Friday, May 18, 2012

Open Badges: Step-by-Step

Over the last few weeks I have had the pleasure and opportunity to speak to a number of people regarding how best to onboard people to implementing the Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI). The participants of these conversations have been both Mozillians deeply involved in the project and potential partners who want to implement the OBI as a part of their project. I believe the most significant understanding from all these conversations, combined with my reading and research, is that a gap exists between wanting to implement and being able to implement. The Mozilla team in and around open badges has done a good job of putting together resources that cover the subject of how to implement. These resources can be found in four primary places;
In one particular conversation with Sunny (Product/Partner Manager, Open Badges) we talked about how best to close the gap for those who want to implement, yet are struggling to get over the first few steps of how to implement the OBI. There has already been a few people or groups who, with relative ease, have successfully navigated the documentation and source code to implemented both an issuer and displayer for badges. My investigations into why some people people have implemented with ease and others struggle is due to having specific technical understandings. The skills and knowledge required are an intermediate understanding of JavaScript, JSON and web development combined with a conceptual understanding of the roles (earner, issuer and displayer) within the OBI.

Steps to Wat San Goo, Mae Rim, Thailand.
What I really like about all this recent activity is it fits very well with where I am at in designing the OER for the OBI. I've finished the envisioning step and have moved into the planning step. And having had these conversations with a few partners and some Mozillians I have had a good amount of user and stakeholder engagement to focus my planning and design for the OER. This planning and design will focus on building educational modules to close this identified gap and engage others to support the building and testing of these modules. And to me (and I think others) the place to deploy these learning modules will be p2pu.

The proposed first steps will be (comments and feedback would be most appreciated);
  • Step 1: Claiming a badge
    Create a hands-on familiarity with badges by earning a badge.
  • Step 2: Technical Prerequisites
    Build a basic understanding of the technology behind open badges
  • Step 3: Creating your site
    Fulfill the minimum requirements of the technology needed to host the ability to issue a badge
  • Step 4: Issuing a badge
    Implement the technologies in your hosting environment to issue a badge
  • Step 5: Earning a badge
    encourage learners to claim their issued badge and store it in the backpack
  • Step 6: Managing your badges
    how to manage the badges in the backpack and make them available for display
  • Step 7: Displaying your badges
    Put together the code to display your badges
For more detail to how this step-by-step guide is progressing follow along and contribute to the wiki page; Feel free to contact me if you would like to join-in, help out or test what will be created...