Over 2 Millions Types of #OpenBadges ! Don’t you think that’s wonderful?

(I should probably add the subtitle: And less than 10 types of ePortfolios!)

One of Badge Europe‘s intellectual outputs (yuck! I can’t use this “concept” without cringing!) is a discussion paper on quality and Open Badges.

Intellectual Output: a term contributed to the Newspeak Dictionary edited by the European Commission, to replace deliverable, a perfectly decent and understandable term, as if any deliverable did not involve some kind of intellectual effort, implying therefore that the work produced by previous European projects could be partly the result of machines, automata or idiots — I won’t comment on the last one!

This discussion paper on quality and Open Badges should raise a number of interesting issues that I addressed in a previous post (ePortfolios & Open Badges at the Service of Learning eQuality) which refers to a presentation I made last year at a meeting of the Fédération Interuniversitaire de l’Enseignement à Distance (FIED).

One of the problems I have with frameworks such as “quality in eLearning” is that they tend to convey the message that it is possible to have such a thing as “good eLearning” on top of poor or archaic models. They do not use quality as a transformative force, but rather as a normative model, and extension of the old model, stifling innovation and creativity.

In the discussion paper, one of the risks is the mechanistic application of traditional quality models to the Open Badge ecosystem. And if there is something we do not need it is any kind of “quality framework” that would curb or smother the innovation born out of Open Badges. If Open Badges are not used to transform education, social inclusion and employment, then who cares for their “quality?”

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ePortfolios & Open Badges at the Service of Learning eQuality

Monday January 13th, I was invited to present how Open Badges and ePortfolios could contribute to the quality of learning at a seminar on quality in distance education organised by the FIED (Fédération Interuniversitaire de l’Education à Distance).

I took the opportunity develop further a reflection started  in 2007 with the publication of a green paper entitled From quality of eLearning to eQuality of learning (link). The objective was to explore an alternative path to the mechanistic, and too often trivial, approaches to quality and eLearning.

Quality as Learning

One of the questions raised in the green paper was:

What would the consequences be if we moved our reflection from quality of learning, to quality as learning?

In response, the green paper proposed:

to shift the focus from quality of eLearning to eQuality as learning, i.e. reflect on how digital technologies can provide support for improving all forms of learning – instruction and training, face to face, at a distance, or mixed, formal and informal, personal and organisational – making the quality process itself a personal and organisational experience.

ePortfolios & Open Badges to the Service of Learning Quality from Serge Ravet
(The presentation accessible on Slideshare has no sound, but the original presentation was recorded and will be soon available, in French)

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