Open Bages for migrant academics

Just a few days ago I gave a presentation about using Open Badges for migrant academics based on the experience from the two projects I have been running at Beuth University of Applied Sciences, i.e. Credit Points (2013 – 2014) and the follow-up project BeuthBonus (2015 – 2018) – both part of the German federal network and program called IQ – Integration through Qualification.  You can find my slides on SlideShare:

My presentation was part of the International Day of Badges focusing on Open Badges in Higher Education led by Daniel Hickey, Ph.D. and facilitated James Willis, Ph.D. both from the Center for Research on Learning and Technology, Indiana University.

The theme of the three webinars organised during the Day of Badges in (1) Europe, (2) United States and (3) Australia on 17 November 2015 (Europe and Americas) / 18 November 2015 (Australia) was:

“Connecting higher and vocational education, workplace skills, and innovative learning opportunities”.

Each of the three webinars encompassed 3 ten-minute presentations and 30 minutes of community Q&A and used the web conferencing system ZOOM, which worked really well.

Here is a brief overview of the three webinars and speakers:

Open Digital Badges in Europe

Open Digital Badges in the United States

  • Madison College, Madison, Wisconsin: Kate Radionoff and Lesley Voigt, Badges in the south central Wisconsin workforce
  • Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire: Mike Goudzwaard and Adam Nemeroff, Badges in OperaX, a Dartmouth MOOC
  • NOCTI, Michigan and online: John Foster, Badges for workplace skills

Open Digital Badges in Australia

  • Curtin University, Bentley WA: David Gibson, Badges as bridges: MOOCs, games, and informal learning in Curtin University’s curriculum
  • DeakinDigital, Melbourne VIC: Allyn Radford, Badges for workplace skills
  • Australian National University, Inger Mewburn, Badges at Australia National University

You can view the recordings of the three webinars here:




Open Badges – DACH Communities and Events

Open Badges are beginning to gain momentum in Europe. We are just starting to grow our Open Badges DACH Usergroup (OB-DACH) for DACH countries (Germany D, Austria A, Switzerland CH) inspired by the Open Badges ANZ Usergroup for Australia and New Zealand (OB-ANZ).

I would like to invite you to join our Google+ DACH Community and connect with us on Twitter – @DACHbadges.

For all German-speaking users of Open Badges there is also the German Badge Design Canvas.

The original canvas has been developed by DigitalMe in UK to guide the design process of Open Badges.

Here are some of the upcoming events on Open Badges in Germany:

Here is the Open Badge for the participants of the “Open Badges for Open Education” workshop on 7th September 2015 in Berlin:

I am looking forward to community building and connecting with Open Badges practitioners and researchers!


User Engagement Design in Wearable Enhanced Learning

This week I was pleased to present our work on User Engagement (UE) design in the fMOOC project at the iLRN2015 – Immersive Learning Research Network Conference in Prague.

The conceptual design of the fMOOC is based on the concept of extended Personal Learning Environments (eX-PLE) in sense of permeable physical and virtual spaces, which are constructed dynamically through the practice of “mobility” across spaces, contexts, concepts and time. The fMOOC design integrates the Massive Open Online Learning Approach with wearable technologies to enable seamless learning as part of daily life. In our paper:

Buchem, Ilona, Merceron, Agathe, Kreutel, Jörn, Haesner, Marten, Steinert, Anika (2015). Designing for User Engagement in Wearable-Technology Enhanced Learning for Healthy Ageing. iLRN Conference 2015, Workshop Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Intelligent Environments, Link to Proceedings (eBook as PDF download): 

we propose a multi-layer user engagement model which drives the design of user engagement at five levels, i.e. conceptual design, requirements design, instructional design, architecture design and interface design. We consider User Engagement (UE) as the quality of the User Experience (UX) which is characterised by the positive aspects of the interaction, such as being captivated, focused attention, sense of control, willingness to repeat the learning experience. 

You can view the slides on SlideShare:


User Engagement in Wearable Enhanced Learning


Cultural Localisation of Open Badges

This week I had a pleasure to give a talk on cultural localisation of open badges at the online meeting of the initiative Open Badges in Higher Education in conjunction with The Badge Alliance Badges in Higher Education Working Group:

“Cultural localisation of open badges – insights from the German community”

Cultural localisation is the process of adapting the linguistic and cultural content of a design for a specific local culture. The aim of this talk is to explore cultural localisation of open badges from two perspectives. The first perspective is the cultural localisation of skills with the help of open badges. The second perspective is the cultural localisation of open badges as a system itself. My talk will include insights from a German qualification project for migrant academics, in which badges have been applied to enhance employability, as well as insights from the process of building an open badges community in German-speaking countries. My intention is to develop a framework for cultural localisation of open badges and I would like to discuss some considerations for such a framework.


Further information:

If you are interested in doing research related to cultural localisation of open badges, please get in touch and leave a comment!

Wearables and Embodied Learning

Wearable technologies bring new, exciting opportunities for the design of digital learning and communication. Just recently, I had the opportunity to present the fMOOC project (founded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education), in which we integrate wearable fitness trackers as an element of a digital learning environment for senior learners. My presentation focused on the experiential learning and embodied learning as theoretical frameworks for learning in this context.

Especially the embodied learning perspective offers an interesting approach to designing digital learning. The starting point for embodied learning is that learning including cognitive processes have roots in sensorimotor processing and result from the body’s interactions with the physical environment (Wilson, 2002).

Since I am exploring the potential of embodied learning and embodied cognition as a theoretical framework for designing Wearable Enhanced Learning (WELL) – see also our Special Interest Group – EA-TEL SIG WELL – I am very keen on connecting with researchers doing research in related fields. If you are interested in doing research / project together, I would be very glad to hear from you – best to get in touch is Twitter: @mediendidaktik – Looking forward to connecting and sharing!

Here is my SlideShare presentation from the DDD2015 Conference in Umeå, Sweden:

Wearable Enhanced Embodied Learning from Ilona Buchem

Thanks again @Isa Jahnke for organising this great event!

Further reading:

Wilson, M. (2002). Six views of embodied cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 9, pp. 625–636.

EA-TEL Special Interest Group on Wearable Enhanced Learning

Design Challenge – Wearable Enhanced Learning (WELL)

Design Challenge – Wearable Enhanced Learning (WELL)

The Special Interest Group on Wearable Enhanced Learning (SIG WELL) at the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning (EA-TEL), founded by Ilona Buchem (Beuth University Berlin), Fridolin Wild (Open University UK) and Ralf Klamma (RHTW Aachen) has announced the Call for Contributions for the Design Challenge titled “Envisioning Wearable Enhanced Learning” which will be held as a half-day workshop at the European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning #ECTEL2015 – on the 18th September 2015 in Toledo, Spain.

The Design Challenge “Envisioning Wearable Enhanced Learning” aims at arriving at new and innovative designs enhancing learning through wearable technologies. Participants of this design challenge are encouraged to rethink the future of learning once wearable user interfaces are widely and easily available for any learner.

You can submit your abstract & design sample by 12th June 2015!

To enter this EC-TEL 2015 Design Challenge, submit a 500 abstract (approx. 2 pages) as PDF via EasyChair and design samples of own work (e.g. mock-ups, videos, prototypes) via our YouTube channel, by creating design requirements using the Requirements Bazaar or by simply pasting a link to your design sample in the abstract. Design samples help the reviewers to understand the solution, the design approach and visual presentation skills of participants. Design samples may be submitted as either PDFs or links to a web site. Submissions may include work from past, current and future projects or may just represent creative ideas independent of any project scheme or research program.

For more information about this Design Challenge please visit the SIG WELL website:

Here is the short summary of the theme:

Wearable technologies – such as smart watches, smart fitness trackers, smart glasses, smart glasses, smart objects, smart earbuds, or smart garments – are beginning to transform personal communications and offer new opportunities for learning and interaction. Since wearable technologies are likely to shape the future relationship between humans and computers, it is essential to look beyond the current perspective of how wearable technologies may enhance learning in the future.According to the recent forecasts (e.g. Cisco, Gardner, Deloitte) for 2018, portable technologies, including mobile and wearable devices, will form the basis of personal communications with the global wearable device data traffic increasing by over 60%. Wearable user interfaces are just starting to transform user experience, improving integration of technologies into everyday life, education, and work.

Wearable Enhanced Learning (WELL) is emerging to be a transformational step in the transition from the desktop age through the mobile age to the age of wearable, ubiquitous computing.

This session called “Envisioning Wearable Enhanced Learning” is a design challenge which aim at arriving at new and innovative designs enhancing learning through wearable technologies. Participants of this design challenge are encouraged to rethink the future of learning once wearable user interfaces are widely and easily available for any learner. Since most of wearable technologies available on the market today lack mechanism for providing meaningful learning experiences,  the grand challenge is to invent designs focusing on meaningful user engagement.


Digital Badges / Open Badges Taxonomy

Working on the taxonomy of digital badges / open badges is an interesting empirical and conceptual endeavour. I have been looking into different types of badges as part of the “Discussion Paper on Open Badges and Quality Assurance” on which I have been recently working in context of the European Project “Badge Europe” (Erasmus+, Strategic Partnership). Before the first draft of the discussion paper will be open to public for comments and edits, I would like to share the first draft of the taxonomy of digital and open badges. I have proposed a classification based on three categories – (1) content-related: what the badge represents, (2) issuer-related: who issues the badge, and (3) process-related: how the badge was achieved.

This is just a first attempt and I would be very glad to get your feedback on this. Thank you to the authors who inspired my work in this area – Carla Casilli, Hans PoldojaGrant MacDonald (follow the links to find out more about their typologies), and Nigel Lloyd who is working with us on the “Badge Europe” project.

So here is the first list ready for your comments, extensions and examples in this Google Table!

This taxonomy with examples from practice can be also viewed in SlideShare:

1 Content-related categories (what the badge represents)
1.1 Achievement badges (demonstration of achievements)
1.2 Competence badges (demonstration of knowledge, skills, competence).
1.3 Potential badges (indicators of future performance)
1.4 Participation badges (evidence of participation, e.g. events)
1.5 Membership badges (represents membership, e.g. club)
1.6 Commitment badges (attitudes, values, beliefs)
1.7 Encouragement badges (good work stamps)

2 Issuer-related categories (who issued the badge)
2.1 Organisational badges (issued by university, employer)
2.2 Team badges (issued by teams, groups)
2.3 Expert badges (issued by an expert)
2.4 Social badges (issued by peers, communities)
2.5 Endorser badge (endorsed by an organisation, expert etc.)

3 Process-related categories (how the badge was achieved)
3.1 Activity badges (based on single measurable learning activity)
3.2 Mission badges (based on a series of activities)
3.3 Assignment badges (based on completing a single assignment)
3.4 Composite badges (achieved by completing multiple assignments)
3.5 Progress badges (based on the progress on a given task)
3.6 Grade badges (based on formal grades)
3.7 Level badges (based on several levels)