be able to participate in discussions and provide comments and feedback on peer students’ work. I am travelling a lot in the coming period and participation will depend on access and time, as usual :-)
Looking forward to sharing ideas and experiences!