Do You Know About Open Badges?

open-badges-jpgThe Mozilla Open Badge Program is a digital program to recognize skills and achievements. The program is relatively new, being only a few years old, but is growing quickly due to our advancing technological world.

For many years, organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and others used physical badges to display the skills and accomplishments of the scouts, while trying to foster a positive environment for learning and involvement.

These physical badges that have been displayed for hundreds of years have now gone digital, thanks to the company Mozilla. The badge allows for real world recognition which may help with career and educational choices by the individual.

The Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure (or OBI) allows badge issuers and developers to choose from a variety of pathways for development.

Digital Badges Encourage People to Collaborate

One of the reasons that Mozilla brought about this program is to help people in organizations to collaborate.

While there are many people in social media programs, often times only a small percentage actually engage in company activities.

An example would be Wikipedia, where only two percent of its users make up for 75% of participation.

If organizations and companies can offer these Mozilla Open Badges for skills and accomplishments, then hopefully this will bring more people into the social media within their businesses to collaborate, thereby bringing about more and perhaps better ideas for company growth and development.

The badges can be used within companies for more data sharing which can lead to more employees being involved. They also work within the community to help those with similar interests to discover each other through data sharing and social media to help with possible mentoring or community involvement.

Badges for Recognition and Assessment

While collaboration is one reason for the development and creation of digital badges, the idea of recognition and assessment is another popular (perhaps the most popular) use.

Sometimes digital badges are used to recognize high quality of work and for community approval. Other times they are used for awards.

Badges allow you to represent, verify and communicate your skills to others online, while identifying your interests and achievements. In these cases, they are often awarded after a user completes a certain task, or obtains a particular score in an online course.

And because the Open Badge program is an open system, you have the ability to use multiple badges to share your entire story to others online.

In the educational arena, programs leveraging badges have been used to provide both summarized assessments of prior learning as well as formative assessments that provide guidance and feedback.

These digital badges also can be used as assessments that help shape existing learning or allow new learning models to be created.

Badges as Alternative Credentials

More and more universities are looking to keep up with the growing and advancing of the technological world. As a result, they are looking at programs around transferable badges as an alternative for showing credentials, skills and achievements of their students.

Likewise, companies and organizations are beginning to recognize the potential of such programs, while utilizing digital badges to bring about collaboration and skills and assessment recognition for its employees.

Gone are the days of physical display badges only. Today the use of digital badges helps to represent the digital world we now live in across a variety of industries. They can be used to represent our social life, educational pursuits, and professional achievements.

It’s because of this fundamental shift in the way we view achievements and recognition that we have built an integration with BadgeOS – a point and achievement plugin available on WordPress. Using this plugin with LearnDash, you can award points and badges for completing LearnDash generated content (lessons, quizzes, and courses).

Oh, and BadgeOS also integrates with Mozilla Open Badges, allowing learneres to take their achievements with them.

If you’re interested in setting up your own online program with a fun and interactive achievement program, send us a note and we’d be happy to discuss your project further!

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

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