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Open Badges : Acknowledging Soft Skills Acquisition

Loughlin, Colin LU ; Hitchins, Ceri; Barton, Charlotte ; Anthony, Julia ; Barker, Heather ; Warburton, Steven and Niculescu, Irinia (2016) 15th European Conference on e-Learning In 15th European Conference on E-Learning p.433-441
Abstract
In 2010 the Mozilla Foundation established the Digital Open Badges concept as a virtual incarnation of physical counterparts such as a paper certificate or a youth organisation merit badge. Digital Open Badges offer embedded, verifiable, metadata containing information such as the issuer and award criteria. Open Badges can be used to reward learning, participation or achievement. They can be stored in various online environments, including the Mozilla 'Backpack' and social media platforms. Open Badges have been used to evidence informal learning, professional development, community and voluntary work. This study is part of an ongoing project at a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) to evaluate the potential of awarding Digital Open... (More)
In 2010 the Mozilla Foundation established the Digital Open Badges concept as a virtual incarnation of physical counterparts such as a paper certificate or a youth organisation merit badge. Digital Open Badges offer embedded, verifiable, metadata containing information such as the issuer and award criteria. Open Badges can be used to reward learning, participation or achievement. They can be stored in various online environments, including the Mozilla 'Backpack' and social media platforms. Open Badges have been used to evidence informal learning, professional development, community and voluntary work. This study is part of an ongoing project at a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) to evaluate the potential of awarding Digital Open Badges in different contexts across the institution. It was decided to trial Open Badges on a programme run by Learning Development staff in the Library to support high achieving students, acknowledging and rewarding soft-skills acquired as part of the programme. Central to the success of the scheme was ‘buy-in’ from the students themselves; in order that the Open Badges had meaning and value to the recipients, a Participatory Design approach was adopted to engage students in the development process. Participatory Design is an iterative methodology that 'attempts to examine the tacit, invisible aspects of human activity' (Spinuzzi, 2005, p. 164) and incorporates them into co-produced systems. Soft-skills are an important complement to formal education in the 21st Century workplace (Devedžić et al., 2015). Measuring and rewarding ‘soft-skills’ such as; critical thinking, communication, leadership and team-working, has proved problematic in the past. Key objectives were to establish a set of soft-skills metrics and, a sustainable approach to acknowledging the acquisition of those skills. This presentation will discuss the outcomes from the study, including an assessment of the sustainability of Open Badges as a mechanism for rewarding soft-skills acquisition in an informal setting. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Open badges, soft skills, particpatory design
categories
Higher Education
in
15th European Conference on E-Learning
editor
Novotná, Jarmila; Jančařík, Antonín; and
pages
433 - 441
publisher
ACPI (Academic Conference Publishing International)
conference name
15th European Conference on e-Learning
external identifiers
  • scopus:85000751805
ISSN
2048-8637
ISBN
978-1-5108-3267-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6312b70a-9db0-4cd8-ae1b-bdf9e4b39ea8
alternative location
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309732639_Open_Badges_Acknowledging_Soft_Skills_Acquisition
date added to LUP
2017-09-21 11:33:19
date last changed
2017-10-20 13:30:55
@inproceedings{6312b70a-9db0-4cd8-ae1b-bdf9e4b39ea8,
  abstract     = {In 2010 the Mozilla Foundation established the Digital Open Badges concept as a virtual incarnation of physical counterparts such as a paper certificate or a youth organisation merit badge. Digital Open Badges offer embedded, verifiable, metadata containing information such as the issuer and award criteria. Open Badges can be used to reward learning, participation or achievement. They can be stored in various online environments, including the Mozilla 'Backpack' and social media platforms. Open Badges have been used to evidence informal learning, professional development, community and voluntary work. This study is part of an ongoing project at a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) to evaluate the potential of awarding Digital Open Badges in different contexts across the institution. It was decided to trial Open Badges on a programme run by Learning Development staff in the Library to support high achieving students, acknowledging and rewarding soft-skills acquired as part of the programme. Central to the success of the scheme was ‘buy-in’ from the students themselves; in order that the Open Badges had meaning and value to the recipients, a Participatory Design approach was adopted to engage students in the development process. Participatory Design is an iterative methodology that 'attempts to examine the tacit, invisible aspects of human activity' (Spinuzzi, 2005, p. 164) and incorporates them into co-produced systems. Soft-skills are an important complement to formal education in the 21st Century workplace (Devedžić et al., 2015). Measuring and rewarding ‘soft-skills’ such as; critical thinking, communication, leadership and team-working, has proved problematic in the past. Key objectives were to establish a set of soft-skills metrics and, a sustainable approach to acknowledging the acquisition of those skills. This presentation will discuss the outcomes from the study, including an assessment of the sustainability of Open Badges as a mechanism for rewarding soft-skills acquisition in an informal setting.},
  author       = {Loughlin, Colin and Hitchins, Ceri and Barton, Charlotte  and Anthony, Julia  and Barker, Heather  and Warburton, Steven  and Niculescu, Irinia},
  booktitle    = {15th European Conference on E-Learning},
  editor       = {Novotná, Jarmila and Jančařík, Antonín},
  isbn         = {978-1-5108-3267-1},
  issn         = {2048-8637},
  keyword      = {Open badges,soft skills, particpatory design},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  pages        = {433--441},
  publisher    = {ACPI (Academic Conference Publishing International)},
  title        = {Open Badges : Acknowledging Soft Skills Acquisition},
  year         = {2016},
}