This is the collection of badges I earned during my participation in ocTEL 2014: https://backpack.openbadges.org/share/a79221cbbec974197333ed1bd3227460/
I’ve had problems exporting my badges from the ocTEL site into my Mozilla Backpack, until today when I went to the export page there were simply no badges listed. I completed the feedback form to report this yesterday and though I haven’t had a reply, today when I checked the page it was working – except for one badge. So, unable to export this one I have had to resort to my backup plan, simply taking a screenshot and imploring you to trust me when I say I earned it honestly!
The Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning (ocTEL) from the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), was a massive, online, open course (MOOC) for lecturers and the learning technologists who support them covering all aspects of using technology to support and improve the learning experience for students.
Alas my participation was not as deep as I had desired due to the very happy event of getting a new job just after the course started, but I was still able to take part in all of the live webinars (bar one for which I had to watch the recording), completed some of the activities, established relationships with lots of new people, learned a great deal, and discovered many new tools such as http://readlists.com/ which is my new favourite. In keeping with the open nature of the course, I actually discovered this through a post someone had made and not directly via the course material itself.
This was the second year that ocTEL has run and I hope that it was successful enough for ALT to run again next year. For anyone who has missed out and doesn’t want to wait, the 2014 site will remain available indefinitely with all of the material published under a Creative Commons attribution license.
I’ve been experimenting with badges over the past couple of days, inspired by the fact that the ocTEL course is awarding badges for completing certain activities. This is very appealing to me as I am, by nature, a collector, but it is important that they enhance the learning experience and don’t just exist for their own sake. Badges can be used to provide structure and focal points in a course, with a large number of small objectives relatively easy to obtain on their own, incrementally building to a greater goal. I think one benefit of badges over traditional forms of on-going formative assessment is that they feel more tangible, more like little mini-qualifications of their own which can be collected and displayed as evidence of achievement even if you don’t or can’t complete the whole course.
The ocTEL badges are, thus far, and I expect it will continue to be the case, keeping me interested in the course and checking in to the site on a regular basis, when it can be so easy to abandon a MOOC after the initial excitement fades and pressures from other areas take precedence.
Another appeal is the openness of the standard and the fact that you can keep all of your badges from different sources in one place, such as the Mozilla Backpack. Behold, for example, my first set: https://backpack.openbadges.org/share/49e081c9e30cbc0c237ca5430c8e0642/