Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Open Ed 13: Using Open Badges adn an Open Course to Enhance & Extend Learning

 Daniel Randall, Buck Harrison, Dr. Richard West, and Garrett R. Hickman from Brigham Young University.

"We will present our design for an open badge system currently in use in an undergraduate technology course for education majors. Our design is an attempt to use badges and an open online course to not only enhance student learning but also to encourage continued learning once our course has ended.

Theoretical Background
Open badges can provide a credential for learning that occurs in a non-traditional setting, a space in which few institutions are providing credentials. This makes open badges a textbook example of a disruptive innovation. However, since badges can also be used in a traditional setting, universities and other traditional credentialing institutions can adapt by using open badges to enhance their current course offers and encourage lifelong learning in a non-traditional setting.

Design of our Badges
By creating and issuing open badges, we hoped to not only motivate students to meet higher standards of learning, but also encourage students to continue learning after completing the course and thus extend our students? learning beyond our one-credit course. To this end, our badge system is multi-tiered, open to students not currently enrolled at our institution, and is integrated into an open online version of the course.

Inspired by Mozilla?s ?constellations? from the early designs for their badge system, we decided to graphically organize and group together the various technologies students could choose to learn. Our system had three different levels of badges. The lowest level consisted of badges with a small scope; the second tier of badges represented mastery of larger technologies and corresponded to major projects in the course; and the third badge level represented course-level mastery of all technologies and concepts taught in the course.

We created additional levels of badges beyond our course to provide a way for teachers to learn how to successfully integrate into actual teaching experiences the technologies they have previously learned in our class.

Design of the Open Online Course
To help our former students continue earning badges (as there are more badges available than are needed to complete the course), or any inservice teacher, we created an open online version of the course. By using asynchronous video discussions, currently enrolled students and inservice teachers can interact with each other and discuss class topics, real-world challenges inservice teachers are experiencing, and ways to use technology in their specific subject. We believe this approach will help our current students have a more authentic experience in learning and preparing to use these technologies and bring to their attention challenges facing current teachers. We believe inservice teachers will benefit by not only learning technologies and earning badges, but by discussing with our current students to gain insights from a younger demographic.

Current findings
We have just recently collected data from the first semester implementation, and in our presentation will share this data on how our implementation of the badges impacted student achievement and motivation."


Sheryl Grant's "5 Buckets for Badge System Design"

Their Course - Integrating Technology in Education
The couirse is a 1 credit course, 3 major projects in which student selected a technology they wanted to integrate into an assignment.
The badge system had a course level badge, project level badge, and lower level badges.
The system had to be flexible to account for choices of technology that the students might choose.
The goal of the class is about how to appropriately plan for tech integration, not just learning tech.

Course is in Canvas but they wanted it to be more open so they used Wordpress:

 All of their tutorials are online and openly licensed. It is open as they could make it and still maintain the integrity of the endorsement.

Clicking on any badge brings up the criteria behind the badge.

Badge issuer available on GitHub msedev/badges

A look at the open online course - using Canvas and running the course as a MOOC. The open online course would let students to get their endorsement and "brand." It is a truly open course - all content is openly licensed. Non-university students enrolled to earn badges but not university credit. Limited numbers. They are using the "free for teacher" account.  They liked the quiz system and the feedback that could be provided. It also supports asynchronous video discussion boards.

In-service teachers were encouraged to enroll because the course was free. Only a few inservice teachers made it past the first week.

They have only been doing this for a year.

For the future, they need to scale the assessments. How do you bring in more students while maintaining the quality and academic integrity. They want to create a "smart dashboard."  They want to research student motivation, teacher professional development, and employer perceptions.
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