Sunday, August 31, 2014

Nate Moves On; James Moves In

By Daniel Hickey
This week is a momentous one for the Open Badges projects housed at Indiana's Center for Research on Learning and Technology. Nate Otto, who has served as coordinator for the Design Principles Documentation Project, is leaving for an outside opportunity. To fill this role, a new team member, James Willis is joining the project as it winds down, and he will be heading up the BadgeKit and Beyond project that is now getting underway.

This post is one way of expressing my thanks to Nate and wishing him well, and introducing James Willis to our many collaborators

Saturday, August 30, 2014

New Project: Open Badges in Open edX and Beyond

by Daniel Hickey
This post introduces our newest project with open digital badges.  The project got quietly underway in July 2014 with the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning initiative. We are actively seeking collaborators and are in a position to help innovators in higher ed who want to implement open digital badges and other related digital innovations.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Of Course Alfie Kohn Dislikes Open Digital Badges: Transcending a 40-Year Old Debate

By Daniel Hickey
Serge Ravet just posted the recordings of Alfie Kohn’s virtual keynote address at the July 2014 e-Portfolio, Open Badges, and Identity Conference (EPIC), along with my response and some audience Q & A. Not surprisingly, Alfie had many concerns with digital badges being used as "extrinsic rewards." This post provides some background on this this crucial issue for the growing open badges movement.  I conclude with eight arguments against Alfie’s position on badges.  These arguments will be elaborated in the final report of the Design Principles Documentation Project (late September) and then in a formal empirical paper with Cathy Tran and Katerina Schenke.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

MIT Report Questions the Fitness of the Course as the Organizational Metaphor for Higher Learning

Today saw the release of a 213 page report (PDF) from a cross-disciplinary MIT task force investigating the future of MIT Education, which makes 16 recommendations, including to further a commitment to innovation in pedagogy. The Chronicle of Higher Education today picked up on a key component of that innovation, a recommendation to explore "modularity" in the delivery of online learning environments, which could extend to experimentation in the classroom as well: Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering 'Modules' Instead.  

The question underlying the MIT task force's recommendation is whether a "course" as an organizing metaphor for learning continues to be appropriate in a landscape that sees as low as 5% MOOC completion rates.