Open Badges in India

This March I had an opportunity to visit the Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE) at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in New Delhi,  India. I was invited to give a workshop on Open Badges as part of the STRIDE activities at IGNOU. IGNOU is one of the largest universities in the world and is also known as “The People’s University”. STRIDE was set up in 1993 as a training and research institute for distance education in the South Asian Region. STRIDE has developed a number of training materials related to Open and Distance Education und runs the Indian Journal of Open Learning (IJOL) published by Indira Gandhi National Open University.

It was very interesting for me to learn about Open Education and Open Badges activities at IGNOU and I was delighted to share the experience on Open Badges from Europe including Germany. Here is a short press release from the Times of India (21st March 2017) about the workshop on Open Badges at IGNOU titled “IGNOU Creates Awareness On Digital Certificates”.

I am very grateful for this experience and thankful to the STRIDE team, especially Prof. Prabir K. Biswas (Director), Dr. G. Mythili (Deputy Director) and Prof. PR Ramanujam (former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU) for a truly warm welcome, superb organisation and open sharing of ideas around Open Education.

Now I am looking forward to the presentation of Dr. G. Mythili (Deputy Director) of STRIDE/IGNOU activities on Open Badges in the Open Badges MOOC we run in the Open Badge Network, founded under the ERASMUS+ grant. More details will follow soon on the Open Badge Network portal:

Here is the link to my slides on Open Badges from the IGNOU workshop:


Open Badges in South Africa

The Open Education Global Conference 2017 took place 8-10 March in Cape Town, South Africa. I was a great conference with a great number of interesting contributions and superb researchers and practitioners so I was very pleased to attend and introduce Open Badges as elements of Open Education in form of an Action Lab (see program and the Twitter hashtag #oeglobal). Also I presented a poster with the results of the policy research we have done in the Open Badge Network project.

It seems to me that the discussion around Open Education has been often narrowed down to Open Educational Resources and recently MOOCs, not sufficiently taking into consideration other forms of Open Education and Open Learning. I see Open Badges as one of these elements of Open Education which should be anchored in the global discourse on Open Education and Open Education Practices. I hope through these contributions to the conference program, I managed to trigger the interest and discussion about Open Badges for Open Education in this global community.

The OE Global Conference 2017 concluded but the Year of Open continues! The Year of Open is “a global focus on open processes, systems, and tools, created through collaborative approaches, that enhance our education, businesses, governments, and organizations” (learn more).

Here is the abstract of the Action Lab titled “Scaling up Open Badges for Open Education” and the link to my slides in SlideShare:

“This Action Lab aims at exploring and designing Open Badges as elements of Open Education. Open Badges are based on an open standard which enables to anyone to recognise and openly communicate open learning achievements including skills. Open Badges are used as open (micro) credentials and are an important element of Open Education as they enable learners to get their open learning achievements recognised, digitally recorded, validated and communicated to any audience in an open and transparent way. Open Education has been discussed in view of open access and participation in open courses and the production and use of Open Educational Resources. However, the element of recognition and communication of open education achievements has been neglected so far. The European Open Badge Network project is one of the global initiatives to promote Open Badges:

This Acton & Design Lab aims at incubating ideas and formulating recommendations for scaling-up the use of Open Badges to recognise Open Learning in different open educational contexts. This lab takes 2 hours and starts with a hands-on demonstration of Open Badges as an open technology and educational approach including selected case studies (30 minutes). This is followed by a structured discussion about potentials and challenges of using Open Badges for recognition of Open Learning, using affinity diagramming techniques (30 minutes). The last part is about brainstorming ideas and designing recommendations for scaling-up Open Badges for Open Education (60 minutes). The last part is organised around three key dimensions of scaling-up of Open Badges, i.e. context, content, community. The results of the lab is a list of actions and recommendations for scaling up the use of Open Badges. The list encompasses policy, organisational, teacher and learner recommendations and will be published on the Open Badge Network portal.”

Open Access Book (L3T)

L3T is an open access book on learning and teaching with new technologies. The L3T project is run by Sandra Schoen & Martin Ebner and the L3T book is an open access book written in German and published under the Creative-Commons-Licence CC-BY SA. It is a great idea and beacon project in many respects. Here are some reasons why:

  • Book chapters are written individually or collaboratively by various authors, including academics and practitioners, bringing in different insights and perspectives.
  • The book is created on a honorary basis of all people involved. A passionate community has involved around the project in the last 2 years.
  • Contributors to the book can work remotely (e.g. some groups use GoogleDocs, some EtherPad based applications to work on texts).
  • Contributors can also collaborate on the spot, e.g. this year editing camps – L3T-Camps –  took place in different cities in Germany and Austria.
  • The single L3T chapters can be downloaded for free and used as Open Educational Resources (OER) for example in higher and secondary education, and beyond.
  • The L3T can be used on mobile devices, e.g. smartphones, tablets, in an interactive way, e.g. making notes, highlighting and bookmarking (see: L3T mobile apps).
  • The project follows a hybrid model of financing, i.e. all digital chapters can be downloaded for free, while the print version can be purchased as a regular book with altogether 592 pages (see: epubli online shop).
  • Everyone can support the L3T for example by donating or sponsoring a book chapter (see: L3T support).
  • And last but not least: The L3T book homepage has an integrated analytics tool, where you can see the number of downloads per chapter (see: L3T analytics).

I have had a privilege of contributing to this exciting project in its first edition in 2011 and the second edition in 2013. The second edition of L3T was written by 250 authors and completed just a few weeks ago, resulting in a textbook  with 59 chapters on a wide range of topics related to technology-enhanced learning (TEL) (see all chapters here).

The 2013 edition includes among others the updated collaborative chapter on blogging and microblogging in education and my new chapter on digital diversity and divide, which I am looking forward to extending in the future editions of the L3T book. Therefore, it would be great to receive your opinions and recommendations for extending the current version of these chapters. Please just drop me a line – thanks.

L3T Diversität und Spaltung

Looking for co-authors

Hello everyone, I am looking for co-authors for a book chapter on Open Educational Ressources. The book chapter proposal I submitted was accepted but unfortunately, due to other urgend matters I have to attend to, I won’t be able to make it alone. If you are interested in collaborating, please let me know asap. You can either leave me a comment or send me you details to: ibuchematgooglemaildotcom. Thank you!


Here are the details:

Book: “Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources

Deadline for chapter submission: 15.11.2010

My chapter proposal title: “Designing for collaborative peer-production with OER in formal education”.

And here is a short overview of my submission:


Collaborative peer-production of digital educational content, including Open Educational Resources (OER), is a growing trend, which can be primarily observed in informal, Web 2.0-based communities of practice, such as Wikipedia, YouTube or in the blogosphere. Based on the socio-cultural view of learning as social participation (Wenger et al. 2004), peers can be defined as members of a learning community sharing common interests and objectives, and who are equal to each other in terms of roles and rank within the community. From this perspective peer-production is as collective creation of content within a learning community through interactions in a group of peers. In collaborative peer production with OER is therefore a part of the OER cycle of design, creation, use, re-design and re-purpose. (…)

Due to the potential of peer-generated open educational resources as assets for enriching and reinvigorating formal education with authentic, up-to-date and on-demand information, designing for collaborative learning through peer-production with OER is becoming to play an elementary role in both formal and informal educational contexts. However, educators wishing to implement such collaborative practices by “importing” the Wikipedia-model to educational settings are often faced with the demand of re-thinking traditional approaches to meticulous didactical pre-structuring and in-advance planning. (…) Due to the shortcomings of the casual view of design for collaborative learning, process-oriented approaches and probabilistic views to analyzing and modeling collaboration have been postulated. These approaches focus on methods for supporting collaborative learning processes rather than on methods supporting attainment of pre-determined educational objectives (Stahl et al. 2006; Strijbos et al. 2004).

This chapter proposes an approach to designing for collaborative peer-production with OER in formal education contexts based on the process-oriented methodology. The chapter focuses on critical factors influencing interaction processes during peer-production with OER. This can be established under the assumption that the outcome of collaborative peer-production, that is modification of original OER in the sense of user generated content, is mediated by the quality of group interaction (Dillenbourg et al. 1996). This chapter argues that based on socio-cultural theoretical concepts and results of current research in the field of group interaction in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) it is possible to describe a set of substantial pedagogical principles for designing collaborative peer-production with OER. Based on the socio-cultural view of interaction as “an emergent property of the group discourse” (Stahl 2005, p. 81), this chapter proposes a framework for pedagogical design of collaborative peer-production with OER and conceptualizes Peer Generated Content (PGC) as socio-cultural artefacts interactively produced through repurposing of Open Educational Resources (OER).