Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Varied Functions of Digital Badges in the Educational Assessment BOOC

by Dan Hickey and Tara Kelley

This extended post details how open digital badges were incorporated into the Education Assessment Big Open Online Course.  In summary there were four types of badges:
  •  Assessment Expertise badges for completing peer-endorsed wikifolios and an exam in each of the sections of the course (Practices, Principles, and Policies)
  •  Assessment Expert badge for earning the three expertise badges and succeeding on the final exam
  • Leader versions of the Expertise and Expert badges for getting the most peer-promotions in the networking group
  • A Customized Assessment Expert badge for completing a term paper by assembling all of the insights gained across the 11 wikifolios assignments into a coherent professional paper.  This badge allows earners to indicate the state, domain, or context in which they have will have developed local expertise about assessment.
Along the way, this post explores (a) how open badges are different than grades and other static (i.e., non-networked, evidence-free) credentials, (b) how we incorporated evidence of learning directly into the badges, and (c) the role of badges in making claims about general, specific, and local expertise.

Previous posts describe the BOOC, the peer promotion and endorsement features, the role of the textbook, and how one student experienced the course and the badges.  Future posts will describe the code and interface used to issue them in Course Builder, the entire corpus of badges issued, how earners shared them, and what we learned by analyzing the evidence they contained, and the design principles for recognizing, assessing, motivating, and studying learning that the BOOC badges illustrate.