For information about the conference, including Registration information, please visit http://openedconference.org/2013/
Wednesday, November 6 • 11:15am - 11:40am
Using Open Badges and an Open Course to Enhance and Extend Learning

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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 webmaker.org 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.

avatar for Daniel Randall

Daniel Randall

Ph.D. Candidate, Brigham Young University
avatar for Richard West

Richard West

Associate Professor, Instructional Psychology and Technology Department, Brigham Young University

Wednesday November 6, 2013 11:15am - 11:40am
White Pine

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