Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Three badge system design domains

The ultimate autodidact.
I've been on this badge system design journey for a while. I've been engaged with the Open Badges movement for over a year, with daily thoughts and efforts in moving this initiative forward. My commitment Open Access Accreditation (Open Badges) started five years ago during a discussion about Open Educational Resources. Recently my efforts have been in building the School of Badges on the P2Pu, with particular focus on Badge System Design. I am basing all of this design work on the things I learned while working with the open badges team and the success of a similar workshop with Scope the end of last year. When I started to build the P2Pu course it became apparent that we needed a badge system design "tool" or approach to base the course around. I came up with the idea of creating a rubric as a guide to building badge systems. The idea met with a good amount of success and a small group iterated around its development over a couple of months. The previous link shows our results. One aspect of the rubric that I have struggled with is how it was being influenced by traditional methods of curriculum development and accreditation, or that the rubric was trying to work for many different badging contexts. It seemed we were trying to build a single rubric for all badge system design domains. Too me it felt strained...

This morning during discussion within the P2Pu Badge System Design course I came to the realization that there are three domains for badge system design. These three domains are;
  1. Badge System Design for traditional curriculum
    This is really a mapping of existing curriculum to badges with the addition of co-curricular activities. There is a lot of room for innovation here, in the end all badges are associated with traditional education and related activities. The traditional could also include badges within scouting organizations or other legacy based institutions that have been issuing merit badges for a period of time before digital and open badges.
  2. Badge System Design for informal learning
    This is learning outside of the traditional curriculum. In particular, self-directed learners, autodidacts, heutagogues, and small groups engaged in informal learning. This is where people have the opportunity to develop their own badge systems.
  3. Badge System Design for events and community
    This is everything else where you would want to issue badges; participation in conferences, recognition for involvement with communities, accomplishments of merit, fun activities where tasks or activities have been achieved or participated in, this list could be anything that could be dreamed up where a badge could be issued.
The hacker scouts have brought together the tradition of scouting, with the freedom of the hacker community, the resources of adafruit, the venue and innovation of the maker movement, with open badges. This image is the hacker scouts badge system design.