Badges Go To Graduate School

I’ve just started awarding the first badges from my graduate seminar, IPT 692R: Introduction to Open Education. You can see the first badges I’ve issued here (including some to people outside BYU):

I’ve used a very lightweight mechanism for issuing badges through the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure that I want to share. I know there are more complex, “scalable” systems for doing this, but I wanted to demonstrate that there is nothing stopping a single faculty member who wants to do something innovative from awarding badges in a DIY sort of way. Here’s my process:

1. The .json file is actually quite easy to create by hand – you can see an example here. But make sure you stay within the length guidelines for each field! See Section II of the Onboarding Issuer documentation for more details.

2. The one slightly confusing part of creating the .json file is hashing the recipient’s email address so that the address can’t be harvested for spam. I hashed recipient emails using the following little script:

import hashlib
email = raw_input('Email address? ')
salt = '#ioe12'
hash = hashlib.sha256(email + salt)
print (salt.encode('hex'), hash.hexdigest())

3. I included one line of javascript in the Badges Earned page so that I could use the Issuer API:


4. Finally, next to each name on the Badges Earned page, I placed a single “claim” link (using javascript) that awardees can use to claim their badges:


The result?


Now, in addition to getting a grade on a transcript that no one will ever see, my students are getting multiple, tamper-proof badges, with links to supporting evidence, that potential employers can see, judge, and validate TODAY. I’m pretty excited.

10 thoughts on “Badges Go To Graduate School”

  1. Hey, so you are one of the first I know to play with this so I have a question. I got myself a badges backpack and published a “group” –

    But presumably there’s some way as an earner of these badges to display this fact *somewhere else* than on this one site. Yet for the life of me I can’t find a way to embed these badges I’ve earned elsewhere. I’m I just being thick, or is it that this functionality hasn’t been released, or is my understanding of badges so off that this will never be the case?

    Also, I’m assuming the “Badges Earned” page is more of a proof of concept than a typical usage pattern – while the email address/browserID mechanism does work to make sure I can’t claim someone else’s badge, presumably in a normal scenario I’d never even be presented with a link to claim someone else’s badge, but instead a more generic “claim this badge” that was at the end of some criteria I’d passed or behind a password somewhere that I could only reach in the event I met the criteria. Otherwise it might lead to confusion.

  2. Great initiative. My students would love it.

    We need much more than simply marks and feedback.

    I guess that as soon as there is a ready-made application for teachers to create and award these, it will take off big style. 

    “Unregulated” grassroot free use and experimentation is needed, though, to try, test and consolidate the use of these badgets at each institution. That way, students will start demanding them.

  3. Malaysia has eveolved as the travel destination for all the potential travel seekers. Malaysia, a dynamic city rich in contrast
    and colour has something to offer every traveller. One can check for to get the perfect tour deal and package, and

     is the information provider.


  4. Gifts featured with sweets are the express highways to the hearts of your close relations. Gifts let your loved relations
    feel special on the special occasion, courtesy the heartfelt feeling your heart holds, embedded into the gifts. Gifts are the ones that you will never be tiered of buying. Visit today and surprise your near and dear ones.


  5. Am i correct to think you have to create a json file for every student you award the badge too and host this file ?

    so there is no one badge json file just a png but could be loads for student json files with the badge data inside?

    Sorry i’m just trying to get my head around this

Comments are closed.