#EL30 – Recognition Task

I’m falling a little bit behind on #EL30 at the moment, hoping to put some time aside to catch up properly in the coming weeks.

For the ‘Resources’ module of the course, Stephen set the following task for us:

Create a free account on a Badge service (several are listed in the resources for this module). Then:

– create a badge
– award it to yourself
– use a blog post on your blog as the ‘evidence’ for awarding yourself the badge
– place the badge on the blog post.

To assist you in this, you can see this blog post where I did all four steps with Badgr. (I also tried to work with the API, with much less success).

Source

I had previously created an account on Openbadges.me so I decided to use that badge service for this task. I’ve seen a couple of posts already from #EL30 participants that demonstrate how they created and issued their badges using Badgr, so this post will provide my experience doing it on a different badge service for comparison/anyone that’s interested.

Openbadges.me

There were 4 main tasks for me to complete on Openbadges.me in order to be able to successfully create and issue my badge on this blog post:

  1. Setting myself up as a badge issuer
  2. Creating or uploading a graphic to represent my badge
  3. Creating and Publishing my badge for issue
  4. Issuing my badge to a recipient (me! – but I can issue it to you too, read on ’til the end if you’re interested in adding this badge to your collection)

1. Setting up as a badge issuer

After logging into Openbadges you are presented with a dashboard area with a navigation menu to the left hand side. The main content area of the dashboard displays tiled flashcard-like blocks that each explain different things that Openbadges can be used for. The navigation menu on the left allows us to go to the areas of the site which will allow us to create and issue badges, so that’s where I begin.

Following Stephen’s useful blog post based on his experiences using Badgr, another badge service, I set about the first task – Setting up as a badge issuer. I selected the Preparing badges menu item and the Badge issuers sub-item. In the main content area I was presented with a pink button in the upper right-hand corner to “+ Create issuer”, as I hadn’t created issuers before. I clicked the button and followed the onscreen instruction to set myself up as a badge issuer, giving myself the permission to issue badges that I create.

Setting up a badge issuer
Setting up a badge issuer

2. Creating or uploading a graphic to represent the badge

As I didn’t have a pre-made graphic to use for my badge I decided to create one using the Openbadges Graphics library, which was accessible as a sub-menu item from the Preparing badges menu item.

Similarly, after selecting this sub-menu item I was presented with a pink button in the upper right-hand corner of main content area of the screen that prompted me to “+ Create graphic”.

The user interface was intuitive and allowed me to create and adapt a graphic of my own beneath 7 simple headings:

  1. Background
  2. Shapes
  3. Inner shapes
  4. Text
  5. Curved text
  6. Banners
  7. Icon
The Graphic builder interface

For my badge I used 3 of those headings – Shapes, Curved text and Icon. Once I was happy with the look of my graphic I saved it and was then able to preview it. The next step was to create the framework for the badge including the awarding criteria for someone looking to be awarded it.

3. Creating and Publishing the badge

It’s important to recognise that the graphic is only one component of the badge. Often, people can think that a badge is simply a .jpg or .png image, but it’s the metadata that we don’t always see that’s ‘baked into’ the badge  which is the most valuable aspect of it. This includes the criteria in order to be awarded the badge, any badge attributes (i.e. a badge awarded for completing 3 hours of CPD), the date of receipt, the date of expiry (if the badge needs to be renewed) the issuer details and the unique badge ID:

Adding primary badge details
Adding badge criteria
– the items that need to be accomplished in order to be awarded the badge
Adding badge attributes
i.e. An open badge can contain any number of attributes. For example, you may want it to represent 3 hours of CPD. To do this, you would enter the name as ‘CPD’ and the value as ‘3’.

I added the relevant details, criteria and attributes to my badge and also selected the graphic that I had created to visually depict it. I was satisfied with my badge so I clicked the grey ‘Publish’ button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen to finalise my badge creation.

Importantly, a badge can only be published if it contains valid name, description, issuer, criteria and graphic and once you publish the badge you cannot go back and edit it easily unless you unpublish (withdraw) it firstly which remove all the details, criteria and attributes you have added to it. This is important to bear in mind so if you are not sure about your badge I would advise using the pink ‘Save Draft’ button before making the decision to finally publish.

My badge summary including auto-generated badge ID on the left-hand side

4. Issuing the badge to a recipient

With the badge created the last step was to issue it to a recipient, in this case, myself. I clicked the Issuing badges menu item and the Manual entry sub-menu option. There were other options available to issue it to groups, via API or through rules-based issuing, but manual was the easiest option initially when I knew I was only issuing it to one person.

The badge I had created appeared here and once I moused-over it I was given the option to ‘Issue badge’ via email. I clicked that option and simply entered my own email address in the space provided, clicked ‘Add recipient’ and finally ‘Issue badge’. I immediately received an email from Openbadges.me prompting me to click a link to download my badge.

Email issued from Openbadges.me

And here is what all the fuss was about!

My #EL30 ‘Recognition’ badge – awarded for completion of the task set out by Stephen Downes

For those of you who may be interested, Openbadges.me also provides reporting functionality to keep track of who has been issued the badge and when it was issued, which is accessible from the main navigation menu beneath Reporting:

Badge reporting

Want to be a recipient of my badge?

Just leave a comment on this post with

  • a link to your own badge (as evidence that you’ve completed Stephen’s task)
  • the email address you’d prefer me to send along your badge to

and I’ll email you a link to download it.

Featured image:
 “Open Educational Resources – OER Rocket Badge with Moon 360×360 PNG” by Eugene Open Educational Resources is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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