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: http://www.openbadgenetwork.com/

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: http://openbadgenetwork.com.

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.”

Special Track on Wearable-technology Enhanced Learning (WELL)

To start the new year I am happy to announce our Call for Paper of the Special Interest Group on Wearable Enhanced Learning (WELL) at the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning: http://ea-tel.eu/special-interest-groups/well/

Here it is:

Special Track on Wearable-technology Enhanced Learning (WELL)
at the Immersive Learning Research Network Conference iLRN 2017
June 26-29, 2017, Coimbra, Portugal
https://immersivelrn.org/ilrn2017/

1 Topic of the Special Track

Wearable technologies – such as smart watches, smart glasses, smart objects, smart earbuds, or smart garments – are just starting to transform immersive user experience into formal education and learning at the workplace. These devices are body-worn, equipped with sensors and conveniently integrate into leisure and work-related activities including physical movements of their users.

Wearable-technology Enhanced Learning (WELL) is beginning to emerge as a new discipline in technology enhanced learning in combination with other relevant trends like the transformation of classrooms, new mobility concepts, and cyber-physical systems. Wearable devices play an integral role in the digital transformation of industrial and logistics processes in the Industry 4.0 and thus demand new learning and training concepts like experience capturing, re-enactment and smart human-computer interaction.

This proposal of a special track is the offspring of the SIG WELL (http://ea-tel.eu/special-interest-groups/well/) in the context of the European Association for Technology Enhanced Learning (EATEL). It is a follow up proposal for the inaugural session we had at the iLRN 2015 in Prague. In the meantime, the SIG was successful in organising a number of similar events at major research conferences and business oriented fairs like the EC-TEL, the I-KNOW and the Online Educa Berlin OEB. Moreover, the SIG has involved in securing substantial research funds through the H2020 project WEKIT (www.wekit.eu). The SIG would like to use the opportunity to present itself as a platform for scientific and industrial knowledge exchange. EATEL and major EU research projects and networks in the field support it. Moreover, we’ll seek to attach an IEEE standard association community meeting of the working group on Augmented Reality Learning Experience Models (IEEE ARLEM).

2 List of Topics

  • Industry 4.0 and wearable enhanced learning
  • Learning Analytics for Wearable technologies
  • Wearable technologies for health and fitness
  • Wearable technologies and affective computing
  • TEL applications of smart glasses, watches, armbands
  • Learning context and activity recognition for wearable enhanced learning
  • Body-area learning networks with wearable technologies
  • Data collection from wearables
  • Feedback from wearables
  • Learning designs with wearable technologies
  • Augmented Reality Learning
  • Ad hoc learning with wearables
  • Micro learning with wearables
  • Security and privacy for wearable technology enhanced learning
  • Collaborative wearable technology enhanced learning

3 Dates

  • Paper submission: February 1, 2017 (How to submit? Check: Author’s Info)
  • Notification of authors: March 15, 2017
  • Full paper submission: April 15, 2017
  • Date of the conference: June 26-29, 2017

Contributing papers have to undergo a peer review process and will be included
in the conference proceedings, depending on the overall quality and special tracks chairs’ decision, either as a long paper (10 – 12 pages) or as a short paper (6 -8 pages). Excellent papers will be deemed full papers (14 pages) and included in the Springer proceedings. Authors of selected papers will also be invited to extend their contribution and to be published in a special issue of the JCR-indexed Journal of Universal Computer Science.

4 Track chairs

Ilona Buchem, Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Germany
Ralf Klamma, RWTH Aachen University, Germany,
István Koren, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Fridolin Wild, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Alla Vovk, Oxford Brookes University, UK

5 Tentative Program Committee (t.b.c.)

Mario Aehnelt, Fraunhofer IGD Rostock, Germany
Davinia Hernández-Leo, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Carlos Delgado Kloos, UC3M, Spain
Elisabetta Parodi, Lattanzio Learning Spa, Italy
Carlo Vizzi, Altec, Italy
Mar Perez Sangustin, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
Isa Jahnke, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA
Jos Flores, MIT, USA
Michael Fominykh, Europlan, UK
Puneet Sharma, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Yishay Mor, Levinsky College of Education, Israel
Tobias Ley, Tallinn University, Estonia
Peter Scott, Sydney University of Technology, Australia
Victor Alvarez, Murdoch University, Australia
Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, The Open University, UK
Carl Smith, Ravensbourne University, UK
Victoria Pammer-Schindler, Graz University of Technology &Know-Center Graz, Austria
Christoph Igel, CeLTech, Germany
Peter Mörtel, Virtual Vehicle, Austria
Brenda Bannan, George Mason University, USA
Christine Perey, Perey Consulting, Switzerland
Kaj Helin, VTT, Finland
Jana Pejoska, Aalto, Finland
Jaakko Karjalainen, VTT, Finland
Joris Klerxx, KU Leuven, Belgium
Marcus Specht, Open University, Netherlands
Roland Klemke, Open University, Netherlands
Will Guest, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Digital Strategies and Change Agents

I am coordinating the project “Digital Future” at Beuth University in Berlin founded by the Stifterverband in which we develop strategies for the use of digital media in every department in 2016 and then a university-wide strategy in 2017 based on the department-strategies. One of the key approaches in this project is Open Innovation, in which we focus on bringing in different stakeholders and different perspectives together. Each department has already appointed a digitalisation representative who together with a strategy-team with representatives of different stakeholder-groups from a given department (including professors, students, alumni, researchers, program directors, lab directors etc.) drive the development of the digital strategy in the respective department. Not long ago I presented our strategy development process at the Workshop on e-Learning with the focus on digital representatives as change agents. You can see my slides below.

Are you involved in a similar process or can point me to an higher education organisation developing digital strategies? If yes, I’d be glad to receive your comment and share ideas and lessons learned!

Wearables & Learning

We started the Special Interest Group on Wearable Enhanced Learning together with Ralf Klamma from RWTH Aachen und Fridolin Wild from Oxford Brookes University only in 2015. The interest in wearable enhanced learning has been growing rapidly. This year, at EC-TEL 2016 in Lyon France, we have organised already the 4th SIG WELL workshop!

This time, the SIG WELL workshop focused on prototypes and experiences with Wearable Enhanced Learning. We have had a number of interesting presentations on different applications of wearables. Here is the list:

  1. SIG WELL – Introduction – Ilona Buchem, Fridolin Wild, Ralf Klamma
  2. WeKit: Wearable Experience for Knowledge Intensive Training – Ralf Klamma & Fridolin Wild
  3. DevOpsUse for Large-Scale Social Requirements Engineering – Ralf Klamma & Milos Kravcik
  4. Wearables for Healthy Ageing – Ilona Buchem
  5. BBC micro:bit Maker-Boards – István Koren
  6. Tactile Feedback – Jazz Rasool, Carl Smith & Jazz Rasool
  7. Kinemata – motion memory enhanced – Jana Pejoska
  8. Smart Medical Simulation Team Training – Brenda Bannan
  9. The TCBL Project – Paul Lefrere, Fridoln Wild & Jesse Marsh
  10. Cognitive behavioural therapy training with wearables – Mikhail Fominykh

For more information about this event, please visit the SIG WELL website:

http://ea-tel.eu/special-interest-groups/well/call-for-makers-prototypes-and-experiences-with-wearable-enhanced-learning-well-ec-tel-2016/

 

Experiment Open Badges

Last week I gave a keynote on Open Badges at the #JFMH2016 at TU Darmstadt. The title of my keynote was:

Experiment “Open Badges” – potentials and challenges of digital verification of competences in higher education.

Based on the concept of “experiment with a society as a lab” from the field of media sociology, the starting point for my keynote was the thesis that Open Badges like many other novel, digital technologies, are applied directly in educational contexts without prior examination of their potentials and risks. Most of the times digital learning technologies and concepts, such as Open Badges, cannot be validated in controlled settings of a research lab, but are first applied in real-life educational settings and validated only later through experimentation which takes place in a regular course of affairs, within existing organisational structures and processes and involving students, teachers and other subjects.  Also, following the idea of mode 2 of knowledge production by Gibbons et al. (1994), the knowledge about the potentials and risks of novel technologies emerges as a result of an interdisciplinary, connected, open and cross-context interactions of persons involved in such experiments. This is also the case with Open Badges and the knowledge about the possibilities as well as effects of their application being created not only within one (educational) organisation but across diverse and globally distributed communities.

While applying novel technologies and concepts, such as Open Badges, it is important to keep in mind that the effects of experimentation are not always predictable and may have both positive and/or negative effects on the subjects involved. Reflecting the knowledge created following the principles of mode 2 by Gibbons at al. (1994) and taking responsibility for the design and implementation of Open Badges and other novel technologies in (higher) education is connected to a number of ethical and legal questions, some of which have been addressed by Willis, Quick & Hickey (2015).

Here is the link to my slides on SlideShare (slides are in German):

 

Open Badges – the missing link?

My keynote at the #RIDE2016 research conference – Research and Innovation in Distance Education and E-Learning, at the Centre for Distance Education, which took place on Friday 11 March 2016 at Senate House, University of London, focused on Open Badges as the missing link in Open Education.

My aim was to view Mozilla Open Badges in a wider context of Open Education and this again in a yet wider context of the Open Movement, which started with the Open Source concept towards the end of the 1990ies. The open source movement is directly linked to Mozilla, created as a free-software community by members of Netscape, who publicly released the source code of the Netscape Communicator in 1998. Open Badges are one of the key initiatives and concepts of the Open Movement and of Open Education given their dedication and mission to explore new ways of open credentialing and accreditation for all types of learning (Knight & Casilli, 2012).

So, what is “a missing link” in this context? Given the yet evolving nature of the OB concept and standard, I have chosen the following definition to discuss where we are at with Open Badges and how the future may look like:

“A missing link would possess the “in-between” evolutionary properties of both the ancestors’ original traits and the traits of the evolved descendants, hence showing a clear connection between the two.” (Melina, 2010)

It seems to me that the current version of open credentialing as enabled by Mozilla Open Badges, is at an intermediate stage, somewhere “in-between”, in a longer evolutionary process of credentialing practices.

With a growing number of new ideas about technological enhancements of Open Badges and applications of Open Badges disrupting traditional credentialing, it will be interesting to observe what the next incarnations of Open Credentialing may look like and what the drivers will be. Will it be the big data research and the need to provide meaningful metrics to different stakeholders including learners, educational organisations, employers and educational policy makers? Will it be the critical pedagogy endorsing human ability to think critically about own education? Or will it be the employability approach reflecting the need for new career concepts? Given the different possible influences, it is important to discuss the underlying framework of values which can/should drive the future open credentialing practices.

Here is the link to my presentation “Open Badges – The Missing Link in Open Education”

 

References
➤ Carla Casilli & Daniel Hickey (2016) Transcending conventional credentialing and assessment paradigms with information-rich digital badges, The Information Society, 32:2, 117-129.
➤ Casilli, C. (2013). Badge pathways. Retrieved from https://carlacasilli.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/ badge-pathways-part-1-the-paraquel
➤ Broekman, P., Hall, G., Byfield, T., Hides S. & Worthington, S. (2014). Open Education. A Study in Disruption. Rowman & Littlefield International, Series: Disruptions.
➤ Ito, M., K. Gutierrez, S. Livingstone, B. Penuel, J. Rhodes, K. Salen, J. Schor, J. Sefton-Green & Watkins, S. C. (2013). Connected learning: An agenda for research and design. Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. Retrieved from http://www.dmlhub.net/publications
➤ Klein, J. (2013). Design feedback for badge systems. Jess Klein. Retrieved from http:// jessicaklein.blogspot.com/2013/01/design-feedback-for-badge-systems.html
➤ Melina, R. (2010). What’s the Missing Link? Livescience. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com
➤ Suber, P. (2013). Open access. MIT Press essential knowledge. Retrieved from https://mitpress.mit.edu
➤ Willis, J. E., Quick, J. & Hickey, D. T (2015). Digital Badges and Ethics: The Uses of Individual Learning Data in Social Contexts. In: D. Hickey, J. Jovanovic, S. Lonn, J.E. Willis, III (eds.): Proceedings of the Open Badges in Education (OBIE 2015). New York, USA. Retrieved from http://ceur-ws.org
➤ Young, J. R. (2012). Badges Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1-7. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Badges-Earned-Online- Pose/130241/