This session will explain the rationale to the award of an Open Badge for either the depositing and/or the reuse of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in Jorum. A pilot project is being conducted that integrates with the current Jisc FE and Skills Window project, an area identified as requiring OER growth in Jorum.
Preliminary research investigated the different mechanisms that served as triggers for the award of an Open badge and how this badge is delivered. It was discovered that we had three approaches that we could take: Use a 3rd party issuing system; Use a specially designed plugin; or roll our own solution. The use of a 3rd party issuer was discounted because that would not leave us in control of the metadata that is attached to the badge. We wanted the metadata to say that the badge had been issued by Jorum. The next area looked at was projects that had been successfully set up and were delivering Open Badges, such as ocTel (Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning) and Borders College Scotland.
Whilst these projects were allocating badges and were very well documented, we discovered that we could not use the same methods. oCTEL used a WordPress plugin called BadgeOS and the Borders College project used a plugin for Moodle, and the awarding of badges was triggered by users interacting in a pre-defined way with WordPress or Moodle. However, Jorum uses a repository system called Dspace, and as yet no Open Badge plugin solution exists for Dspace. This left the final option: roll our own solution. Fortunately, Mozilla offer Badgekit, a configurable system for creating and issuing badges. Although Badgekit is in private beta for a restricted number of organisations, Mozilla have made the code open source and available for anyone to take and use to setup their own instance of Badgekit. This code allowed us to configure the design of the badges and adding the required metadata, and how the badges are issued when a certain event happens.
The decision was taken to involve a number of participant institutions in a focus group sto gather suggestions and requirements, and then use this input to prioritise what we will deliver with the Open Badges. The intention is to encourage the increased reuse of OERs and we will explore the success of the badges by monitoring whether the depositing and reuse of resources has increased because users want to earn the badges. In parallel with the focus groups we will solicit wider feedback from our users, through the Jorum Annual Survey, to contribute to the evaluation of the project. The impact and success of the pilot project will be analysed to examine the feasibility of extending a system of Open Badges to the HE sector.
1 Jisc FE Skills and Window Project. (http://feskillswindow.jiscinvolve.org/wp/)
2 ocTEl2014: Open badges. http://www.slideshare.net/mhawksey/octel-and-open-badges
3 Open Badge Adventure at Borders College. http://www.rsc-scotland.org/?p=2454
4 BadgeOS. http://badgeos.org/
5 Mozilla Badge Kit. Badges Made Simple. http://badgekit.openbadges.org/