Overview of Open Badges for students

We have created a Prezi which our students coaches will show to our students this year – it is hope this will raise awareness of open badges and their vales and thus improve uptake of our badges when they are issued in May/June 2015 – it can be found here.


JISC Open Badge Design Toolkit: Good for Planning & Evaluation

To design our badges, we used the JISC Open Badge Design Toolkit – jiscopenbadgesdesigntoolkit. Our advice to those embarking on future Open Badge projects would be to use the JISC toolkit not only for initial planning but to revisit regularly during the project to evaluate progress and ensure effective management of the more complex aspects .

The toolkit was initially useful as a starting point for the project planning team, and enabled us to identify areas where we needed to make decisions and those which were already predetermined e.g.:

  • Badge content (converted from our paper-based Progression Passport)
  • Brand Design (delegated to our Marketing department as the badge was intended to be used externally). The badges we devised were in line with college branding and were circular to tie in with the Seal/Medal concept of Bronze, Silver and Gold. The designs were the same except for colour and wording to give them a unified look and increase the motivation to try and move up the levels. Font was a particular issue as the badge needed to be small but display text clearly and several iterations were needed to get this right.

Whilst the JISC toolkit was useful at the start of our project, our limited knowledge and overemphasis on the technical aspects meant we did not utilise it as fully as we could have done. Where it has been particularly valuable has been as a framework for evaluating our project and identifying areas for further improvement .
One of these has been to consider more fully Why? we were issuing the badges and the Channels where a user would find out about the badge(as part of evaluating our Badge System & Content Design) and this has led us to put a student briefing in place before the badges are issued to explain their value and purpose.
Another was the consideration of the Behaviours the badge is designed to encouraged (part of the Badge Content Design template) and this will be picked up as part of the on-going review of the HCUK Passport as a whole. This review will also picked up on endorsement of the Seal as part of further developments in partnership with our local LEP.
Technically, evaluation using the JISC Open Badge Design Toolkit has raised issued about the systems we use and the sustainability and rigour of our process such as:
• The need to monitor new opportunities for display Open Badges online
• The possibility of automating issue of our badges through Moodle
• The debate over the use of personal or college email addresses to issue the badges
• The ability to store online evidence as part of the HCUK Passport and link between our Pro-Monitor and Moodle systems.

We will continue to post about how we respond to these challenges as our project continues!