Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Open Badges Learner Roles

One of the early steps within Agile Instructional Design is to identify the learner roles. Identifying the learner roles is about audience and context. Identifying the audience for learning is very important, for they will dictate the literacy levels, the breadth of knowing, the audience determines the appropriate stories and anchors. It is also important to identify the roles from all sides of the learning engagement; learner, facilitator, teacher, peer, subject mater expert, etc. And giving the roles human names, descriptions, and avatars will help learners to connect to the roles and the stories they participate. Context also has a big influence over stories and anchors. Is it professional development or graduate level academics? Is it in an urban surrounding or rural? Is the learning building on previous learning?

The outcomes for this task are the user role descriptions. These could be cards or full pages describing each role with details of breadth of knowledge, background, role within the learning experience. For this iteration of building curriculum for Open Badges I will focus on two roles;

Educational Technologist - Grace Jones

Grace has a masters of education technology and an undergraduate degree in biology. She is an experienced education technologist who is very proficient with open source technologies. She has over 12 years experience working in both academic and professional development settings. Her preferred development environment is working on LAMP based servers using PhP as her primary development language. She has an intermediate understanding of the MVC pattern, and is just getting started with HTML5 and CSS3. She considers herself a beginner JavaScript programmer, and has begun learning Node.js in preparation for implementing three badges based projects for different clients. Currently she has two primary jobs; one as programmer for the Instructional Development Office of a large University and the other is an independent consultancy where she contracts as an instructional designer and solutions developer.

Independent Learner - Mandeep Rhandawa

Mandeep is a geologist by training and profession. He possesses two undergrad degrees; one in geology and the other in soils engineering. Mandeep is a tinkerer, he enjoys playing around with and hacking the web. Mandeep has no formal programming background, though he has developed a beginner proficiency with hacking the web through taking a couple of free online courses and hacking a lot of code. On his free time he has explored many subjects and completed many online learning activities. He is prone to engage in different free and online learning activities. he is a member of five different communities of practice within varying subject domains. The idea of earning badges to legitimize his online learning appeals to him, he would like to hack the OBI to create a full backpack and to provide badges support to the communities he is a member.

Please note, both these user role characters are fictional. Any similarity to real people is purely accidental.