Higher Education

How I am using my Open Badges – contributing to work by Deb Baff & Teresa MacKinnon

This is my contribution to the “Open Badges Experiences” – piece of work by Deb Baff and Teresa MacKinnon

Made with Padlet

I have really got mixed feelings about Open Badges. My first experence of Open Badges has been at UCEM, where they were issued to staff for the annual conference and later I used it along with another colleague on courses that had lower online engagement. Over time, I had not paid much attention to Open Badges that I had collected on the way, and with Mozilla retiring its Open Badges Backpack, I lost some of my Open Badges. Why mixed feelings now though, as Co-Chair of the Antiracism & Learning Technology ALT SIG, it pains me to hear people say that Open Badges is a way to recognise people’s attendance to antiracism webinar. Sadly, attending a webinar does not make one an antiracism. I have far too often seen White people use Open Badges and other certificates to claim that they are DEI compliant. Anyways, here is my contribution to the Padlet (https://padlet.com/Debbaff/myopenbadges), my feelings about Open Badges and my experiences with them.

  1. So far I had not found any use for the Open Badges that I have gained, despite the fact that I have worked on projects where Open Badges were awarded to both students and staff. Most people that I work with do not know what Open Badges are, so in practice, I have found that gathering them is of no use to me other than in the Learning Tech sector, where people are familiar with Open Badges.
  2. Many conferences/activities that I join do not offer Open Badges, so I still need to keep a written copy of what I have attended. So saving my Open Badges to my pack is extra work.
  3. However, some conferences/activities that do offer Open Badges sometimes forget to issue them, so I  need proactively go and ask for them. Given Point 1, I simply do not bother to request my badges.
  4. I lost some OBs when Mozilla Backpack got transitioned. Again, due to Point 1, I did not bother too much.
  5. I do a lot of work around equity nowadays and am against the idea of Open Badges for recognition because they are examples of performative measures. Unless some serious actions have been done and serious results achieved, I do not see the use of Open Badges for recognising performative measures as a tool for recognition of equity.
  6. I feel research on Open Badges and its use has seen a decline, perhaps just my own perspectives since I have not reviewed any recent literature on Open Badgessssss.
  7. Nonetheless, I am all up for Open Badges for apprentices etc. to have them showcase participation and collaboration, especially for large conferences such as ALT. 

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