Open Badge Network

This week we launched the Open Badge Network (OBN) portal. Open Badge Network is an Erasmus + project and strategic partnership which brings together organisations from across Europe to support the development of an Open Badge ecosystem, promoting the use of Open Badges to recognise non-formal and informal learning.

Our mission is to provide a trusted source of independent information, tools and informed practice to support people who are interested in creating, issuing and earning Open Badges across Europe. Read our Charter.

Mozilla Open Badges is an open standard that allows all skills and achievements to be recognised and shared across the web. Schools, Universities, Employers and informal learning providers are using open badges to capture life long learning which is currently unrecognised. Open Badges are radically changing the way we see credentials; from abstract measures of knowledge towards a tool to connect individuals with opportunities for employment, training and progression. Globally, over 2 million badges have been issued to date by 14,000 organisations.

Over the next 2 years, the Open Badge Network is committed to connecting and supporting the European badge community and with them, co-creating materials, tools and guidance to enable Open Badges to flourish within Europe.

These activities include:

  • A real-time inventory of Open Badge projects across Europe called “Badge the World”Badge the World seeks to document the many innovative Open Badge projects that are underway throughout the world.
  • Tools and guidance for organisations and individuals to issue, earn and display badges. Open Badge Resources include tools, project, use cases and publications.
  • A calendar of European events, webinars and an Open Badges MOOC. Please include your event in our Event Calendar for the dissemination of your event!
  • An active network of practitioners, educationalists and policy makers to connect and collaborate with. If you would like to help promote and advocate this mission please register and get in touch.

We are looking for organisations and individuals from across Europe to join us as Associate Partners to help grow the Open Badge Network.

Join us today!

My 2015 in review

While the prepared an annual report for my blog, I would like to capture here some of my personal, professional highlights from 2015. Looking back at 2015 I will remember 2015 as an extremely busy, yet formative and successful year!  Below is the list of my personal 2015 highlights – so many unforgettable events and valuable encounters I would like to remember!

January 2015

Date: 27 January 2015

Event: eMadrid seminar on Open Badges at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. I was invited to give a talk on Open Badges for Recognition of Learning and Online Reputation. This event was organised as part of the eMadrid project, which is divided into 10 lines of research aligned with the EU initiative “Opening Up Education” and the Horizon 2020 program. Follow this link – eMadrid 2015 – for more information including my slides and the video recording.

Highlight: My personal highlight was meeting professor Carlos Delago Kloos from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Michael Amigot from Open edX and to learn more about the Open edX initiatives, projects and Open Badges integrations! Many thanks to Carlos for inviting me and to Michael for sharing interesting ideas about MOOCs, Open Badges & Co.! the picture below is a screenshot of the video recording of the session.


February 2015

Date: 25 February 2015

Event: Grant notification letter from Stifterverband fuer die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V. – Association for the Promotion of Science and Humanities in Germany. The application submitted by Beuth University, which I significantly contributed to, was selected for funding 2015-2016. This grant has enables us to set up a project at Beuth University called “Digital Future” (Digitale Zukunft), in which strategies for using digital media in teaching in higher education in all eight departments have just started to be developed in 2015. I am very glad to lead this project and cooperate closely with the Vice President for Studies and International Affairs at Beuth.

Highlight: It is a great distinction to be awarded a prise as one of 8 universities selected from 99 universities which applied for this grant! Also it has been a great experience to develop organisation-wide strategies with different stakeholder groups at my university. The picture below is from the official event in January 2015, together with the vice president and two senior colleagues from Beuth.


March 2015

Date: 26 March 2015

Event: An open, joint webinar about Open Badges and ePortfolios as part of the Europortfolio German Chapter . The German Chapter grew out of the LLP KA3-ICT Network project called “EPNET – Europortfolio: a European Network of Eportfolio Experts and Practitioners”.You can view the recording of the webinar on Open Badges (in German). The Europortfolio German Chapter was founded in December 2014 (see the picture #1 from the official event at Online Educa 2014 below) as has been actively growing the German ePortfolio community by regular webinars and events. We have grown to over 100 members in 2015!

Highlight: My personal highlight was introducing Open Badges for the first time to the German ePortfolio community. It was also a great pleasure to prepare and host this webinar together with my two colleagues – Ingo Dahn und Andreas Auwärter  from the University Koblenz-Landau. I learned a lot from the Ingo and Andreas! Also I was glad to test Open Badge Factory to issue the Open Badge – Taschenlampe – to the webinar participants.



April 2015

Date: 9 April 2015

Event: A trip to Florence, Italy including a visit to the University of Florence – Università degli Studi di Firenze.

Highlight: My personal highlight was meeting with professor Maria Ranieri which has done some important research on eLearning and mLearning and is also a board member of Italian Association of Media Education! See her citations at Google Scholar. The picture below was taken at the Botanical Garden close to the University of Florence.

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May 2015

Date: 7 May 2015

Event: Attending re:publica 2015. The re:publica is one of the largest and most exciting conferences about digital culture in the world. The motto of re:publica 2015 was “finding europe”. I especially enjoyed the sessions related to digital innovation for social change, in areas such as health and education. The picture below was taken at the session on mobile health.

Highlight: My personal highlight was meeting with professor Ademar Aguiar – an assistant professor at the University of Porto (Portugal), researcher at INESC Porto (Institute for Systems Engineering and Computers) and an entrepreneur with whom I worked together on organising the PLE Conference 2013 in Berlin.

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June 2015

Date: 4 June 2015

Event: Participating and presenting at Digital Didactical Designs Conference 2015 at Umeå University in Sweden. This event was dedicated to current concepts of learning, teaching, pedagogy and ICT. The list of international experts and researchers included Gerry Stahl (USA), Ulrich Hoppe (Germany), Yishay Mor (UK), Andreas Lund (Norway), Ilona Buchem (Germany), Staffan Selander (Sweden), Swapna Kumar (USA) and Sean P. Goggins (USA). Here you will find a teaser about my presentation related to “Digital Didactical Designs with Wearable Technologies”.

Highlight: This conference was organised by my dear friend and a great researcher professor Isa Jahnke, who is Director of Research for the IELab, and Assoc. Prof. at the University of Missouri, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies (SISLT, iSchool). It was great to meet Isa, her colleagues, invited speakers and other researchers and of course to visit Umeå, which in high up north of Sweden!

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July 2015

Date: 13 July 2015

Event: Organising the Special Track on Wearable-technology Enhanced Learning (WELL) as part of the Immersive Learning Research Network – iLRN Prague 2015 – conference in Prague, Czech Republic. You can find the proceedings of the iLRN 2015 here. My own presentation was dedicated to “User Engagement in Wearable Enhanced Learning” (link to slides).

Highlight: It was great organising this special track with my colleagues and co-chairs of the EATEL Special Interest Group on Wearable-technology Enhanced Learning (SIG WELL) – professor Ralf Klamma from RWTH Aachen University and Fridolin Wild from the Knowledge Media Institute at Open University (UK). The three of us launched the SIG WELL at the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning and organised two special tracks on wearable enhanced learning in 2015 – one at iLRN Prague 2015 and the other one at EC-TEL 2015 Design Challenge. Thanks to all participants of the Special Track on Wearable-technology Enhanced Learning (WELL) for your great and valuable contributions!


September 2015

Date: 11 September 2015

Event: Participating in and presenting at the 6th Brazilian-German Frontiers of Science and Technology Symposium 2015 (BRAGFOST 2015), in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany co-organized by the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. I was invited to present in the session on adaptive techniques for individualised learning. My presentation was titled “Adaptive learning with wearable technologies – an embodied learning framework”. You can find the list of BRAGFOST 2015 sessions here.

Highlight: It was an unforgettable, personally and professionally enriching, interdisciplinary experience. My “thank you” goes to professor Ulrike Lücke from University of Potsdam for inviting me and co-chairing the session on adaptive learning together with Seiji Isotani from Universidade de São Paulo and to all colleagues from Germany and Brasil including professor Christoph Rensing, Mohamed Amine Chatti and Ibert Bittencourt, for sharing their exciting research and making this event a success! Thank you also to the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung for co-organising this great, truly interdisciplinary and inspiring event!

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September 2015

Date: 15 September 2015

Event: Participating and presenting at the European Conference of Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2015 in Toledo, Spain. Together with professor Ralf Klamma from RWTH Aachen University we organised a Design Challenge titled “Envisioning Wearable Enhanced Learning”, which aimed at eliciting new and innovative designs enhancing learning by means of wearable technologies. You can find the design challenge description here.

Highlight: It was really exciting to learn about some very interesting and innovative R&D done with wearable technologies for learning presented by the workshop participants from all over the world. My personal highlight was meeting professor Brenda Banan from George Mason Universty – thank you Brenda for these great conversations!


September 2015

Date: 23 September 2015

Event: Presenting at the event from the Nordic Chapter of Europortfolio dedicated to non-traditional ways to recognize students’ skills and competences at Syddansk Universitet in Odense, Denmark. I was invited to present on Open Badges in education.

Highlight: My personal highlight was meeting Elisabeth Agerbæk -the chairman of Nordic Portfolio working at the Knowledge Lab and visiting Odense, which is a charming place and a birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. The picture below was taken at the University of Southern Denmark, where the event took place.

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October 2015

Date: October 2015

Event: User study in the project fMOOC – fitness MOOC with senior users in cooperation with Geriatrics Research Group, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The fMOOC project, which I was coordinating, developed a novel wearable enhanced MOOC for healthy ageing which was tested in two user studies in September and October 2015.

Highlight: It was exciting to learn how what was first drafted on paper and later developed by our young, skilled researchers at Beuth University was used by the target group of senior users 65+ in user studies conducted by our colleagues from the Geriatrics Research Group at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The picture below was taken earlier in 2015 when we first saw the first prototype of the fMOOC.

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November 2015

Date: 19 November 2015

Event: Presenting at the International Conference on Interactive Mobile Communication, Technologies and Learning, IMCL2016 in Thessaloniki, Greece. Our paper  was titled “Gamification designs in Wearable Enhanced Learning for Healthy Ageing” and was related to the fitness MOOC (fMOOC) project (see above). The fMOOC project was founded by the German Ministry of Research in Education in 2014-2015 and was a joint project of Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin and the Geriatrics Research Group, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, in which we developed a wearable enhanced MOOC for healthy ageing. The contribution to IMCL 2016 in Thessaloniki focused on gamification design. You can find my slides here.

Highlight: My personal highlight of this event was meeting my dear friend Maria Perifanou – ICT Researcher (PhD), project coordinator at P.A.U Education Barcelona and member of the team. Thank you Maria for a wonderful day in Thessaloniki!


December 2015

Date: 2 December 2015

Event: Workshop on Open Badges at Online Educa Berlin 2015, OEB 2015, organised together with my colleagues Michal Nowakowski and Ireneusz Wozniak from our Open Badge Network Project . Open Badge Network is a project founded under Erasmus+, KA2 strategic partnership and aims at enhancing the recognition of non-formal and informal learning by promoting the exploitation of using Open Badges.  You can see our slides here.

Highlight: As the coordinator of the Open Badge Network project I was very glad to meet with old and new colleagues working with Open Badges, especially Eric Rousselle, the CEO of Discendum (Finland) who developed Open Badge Factory and Open Badge Passport, and professor Vladan Devedzic from the University of Belgrade, the coordinator of the GRASS project. I am looking forward to further cooperations in 2016!

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December 2015

Date: 8 December 2015

Event: The Doctoral Defence Ceremony at the Delft University of Technology, TU Delft in the Netherlands. I was appointed to act as a member of the doctoral committee of the doctoral dissertation of Ebrahim Rahimi whose doctoral thesis is titled “A Design Framework for Personal Learning Environments”.

Highlight: It was a rewarding experience to act as a member of the doctoral committee of Ebrahim Rahimi, who has been connected to the PLE community (Personal Learning Environments) for a long time and participanted in the the PLE Conference 2013 in Berlin. Congratulations Ebrahim for your great contribution to the PLE research! My personal highlight was also a traditional ceremony which was a new experience to me. I was glad to meet the promotors, especially professor Vim Ween from TU Delft, professor Arne Krokan from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and other members of the doctoral committee. It was a truly unforgettable experience! Thank you all!

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And to finish with – here’s an excerpt from the stats:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Open Badge Network

Open Badge Network (OBN) held its second multiplier event on 2nd December at Online Educa Berlin 2015 (OEB2015). Online Educa Berlin is the global, cross-sector conference on technology supported learning and training. In December 2015, over 2,000 participants travelled from more than 90 countries for three days of discussions, debates, labs, demos and special events, to network with international experts and to meet with suppliers and service providers from all over the world in the OEB exhibition.

The OBN multiplier event was a full day pre-conference workshop (see: session FD4) dedicated to Open Badges for Individuals and Organisations. The workshop was organised by Ilona Buchem (Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin) and Michal Nowakowski (Institute of Sustainible Technologies – National Research Institute, Poland).

You will find the full blogpost at the website of Open Badge Network.
You can find the slides from OEB2015 in SlideShare:
Open Badges for Individuals and Organisations from Ilona Buchem

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!