Open Badges as a validation tool

We learn everyday, all the time. We can’t help ourselves, it is in our nature. In adult education we separate between formal, non-formal and informal learning. All of us use all three forms. For some reason the learning that takes place in a formal setting has come to be seen as the ”best” form of learning. It is institutionalised and provides the learner with grades or other credentials/certifications at the end of the learning period.


Webinar on 26 November 2015 at 10.00 AM CET

Non-formal learning has long prided itself with its freedom to focus on individual needs. It is also by tradition without a set curriculum, and it avoids assessments of learning outcomes. Informal learning is in this respect the poor cousin from the countryside, not really taken seriously. For the learner these distinctions are less important. You lack a skill, you are weak on a competence, you feel undereducated. The reasons you enrol are as manifold as the participants themselves.

The idea behind Open Badges is simple. A light weight validation system that is endlessly customizable. Integrated with your online presence. A touch of gamification. An attempt at making learning fun. But don’t let the flashy graphics fool you. Behind the scenes awarding criteria, transparency issues and system protocols are taken very seriously. If Open Badges are to play a role as a validator of skills, knowledge and competences it must tread a narrow path between ease of use, portability and reliability.

The webinar includes a presentation by Ilona Buchem (PhD), professor in residence for Digital Media & Diversity at Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. Her research and teaching focus on the intersections of digital media and society, especially digital learning and communication. Some of her current research and development areas include digital badges, digital portfolios, digital diversity and digital communities. She is Chair of the Special Interest Group on Wearable Technology Enhanced Learning at the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning (EATEL), the founder of the Europortfolio German Chapter and the German-speaking Open Badges Usergroup.  She has been involved in a number of national and international projects, including the EU project “Badge Europe” dedicated to Open Badges.

If you missed it you can see the recording here