Interested in digital badges? 9 critical issues to consider

New framework intersects digital badges with open movement to discuss nine important issues

digital-badges-open The promise of digital badges for alternative credentials and skills pathways has not been lost on higher education; yet, there are many concerns—from business, faculty, and students—on the design, and use, of these badges for real meaning. A new framework condenses these concerns into nine critical questions concerning digital badges.

According to researchers from the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, the implications for open systems and badging are numerous, ranging from incredible potential to large obstacles in real meaning; which is why they decided to develop a framework to identify these obstacles.

The researchers hope to “clarify situations where these concepts come into direct conflict or mutually enhance each other…where research is needed…and offer design considerations for developers, educators, and organizations.”

The framework takes three perspectives of digital badges (motivation, pedagogy, and credential) and correlates each of these perspectives with three different concepts of the open movement (production, access, and appropriation).

“Open badges represent an intriguing way to design, structure and reward learning through digital media, open systems and online networks, say the authors, “…[and] when designing an overall system it will be critical to identify and explicitly design for the potential obstacles or areas of opportunity…in this frame, the goals, implementation, and consequences attached to badges are linked to the concerns of teaching, learning and structuring education systems to enable these practices.”

(Next page: The new framework)