Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A critical look at the OnPhD Candidacy badge system

As a heutagogue I currently have three main learning activities; Creating challenges into the P2Pu school of badges, learning all I can about open and digital badges, and in developing the Open and Networked PhD. These three currently come together in my building of both the P2Pu challenge on Badge System Design and in developing and completing the OnPhD candidacy challenge. I am using the badge system I have designed for the OnPhD candidacy as the badge system I am using as I work through the badge system design challenge. For a good description on the OnPhD candidacy badge system follow the embedded link. Below is my critical review of this badge system, with my assessment of where each criteria is against the badge system design rubrics performance levels;
  • Purpose: working - The badge system represents a significant accomplishment. Given it is wanting to award an equivalent to the PhD Candidacy it is unproven and unrecognized within any community.
  • Graphical Design: introductory - The mono-color badge design is very simplistic with little branding or curriculum recognition. The graphical themes are very simplistic and have no relation to the broader community within it exists.
  • Organization: notable - The badge system is well organized and progress to completion is easily understood. The organization and progression is well supported by the graphics of each badge. The images of the whole badge system ease understandability and being awarded each badge demonstrates an individual accomplishment toward the final goal of OnPhD candidacy.
  • Criteria: notable - the criteria of each badge allows is to be considered an accomplishment within itself. Each badge could also be used within a different badge or learning system with similar goals. The criteria of each badge is timeless and would apply equally well at a future time.
  • Technical Integration: introductory - the badge system has been implemented within a 3rd party badge issuing system and only has integration within the related curriculum system through the final badge within the whole system. The big risk here is the 3rd party badge issuer may not exist into the future.
  • System Integration: notable - The open and networked PhD badge system and related criteria aligns very well with the candidacy requirements found within the traditional PhD. The badging approach also integrates well the open and digital badging approaches. The choice to use both wikiversity and P2Pu was conscious due to their alignment with open and networked learning. The meta-badge issued for completing the challenge will be issued by P2Pu, further deepening the badge system integration with the learning platform.
  • Assertion: introductory - the issued badge(s) resolve back to URLs that can be confirmed within the issuer and the evidence URL's are baked into the badge.
  • Endorsement: working - the issued badges are endorsed by the OnPhD community. Both Wikiversity and P2Pu have implied endorsement of the OnPhD candidacy badge system. More official endorsement will be sought once one or two candidacies have been completed from this challenge.
  • Validity: introductory - Validity of learning is determined in how the badge evidence aligns with each badges criteria. It is to early in the badge system design to determine depth of learning for the badge earners as there are too few people who have earned the badge(s). Once a number of people have completed the OnPhD candidacy challenge, validity will be determined.
  • Development Team: working - team has two main developers, both with strong technological and pedagogical backgrounds. Development of badge criteria included input from other strong subject matter experts.

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