Categories
badges mooc open content open education

My Contribution to Frances Bell’s cMOOC History

Frances Bell has started a Google Doc collecting historical information about cMOOCs. I’m reposting my contributions to the doc (about my own cMOOCs) here on opencontent.org so I can find them again in the future if the Google Doc ever goes away.

Year: 2007
Where: USU, INST 7150, Intro to Open Education
Audience: Those interested in learning more about Open Education
Archive.org Link

Course Design:

  • Students included both formal students earning credit at USU and students from around the world participating for free
  • Students who completed the course and requested a Certificate of Completion received a certificate
  • Course syllabus was presented in a wiki which students could (and did) edit
  • Readings and videos were on the public web
  • Each student maintained a blog where their writing and assignments were posted publicly
  • A course OPML file was used to aggregate all student writing for easy reading in RSS Readers
  • The course wiki included a master list of participants, including names, institution (if any), email address, and blog address
  • Clusters of students created affinity-based sub-groups with mailing lists, etc.

Year: 2009
Where: BYU, IPT 692R, Intro to Open Education
Audience: Those interested in learning more about Open Education
Archive.org Link

Course Design:

  • Students included both formal students earning credit at BYU and students from around the world participating for free
  • Course was designed as a massively multiplayer online game
  • Students had to choose a Character Class to play during the term. Each class specialized in a different area of knowledge (IP and licensing, business models, history and philosophy, etc.) and had a separate Skills Tree (syllabus)
  • Assignments were structured as quests. The first quests could be completed by individuals, but later quests required a range of skills that required different character classes to collaborate.
  • Quests resulted in Experience Points, which translated into player Levels. Levels translated into final grades.
  • An attempt was made to encourage the creation of Guilds (sub-groups of players) that would compete against each other (e.g., on XP earned), but this failed.
  • Readings and videos were on the public web

Year: 2012
Where: BYU, IPT 692R, Intro to Openness in Education
Audience: Those interested in learning more about Open Education
Archive.org Link

Course Design:

  • Students included both formal students earning credit at BYU and students from around the world participating for free
  • Mozilla Open Badges were awarded to students who completed course challenges
  • Badges translated into grades
  • Readings and videos were on the public web
  • Each student maintained a blog where their writing and assignments were posted publicly
  • FeedWordpress was used to centrally aggregate all student writing to an Updates section of the site
Categories
badges open content

Thoughts on Badges for LINCS: Lessons from History

This week I’m participating in a conversation about badges over on the Department of Education’s LINCS website. I believe badges are potentially a key piece of infrastructure necessary to support truly open, distributed learning, but I’m frequently disappointed by the level of thoughtfulness of the discourse around badges. There’s much to learn about badges by looking to the history of other technologies, as I’ve tried to point out in my answers to the first two question prompts.

Categories
badges

Redeeming Gift Cards and Badges

It seems like many people struggle to understand how the Open Badge Infrastructure works. Here’s an analogy that I’ve recently found helpful.

Say your friend buys you an Amazon or iTunes gift card for your birthday. When your friend buys the gift card, they are required to provide your email address, both so that (1) the store knows where to send the gift card and (2) the store can verify you’re you when you come to claim the gift card. After your friend completes the purchase, you receive an email containing a special code. To redeem the gift card, you go to a website, verify your identity, and enter the code. After you enter the code, a certain amount of credit appears in your account, which you can spend however you like.

Badges are “redeemed” in much the same way. Say you participate in an online course. When you complete the requirements (e.g., pass the final test), the systems prompts you for your name and email address both so that (1) the systems knows where to send the badge and (2) they can verify you’re you when you claim the badge. After you’ve completed the course requirements, you are presented with a special code (which in the case of a badge is a URL). To redeem the badge, you take this code to a Backpack site, verify your identity, and enter the code. You may even be automatically sent to the site, and only need to verify your identity in order to redeem the badge. Either way, the badge then appears in your Backpack and you can do whatever you like with it at that point.