I’ve spent a few hours today revisiting badges. I wanted to work out how to display badges on my LinkedIn profile.
To date, I’ve used Credly to issue, receive and manage badges. Turns out it’s simple to link Credly badges to LinkedIn, as well as embed Credly badges on any website with the supplied iFrame code (Having trouble getting it visible on this WordPress site).
Here are my Credly badges I have received for work toward an Open and Networked PhD. These same badges are now on my LinkedIn profile (in the form of a graphic link) in the Education section. Credly does support a more direct way of Add to Profile on LinkedIn, but only when the badges are issued from a verified Credly account.
Will we stay with OBI?
As services like LinkedIn enter the badge space it will be important but difficult to remind people to try and avoid lock in to any particular platform or service. The Mozilla Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) is an open standard set up early, and all services entering the Badge space should be adhering to that standard so that people can easily move their badges across future services. Credly is one such service, and it is therefore easy to send your Credly badges through to another platform that supports the OBI. Here are my ONPhD badges displaying in the Mozilla Backpack for example. Like all good things digital, keeping commercial services adhering to this standard will be difficult. They’ll all be trying to knock out their competition, and corner their markets.
Some commentary on Badges
While badges as a concept have generated a bit of excitement in the online learning world over recent years, it is fare to say that there appears to be some reluctance in their use. Some of this could be attributed to the name “badges” evoking a not-so-serious feeling around them, but this informal usefulness is precisely what attracts me to them. Badges conceivably support a more open and networked (authentic) practice of teaching and learning.
Here’s a lovely little graphic by Grainne Hamilton and Doug Belshaw explaining some of the potential of badges to support a broader range of learning.
Others feel that badges may already be superfluous, arguing that social capital, in the age of social media and networking, already serves the function of badges for some professions. Some see (hope) for an end of the monopoly of degrees, opting instead for a diverse range of badge types, some formal, many informal, to illustrate a person’s educational achievements and connect them up to work and networks.
A Badge Project at RMIT
I’m involved in a small project to explore, develop and pilot a badge project here at RMIT (link forthcoming). This blog post has been some notes of some initial review research on the topic before we get going with it.