Challenges in Launching and Hosting an Open, Digital Badge Initiative

Challenges in Launching and Hosting an Open, Digital Badge Initiative

I learned a tough lesson yesterday. As I’ve detailed here on this blog, I’ve been involved in developing an open badge initiative to partner up with my ORMS model and MOOC. Over the past couple of months we’ve developed a series of open badges and uploaded them into badges.mozilla.org. Yesterday I went to my MOOC and into the Mozilla badger to make some edits to out badges…and award a couple to the teachers that have submitted work in pledging for their badge. When I clicked on the page for the badges…nothing was there. Thankfully, the Open Badges community was quick to respond in the Google Group. Sadly, they were all deleted.

I learned that my badges were deleted because these were not related to Mozilla Corporate, or community projects. Strangely, one of my other badges that was primarily a test badge (Digital Architect) was not deleted. As an aside, last night when I checked the badges, another badge that I developed to show the Connected Learning community the power of badges was still there. This morning as I write this blog post…it’s deleted. I need to apologize to the #clmooc and the individuals that were awarded the badges for this slip-up.

As an individual that works with educators and researchers in Pre-K through higher ed, I think this is extremely problematic. In many ways it’s my fault for not reading/understanding the fine print to know that badges.mozilla.org was solely for Mozilla operations. It was not clear to me that this was the case. In terms of the larger open badging initiative, there needs to be more transparency and accountability in these decisions. We’re having a tough time “selling” individuals and groups on the need for…and value of badging systems. By no means do I think that I’m a valuable component of this initiative. I do know that I’ve been vigorous in advocating for, and educating many others about developing their own badging systems. I’m a bit hesitant now that I know that your hard work could be deleted at any point.

Nevertheless…I learned a good lesson. I still believe in the power and purpose of digital badging systems. I’ll rebuild my initiative elsewhere. My next decision is to figure out where to build my badges. I’ve investigated badg.us, but Les Orchard informed me that this may not be supported long-term…not going there again. :) I’ve also investigated Cred.ly and Codery. P2PU might be an option…I need to talk to some people.

Finally, I’m thinking about using WPBadger and hosting the badges on my WordPress Site. I like it because I’m paying for the hosting…and know that it won’t go down (fingers crossed). I’m a bit leery having it so connected to my own work and blog. Yes, I have created the majority of the components of the badging system and the MOOC. But, I’d like the ORMS MOOC and the badges to really be open…and not just me. I’d like to promote community ownership and don’t know if this is evident if it comes through my blog.

Still thinking. I’ll post my thoughts and decisions here as always…

 

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