January 2015December 2019

Microcredentials, or badges, are a way of giving recognition for learning at or below course level in a way that can be shared online on job sites and professional profiles. Students can earn open badge to signal acquisition of a skill, or completion of a completion of a course or any key learning milestones. Students can see which rewards they’ve earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards, providing insight into learning progression toward defined competencies. Students can view and share earned badges and publish badges to Linkedin or Mozilla Open Backpack, transporting evidence of their learning outside UQ. Instructors can see which students have reached learning milestones.

The current LMS (Blackboard) does allow allocation of badges, but this has been disabled until a protocol is developed for design and allocation of such badges. A protocol is required to mitigate the significant reputational risk of poor use (e.g. trivial badges). Another issue that may have to be addressed is whether the LMS badge system is the right choice given we may also require one for the SPOC environment. 

Before such a protocol is developed it would be useful research and benchmark systems and protocols in use at other institutions.