Open Badges in Scottish Education Group (OBSEG)

I have been raising awareness about Open Badges since 2011. In my work with the Jisc RSC Scotland, I supported uptake of e-Assessment in Scottish further and higher education and it was clear from early awareness raising activities, that there was interest in Open Badges in terms of augmenting traditional accreditation routes.

At an Open Badges Design Day event I organised for the Jisc RSC Scotland in April 2013, staff from further and higher education institutions were able to work with the (then) Mozilla Badges and Skills Lead, Doug Belshaw and the CEO of DigitalMe (DML Competition ‘Badges for Lifelong Learning’ winners and Badge the UK leads) Tim Riches, to consider the Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) and possible badge-based pathways to learning. At this event, there was consensus that it would be useful to bring together interested parties to identify areas where Open Badges could add value to education in Scotland and to co-develop such badges.

In response to this, I set up the Open Badges in Scottish Education Group (OBSEG), which at the point of writing includes 100+ members from further and higher education institutions, the Scottish Government, educational agencies including the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Education Scotland, standards development organisations, employer and student groups, and Open Badge projects such as DigitalMe’s Badge the UK and BadgeMaker. The group performs an overview and mapping function of Open Badge developments in Scotland, oversees a number of sub-groups to jointly take forward specific areas of work and considers wider Open Badge developments.

Topics OBSEG members discuss, include:

  1. Learner Progress: achievement, attainment, employability, soft skills, recognition / accreditation of prior learning (RPL / APL), modes of assessment, linking to standards, access and inclusion, library / learning resources, MOOCs
  2. Technology Interface: systems in which to issue, display and promote badges, badge design, interfacing with Mozilla and other platforms, frameworks (eg Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)), linking to standards, recognition (RPL / APL), levelling and consistency, badge pathways and processes, describing competencies (eg InLOC), marketing / brand, MOOCs, access and inclusion, library / learning resources
  3. Staff Development: CPD, HR, recognition (RPL / APL), modes of assessment, linking to standards (GTC etc.), access and inclusion, library / learning resources, MOOCs

Through the input of representatives from a variety of educational institutions and agencies in Scotland, the group is able to consider synergies between a learner’s formal and informal learning journeys and to contribute to the development of a badge eco-system within Scotland.

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