Thursday, March 22, 2012

Open Assessment

Someone had to watch the two-hour video, so I thought I'de spend my Monday evening useful.The video shows the announcement of:
Sponsored by HASTAC, MacArthur Foundation, and Mozilla Foundation.(Don't get too excited about competing, the winners have already been announced.)
The MacArthur Foundation looks at how digital media are changing and affecting daily life. The competition aimed at bringing assessment specialists, technologists, researchers and designers together to design examples of badges.Badges are emerging as a new way to encourage and acknowledge learning.

The Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla are creating the infrastructure that will make badges available across the Internet.How can we use this idea to drive learning, to drive creativity and to help people get jobs. The open badge infrastructure, will provide a set of standards and some building blocks that will help educators to build badges. Why?
Badges (and other certificates and NVQs) are scattered around the web (and drawers); Putting them in one place can help people to find them.
It creates buy in to the whole idea of badges, when people start using it.

First versions of the software to play with and to contribute to are available on

Arne Duncan - Secretary of education. 
The administration want to prepare the children for their future role in the workforce (JB: to be good [tax paying] production units.) The importance of technology is emphasised. Badges can help engage students in learning.
Emphasises the role of educational institutions and teachers in addition to alternative methods of assessment, informal learning, and other initiatives that promote learning that spark economic development.

Charles F. Bolden - NASA
Digital learning is the way kids are learning these days. He makes the link to older forms of recognition in the boy/girl scouts (badges) the army and even nasa, where different long term accomplishments earn staff pins. NASA's challenge is to ignite excitement in STEM. And they have a lot of cool content to support that. They are committed to formal and informal education.

Note: Actually, it is interesting to hear the announcement of this competition, but it's over already. Check out the winners of the competition at: me spend my Monday evening more useful and find out some more about open assessment.

Badges systems
Barry Joseph with help of many (in an open document type overview) reviews different goals people have with using badges; different approaches, the different frames people have in mind. The current overview includes:
  • Badges as alternative assessment; a vehicle for providing evidence-based assessment and correcting key flaws in the formal K-12 learning environment through a model of alternative assessment. 
  • Gamifying education with badges; to increase engagement. 
  • Badges as learning scaffolding; to reveal multiple pathways that youth may follow and make visible the paths youth eventually take. 
  • Badges to develop lifelong learning skills; a tool for developing the metacognitive skills required by today’s youth to succeed in the classrooms, workforce, and civic spaces of the 21st Century. 
  • Badges as DML drive; praxis to undermine the deficiencies within current learning environments and spread Digital Media & Learning practice. 
  • Badges to democratise education; to change who does the assessment and what affect the learners have over their learning environment. 
P2PU Another way to demonstrate learning in a different (than conventional) way is offered by Peer 2 Peer University, a "grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. " 

People work together to learn a particular topic by completing tasks, assessing individual and group work, and providing constructive feedback.
"A challenge is not meant to teach you what you need to complete it, but rather to provide a means for you to demonstrate (and practice) important skills through guided exercises. Some people have already picked up these skills, while others are using the challenge to guide their peer-based or personal study."
Note: enough for now.  
Now I should really start looking into how I can create some badges for learning within my organisation! 

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