A Digital Open Badge is an electronic way to communicate your accomplishments. A Digital Open Badge is an image which has extra information associated with it (sometimes referred to as "meta-data"). The meta-data is unique to the recipient of the badge, and so is a reliable and verified method for providing evidence of skills/behaviours/achievement. Sometimes you might hear Digital Open Badges being referred to as "micro-credentials", because they can be used to recognise in great detail all of the activities you have to do to earn them. By contrast, an example of a "macro-credential" would be a degree certificate: of course this is a highly prized and well earned document, but it does not contain any details of exactly what you had to do to earn it.
For a short animated introduction, have a look at the following video:
2. What do Digital Open Badges look like?
The Digital Open Badges being issued as part of Rudaí23 look like this:
For an example of an active Digital Open Badge (i.e. not just an image as above), you can have a look at the one below. It was awarded for engaging with a 1-day workshop on digital open badges. Click on the image and you will see the information associated with the badge.
3. Why are you using Digital Open Badges for Rudaí23?
The traditional approach to certifying CPD courses is the use of paper/pdf certificates such as "Certificate of Attendance" or "Certificate of Completion". While these still have value in some settings, they do not tell the full story of what the Rudaí23 course involves. Upon completion of Rudaí23, you will have demonstrated prolonged engagement and you will have produced a series of blog posts reporting on what you have learned. A paper/pdf certificate would not show all of this detail, whereas a digital open badge can communicate your entire accomplishment. Part of the information contained in the badge will be a link to web content that you have created, so when you share your badge (for example as part of a job application) the reader can see real world evidence of your work: you simply cannot get that depth of value and detail from traditional certification.
4. What do I have to do to get the badges?
The Rudaí23 course comprises four categories of activity: Visual Communication, Online Networking, Critical Thinking and Engaged Professional. Within each category there are a number of tasks that you will engage with. For example, you will be asked to try out some free software to create infographics as part of the Visual Communication category. When you have competed the tasks in each category, you will then write a reflective blog post about your experience with the tasks. These blog posts will be moderated by the Rudaí23 team, and if they meet the required standard, you will be eligible to apply for a badge. If you complete the entire course and collect the four category badges, you are then eligible for the overall "CPD Champion" badge.
5. What is the required standard of blog post?
In terms of content, each blog post will be unique because it will reflect your own personal views on the tasks. So, in that sense, the content itself is not "assessed". However, to ensure the quality and reliability of the badge system, the blog posts need to be written to an acceptable standard. The table below offers guidelines on the quality of blog posts. Click the image to enlarge it.
Every Rudaí23 participant will be assigned a Moderator shortly after registration. One of the roles of the Moderator is to be a point of contact to engage and support you over the duration of the course. So, you will be able to communicate with your Moderator prior to posting to your blog if you wish. All of your blog posts will get valuable feedback from your Moderator. If it is deemed that your blog post is not eligible for a badge, this will be explained to you and you then have an opportunity to re-write the post a second time. The badges are not compulsory, and you can choose to complete the tasks in your own way and not apply for the badges: the course is flexible in this way and it is up to you how much you want to put in and get out of it.
7. How does the badge get issued?
The badges are made available to you as soon as you have completed each category by publishing your blog post. You do not need to wait until the entire Rudaí23 course is over to get your badges. The process of obtaining the badge is as follows:
- You publish your reflective blog post
- You then apply for the badge using the Open Badge Passport
- A Rudaí23 Moderator will review your badge application
- If the blog post meets the eligibility guidelines, your badge will released
- You will receive an email notification letting you know that the badge is ready for you to download
8. Open Badge Passport? What is that?
The Open Badge Passport is the platform that Rudaí23 uses to issue badges to participants. To use this platform, you will be required to create a (free) account with the Open Badge Passport website. Because of the "open" nature of the badges, once you have obtained them through this platform from Rudaí23, you can choose to transfer them to another platform if you wish. We recommend the Open Badge Passport, though, as it makes it easy to share your badges with other platforms such as social network sites. We think that you'll want to share your accomplishments, and this is an easy process using the Open Badge Passport. Please go to the Open Badge Passport website to create your free account.
9. What can I do with my badges after I get them?
It is entirely up to you what you do with them! When a badge is issued to you, it has some information "baked" into it that makes it unique to you, so you can share it on your social networks, your LinkedIn profile, your blog, your ePortfolio, and you can even include it in any electronic job applications. Or, you can choose to do nothing with it at all. Because of the structure of Rudaí23, you can obtain up to four category badges (plus a fifth overall badge for completing all tasks), and you may decide to share only certain badges in certain situations: for example, if you are applying for a job where networking is important, you may decide to include the "Online Networker" badge in your application. This badge will contain evidence of your online networking skills, as it will have a link to your reflective blog post built into it. That way, a reader can see exactly what you did for the Rudaí23 course, and can see an example of how you have applied your online networking skills.
Anything else we should know?
If you have any questions about badges that have not been addressed above, please just leave a comment below and we'll get right back to you!