Open Digital Badging Series

IACET Open Digital Badging Series banner with IACET logo and the words "Open Digital Badging Series" on a blue gradient background

The Open Digital Badge Series of courses are designed to be the best single learning opportunity to fill the badging knowledge niche in an adult learning organization.

Filling the badging knowledge niche will provide organizations with new opportunities to promote their learning events, increase engagement and learner retention while also providing learners with a valuable portable credential they can be proud of. After this course, learners will have the knowledge they need to fully implement an effective open digital badging initiative in their organization.

To leverage the amazing benefits of 21st century credentialing technology, organizations must have someone prepared to implement these powerful tools in the right way which is what these series of courses are designed to do. The open digital badging series is a set of four courses that progressively provides the learner with the necessary skills and tools necessary to design and execute a successful open digital badging initiative.

Course 103: Introduction to Open Digital Badges

This is an online course providing learners with the opportunities to learn the basics of open digital badging in a user friendly online asynchronous environment. This means you can take the program any time you prefer. The program is designed to take approximately six hours to complete. Once you purchase the course from the online store, check out your My Courses section in the portal to access the online course.

Prerequisite: None

Enroll

Course 203: Open Digital Badge Program Design

This is an instructor-led, live webinar that delves deeper into the open digital badging ecosystem by helping participants devise a badge program within an organization.  This interactive session is a four-hour virtual webinar that builds upon the knowledge previously gained in the introductory course in an entirely practical way with the sole intent of designing an operational badges program within the organization.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 103: Open Digital Badges: An Introductory Course

Course 303: Open Digital Badge Platforms and Functionalities

This is a continuation of the badge design work completed in Course 203.  This advanced webinar provides a live, four-hour session to build a prototype open digital badge with expert help. After an overview of existing badging platforms, participants work with the expert in small groups to problem-solve various design issues, with particular attention being paid to metadata.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 203: Open Digital Badges – Intermediate Virtual Webinar – Building a Badge Program

Course 403: Open Digital Badge Program Development and Implementation

This is the capstone course in the series that develops the mastery skills of designing open digital badge programs and credentials. Building on the refined knowledge from the previous courses, this course is designed to ensure proper scaling of a badges program at an organization.   Problem-solving of individual participants’ design considerations, peer-review of badge programs, and finalization of tools needed to scale a program are devised in this three-hour, live session. Participants should complete this webinar with an immanent plan to successfully implement a badges program and the credentials used within it.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 303: Open Digital Badges – Advanced Virtual Webinar

Audience

This series is designed for those who need knowledge and skills involving open digital badges at a basic, intermediate and advanced level. This program is applicable for training coordinators, managers, chief learning officers or others who desire practical knowledge and skills regarding open digital badging.

Each live event is limited to ensure high levels of collaboration and interactivity.

Earn Stackable Digital Badges

Earn these stackable credentials to document your knowledge and skill involving open digital badges by completing each course and post-course exercise. 

  • Earn the Introductory Badge by successfully completing the asynchronous online learning modules and assessments.
  • Earn the Intermediate Badge by actively participating in course 203.
  • Earn the Advanced Badge by actively participating in course 303 and successfully submitting a badge prototype.
  • Earn the Master Badge by actively participating in course 403 and submitting evidence that implementation of a badging program is immanent.

Introduction and Analysis of the Need for Open Digital Badging Courses

Background

In 2016, members of the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), formed a taskforce to study the issue of open digital badges (ODB) and decide how to best help its members with the new innovation and fulfill its leadership role in the global adult learning ecosystem. A taskforce was formed that ultimately led to the creation of a metadata standard for open digital badges.  In addition, the need was identified to help members and other adult learning stakeholders learn about ODB credentials and how to effectively use them in adult learning environments. The IACET 1-2018 Standard for Continuing Education and Training requires processes involving record keeping and transcripts.  Open Digital Badging is a natural extension of these elements of that important standard.

Research

A survey of 225 IACET accredited learning organizations in 2018 shows only 23% of respondents use digital badges.  76 percent do not use badges or do not know what a digital badge is.  Orbis Research reports, “Global Digital Badges Market is anticipated to grow with a healthy growth rate of more than 29.3% over the forecast period 2017-2025.” (Orbis Research, 2018) These factors contribute to the view that learning interventions and other resources are needed to assist organizations with understanding open digital badges and how they can be optimally used in today’s adult learning environment. This course limits its scope to how ODBs are used in adult learning environments.  This course does not provide focus on alternative learning environments like k-12 and university undergraduate programs.

Instructional Design

IACET’s instructional design research for this series of courses revealed that a blended learning environment would be needed. The blended approach will work well to facilitate the flipped classroom strategy where learners engage in the basics online, and come to our live events  to learn collectively with their peers and instructors.

  • The asynchronous online course covers the fundamentals of open digital badging while
  • The live courses focus on individual and organizational application of open digital badging.  The live courses are designed to be application-based and use higher level constructivist learning strategies that allow learners to meet their own learning needs.  The live experiences also leverage group dynamics and social learning to solve problems, provoke thought, and answer questions that are more difficult to do in an online environment.

Course Descriptions

Course Description: Are you confused by all the information out there about open digital badges? Are you interested in badges, but don’t know where to begin? Have you been tasked with developing badges for your organization, but need a good starting place? In this introductory online course, open digital badges are presented along with explanations about how they developed, where they work in organizations, and how badges fit nicely within new and existing training programs. Working at your own pace, this course is a well-balanced combination of theory and application, along with plenty of examples. This course will help you ascertain whether badges would be a good fit for your organization.

Prerequisite: None

Mode of Delivery: Asynchronous modules completed at any time.

Completion: When all modules are completed, an assessment is given. When the assessment is successfully completed and the module completion is verified, a bronze badge is issued to the participant.

Cost: $499 (members) / $599 (non-members)

Offering: Start any time

Course Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Identify IACET’s role in continuing education, training, and open digital badges
  • Distinguish open digital badges and what makes them unique amongst other credentials
  • Explain the importance of quality metadata within badges
  • Understand why badges as portable and shareable artifacts contribute to recognition of learning and achievement
  • Identify the role of different organizations involved in the Open Badge Standard
  • Recognize the importance of IACET’s Open Badges Standard and the additional metadata needed for conformity
  • Understand how instructional design of badges can be key for specific outcomes in organizations

Asynchronous Module

Course Description

Intended Audience

Learning Outcomes

103 Module 1:

Introduction to IACET and Open Digital Badges

In this introductory course, the history of IACET is presented alongside its efforts to promote high-quality open digital badges.

Individuals interested in a broad history of IACET and its recent work in open digital badges. 

In this module, the learner will:

  • Examine IACET history.
  • Identify IACET’s role in continuing education and training.
  • Recognize IACET’s role in open digital badging.

103 Module 2:

What are Badges?

In this foundational course, badges are presented within their technological context. Topics include the metadata fields, differentiating learning and accomplishment, curriculum design, the centrality of evidence, and common biases against badges.

Individuals interested in a foundational course to explain what badges are, what they do, and how they can be used in a variety of contexts.

In this module, the learner will:

  • Define use differences between digital and paper credentials.
  • Define a badging platform and recognize its purpose.
  • Identify ways digital recognition can travel across multiple forms of social media and professional sites.
  • Differentiate contexts in which badges may be better to recognize achievement or learning.
  • Label the metadata fields present in an open digital badge (taken from the IACET Standard).
  • Recognize the importance of metadata fields for their technological use and uniformity.
  • Recognize why metadata must be completed for each badge.
  • Recognize how metadata facilitates finding, sorting, and cataloguing badges.
  • Distinguish between recognizing learning and accomplishment.
  • Define how badges can be used to design training programs.
  • Define how badges can be used to design curricula.
  • Outline the differences in recognizing incremental progress (stackability) and overall accomplishment in training and curricular design.
  • Define the difference between a claim and evidence to support the claim.
  • Explain the need for unique evidence to support the purpose of the badge.
  • Review types of compelling evidence.
  • Recognize how evidence can take many different forms.
  • Identify specific biases against the use of badges.
  • Review reasons why poor badges exist.
  • Recognize why building high-quality, evidence-rich badges helps to support the ecosystem.

103 Module 3: Philosophical Characteristics of Open Digital Badges

In this module, the learner is introduced to some of the principles of open digital badges which contribute to best practices. Topics include advanced curricular design with badges, principles of stackability, use of metadata for particular goals, and the importance of creativity and flexibility in design of badges.

Individuals who are interested in an advanced understanding of curriculum design as it relates to the incorporation of badges.

In this module, learners will:

  • Describe why portability and shareability are important to badge earners.
  • Locate the metadata which allows for portability and shareability. 
  • Recognize how curricular design allows portability and shareability across multiple media.
  • Outline how incremental progress can build accomplishment and recognition in a curricular design.
  • Describe the ways evidence can be structured to indicate clear incremental paths in a curricular design.
  • Identify how badges can be used to indicate progress toward a learning or performance goal.  
  • Outline how stackability contributes to a digital portfolio of accomplishments and learning recognition. 
  • Describe how different models of stacking credentials can transform training programs.
  • Identify how to limit the scope of the metadata around a specific and identifiable accomplishment or learning artifact.  
  • Explain how to use aspects of the metadata to achieve certain curricular goals like sorting and tagging badges.
  • Outline ways to make badges original to the accomplishment or learning artifact.
  • Identify how to work with metadata to streamline some processes, while producing evidence-rich credentials. 
  • Demonstrate how creativity can lend value to badges, particularly in original design.
  • Describe why transportable artifacts are important to earners, particularly in training and professional accomplishment. 
  • Indicate the various media in which badges can travel and reside.  
  • Identify how to design metadata in ways that are understandable in multiple contexts.

103 Module 4:

Open Digital Badges Technical Standards and Structure

In this module, a brief history of the open digital badge standard is introduced, along with the role of IMS Global in badges today.

Individuals who are interested in the open digital badges standard and why it is critical to the success of badges.

In this module, the learner will:

  • Summarize a brief history of open badge specification.
  • Identify the role of IMS Global in open badges.
  • Define the purpose of an open badges backpack.
  • Recognize how the open badge technology standard contributes to portability. 
  • Identify the role of IMS Global in open digital badges.
  • Define the purpose of an open digital badge backpack.
  • Recognize how the open digital badge technology standard contributes to portability. 

103 Module 5:

IACET's Open Digital Badges Metadata Standard and Badges

In this module, the IACET badging standard is introduced with key additions to the open digital badge standard. Topics include the introduction of the badges taxonomy and communication strategies for promoting badge acceptance and use.

Individuals who are interested in issuing badges which conform to the IACET badging standard.

In this module, learners will: 

  • Recognize why an IACET open digital badge standard is necessary.
  • Describe how the IACET open digital badge standard works.
  • Recognize the IACET / ITCC Taxonomy and its real-world use.
  • Identify communication strategies for promoting badge acceptance and use. 

103 Module 6: Instructional Design and Open Digital Badges

In this module, advanced concepts of instructional design, assessment, and evaluation are introduced in relation to open digital badges.

Individuals who are interested in implementing a full-scale badging program and evaluating its effectiveness.

In this module, the learner will:

  • Explore fundamental principles of instructional design necessary for making the most of an open digital badge program.
  • Define the components of a quality needs analysis.
  • Define and differentiate between goals and outcomes.
  • Recognize instructional goals.
  • Recognize SMART outcomes.
  • Recognize ABCD outcomes.
  • Recognize and apply Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • Define validity and reliability in assessment.
  • Recognize how to assess knowledge.
  • Recognize how to assess skills.
  • Recognize how to assess attitudes.
  • Recognize how to evaluate learning events using Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation.
  • Recognize Level One – Reaction.
  • Recognize Level Two – Learning.
  • Recognize Level Three – Behavior.
  • Recognize Level Four – Results.

Course Description: After completing the online course introducing badges, this live webinar helps participants devise a badge program within an organization. This interactive session is a 4-hour virtual webinar that builds on previous knowledge in an entirely practical way with the sole intent of designing an operational badges program within your given organization. Topics include thinking through design ideas, resource inventories, metadata possibilities and challenges, and curriculum and training factors. Also covered are how to build portable and sharable credentials. The number of participants in each session is limited so you can have personalized attention with the badges expert and your fellow participants.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 103: Open Digital Badges: An Introductory Course

Mode of Delivery: Synchronous, webinar-style interaction with expert. Small group interaction. Scheduled in advance.

Completion: Successful completion includes active participation in the 4-hour virtual webinar. Instructor verification of active participation is needed. When the active participation is verified, a silver badge is issued to the participant.

Cost: $299 (members) / $349 (non-members)

Offering: 4x / year (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4)

Course Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Recognize how other attendees are using open digital badges.
  • Identify areas of difficulty often experienced when using open digital badges.
  • Identify major questions about open digital badges to address.
  • Construct an open digital badge program.
  • Discover potential pitfalls in implementing.
  • Complete the open digital badges design worksheet, share, and receive feedback.

Course Description: As a continuation of badge design work completed in 203, this advanced webinar provides a live, 4-hour session to build a prototype open digital badge with expert help. The session begins with an overview of existing badges platforms along with a demonstration to show the different functionalities of badges. The demonstration shows what it takes to build a badge in each of the covered platforms. Participants are then led in a design exercise to build a prototype badge. With particular attention paid to meta-data, participants work with the expert and in small groups to problem-solve various design issues. The number of participants in each session is limited so you can have personalized attention with the badges expert and your fellow participants.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 203: Open Digital Badges – Intermediate Virtual Webinar – Building a Badge Program

Mode of Delivery: Synchronous, webinar-style interaction with expert. Small group interaction. Scheduled in advance.

Completion: Successful completion includes active participation in the 4-hour virtual webinar and the submission of a prototype badge. Instructor verification of active participation is needed. When the active participation is verified and the instructor approves a submitted badge prototype, a gold badge is issued to the participant.

Cost: $299 (members) / $349 (non-members)

Offering: 4x / year (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4)

Course Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Identify features of major badging platforms.
  • Discriminate between different badging platforms.
  • Design and implement an open digital badge using a badging platform.
  • Issue a sample badge to demonstrate the workflow of how a badging platform works.

Course Description: Building on previous knowledge acquired in 203 and 303, the purpose this webinar is to develop mastery skills of designing open digital badge programs and credentials within those programs. Participants have refined their knowledge in previous webinars, and this mastery webinar is designed to ensure proper scaling of a badges program at an organization. Problem-solving of individual participants’ design considerations, peer-review of badge programs, and finalization of tools needed to scale a program are devised in this 3-hour, live session. Participants should complete this webinar with an immanent plan to successfully implement a badges program and the credentials used within it.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 203: Open Digital Badges – Intermediate Virtual Webinar – Building a Badge Program and 303: Open Digital Badges – Advanced Virtual Webinar

Mode of Delivery: Synchronous, webinar-style interaction with expert. Small group interaction. Scheduled in advance.

Completion: Successful completion includes active participation in a mastery-level, implementation-driven webinar. Instructor verification of active participation is needed. When active participation is verified, and instructor agrees that implementation of a badging program is immanent, a platinum badge is issued to the participant.  

Cost: $299 (members) / $349 (non-members)

Offering: 2x / year (Q2, Q4)

Course Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Develop a vision for how their organization will use open digital badges.
  • Devise a plan to launch a badging program within one’s organization and scale it to size with appropriate open digital badges
  • Engage in constructive peer-review to problem-solve and mitigate challenges to implementation
  • Relate experiences learned from other attendees to their own organizations.

Meet the Instructor

Dr. James E. Willis, III was introduced to open digital badges at Purdue University when he worked as an Educational Assessment Specialist in Information Technology. He later worked on a MacArthur Foundation grant as a Research Associate and Project Coordinator for Open Digital Badges in Higher Education in the Center for Research on Learning and Technology at Indiana University. Since 2016, James has worked as an educational consultant with the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) where he wrote the Badging Standard, supplementary materials, and educational materials for the Open Digital Badge Series.

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