Saturday, June 27, 2015

Promote Open Badges when you award Moodle badges

Badges have been a feature of Moodle since version 2.5.

What's a badge? It's something you can award to your students. It's a small image with metadata. When you award it to a student on your Moodle site, they can see it in their profile page. Other students can too, if people can view each other's profiles. Good stuff, but is that it? No! These badges can be published on Mozilla Open Badges. Take a look at my Open Badges page. The badge data is also published (issuer details, badge details). I can't change any of that, so it lends the badge authenticity.

I think Moodle badges and Mozilla Open Badges should generally go hand-in-hand. I'm personally not a big fan of accomplishments that remain within a closed system, such as a school or organisation's virtual learning environment. Students should have the option of displaying their accomplishments to the world!

Here's how you can make that happen:
  • Enable badges in your Moodle site. Site administration -> Advanced settings (might be the last option).
  • Set up the badge issuer details. Site administration -> Badges -> Badges settings. Select "enable connection to external backpacks".
  • Create a badge!
  • Award the badge!
  • When a student receives the badge, they can see it in their profile. For example, here's one of the badges I got when attending iMoot 2015 (online Moodle conference).

  • See the link "add to backpack"? The student should click that.

  • After a login or signup stage the student can go ahead and add the badge to their backpack, publish it in a badge collection there, etc.
Telling students beforehand that the badges they get can be published online might make them more motivated to get those badges! 

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