badging open content at the open university

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Badging open content Patrina Law and Andrew Law The Open University

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The concept of badging (or ‘soft accreditation’) has been piloted in various forms in the Open University (OU) in 2013. This presentation shows what the University learnt from its pilot projects and how it is subsequently developing a suite of badges for informal and formal students.

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  • 1. Badging open content Patrina Law and Andrew Law The Open University

2. Context: Who Are Our Informal Learners? 5% are under 18 62% are over 45 81% speak English as their first language 41% are full-time employed 20% are retired 19% consider themselves to have a disability When asked the reasons for their interest in OpenLearn study materials nearly 84% say personal interest but learners study for a wide range of reasons 3. Context: Whos Using OpenLearn and Why? I have tended to use these free modules from OU and elsewhere as tasters to help me decide on more formal distance learning courses. OpenLearn user Ive used OpenLearn to try things out before signing up for a moduleyou have the ability to 'taste' areas of the modules before signing yourself up for something which may or may not be suited to you. OpenLearn user 4. a clickable graphic that contains an online record of an achievement, the work required for the achievement, and information about the organization, individual, or other entity who issued the badge. Digital badges can "certify" that information has been consumed or that skills have been acquired by the badge earner. It can also establish membership, participation, or attendance for a badge holder Bixler and Layng http://tinyurl.com/PSUDBWhitePaper What are digital badges? 5. Badging today There are several systems created to issue and display digital badges e.g. the OU will use Moodle. Mozilla Open Badges is the cloud system that is open to all to upload badges into. They have created a new NFP called the Badge Alliance to drive the initiative. Whos delivering badges? Educators, multinationals, NFPs, professional development groups. Largely US-based, dominated by school education Integration with undergraduate curriculum in its infancy 6. Badging pilot Activity on OpenLearn A select number of pilots were carried out in 2012/13 (unsupported, open courses): Masters in Online and Distance Education module (in conjunction with a formal presentation as an open offering) Succeed with Maths - SWiM (in conjunction with UK Adult Learners Week) Learning to Learn L2L (in conjunction with UK Adult Learners Week) 7. Pilot Feedback: overall approach Despite poor functionality, quizzes and badges were highly valued by learners and development of these functions should continue. Some dissatisfaction with usability and some learners found navigation problematic. Although not as popular as quizzes and badges, the teacher in the room devices such as video introductions were popular with many learners. 8. Build badged courses on OpenLearn Move away from core HE subjects (already served by FutureLearn and OpenLearn) Focus on employability and skill development of our informal learners and formal students alike Display of badges through the My OpenLearn profile Badged content to be free of charge 9. Benefits of Badging Important confidence building step as learners realise their potential to be formal students Accessible routes into the University for students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to participate in HE The Open University Charter: to provide education of University and professional standards for its students and to promote the educational well-being of the community generally The Careers and Employability Project aims to design and deliver a high quality student experience in relation to careers services and employability skills development 10. Assessment framework Learners will need to achieve 50% to pass an assessment Learners will be given three attempts If they fail on the third attempt, they can retake after 24 hours Practice assessment will be available throughout the course All pages of the course must have been read Formal assessment takes place at halfway and at the end of the course Two successful assessments = 1 badge 11. Badge display Mozilla Backpack My OpenLearn Profile Social networks e.g. LinkedIn 12. The evaluation strategy 1. Short-term data study: a. Who are our learners and where do they go? b. How were they motivated? 1. Long-term data study: a. How did they perform when they became OU students? b. Did badges help when seeking/changing employment? We will aim to: Learn from different approaches to free course delivery. Inform the business of the OU in provision of open courses. Provide academic insight into learner motivations and ongoing success (or otherwise) in a formal setting. 13. Next Steps IT development of OpenLearn and the MyOpenLearn profile (Jan-July 2014) First badged content live (July 2014) Evaluation (July 2014 onwards) [email protected] @HigherEdPatrina [email protected] @AndrewJLaw