21st Century Learning and Micro credentials

Technology has the potential to improve many aspects of educational systems, including how we teach, learn, and interact. Now technology is changing the way we think about how we recognize what people have learned, leading to a global micro credentialing movement. Micro credentials make it easier to recognize, in the moment, specific skills, knowledge, and accomplishments of learners.

Open Badges

Open badges are an emerging technological solution for micro credentialing. Open badges embed metadata about the criteria and evidence for the learning into the credential, making it easy for the credential to be exported to any learning or e-portfolio system.

Badges at BYU

Brigham Young University’s faculty are leading the design and research of effective badging practices. Dr. Richard West and IP&T graduate students created the IPT Ed Tec badges—one of the first badging systems for recognizing technological skills of preservice teachers. This badging system has been recognized as an early badge provider in education and exemplar by the United States Department of Education. Other BYU faculty issuing open badges include adjunct professor (and former faculty member) David Wiley.

BadgeSchool.org, a McKay School of Education Initiative

Dr. Richard West developed several collections of open badges/microcredentials, including the Badgeschool badges, utilized at Brigham Young University and other institutions. The badges and rubrics are available on Badgr. Tutorials to assist in earning these badges are available on the tutorials website. The framework guiding the development of Badgeschool badges is described in the TechTrends article. If you are interested in using Badgeschool, contact us.

BYU Publications on Open Badges

Following are a few publications produced by BYU faculty in this area.

Farmer, T., West, R. E. (2016). Opportunities and challenges with digital open badges. To be published in Educational Technology.

West, R. E., & Randall, D. L. (2016). The Case for Rigor in Open Badges. Digital Badges in Education: Trends, Issues, and Cases.

Davies, R., Randall, D., & West, R. E. (2015). Using open badges to certify practicing evaluators. American Journal of Evaluation, 36(2), 151-163.

Randall, D. L., Harrison, J. B., & West, R. E. (2013). Giving credit where credit is due: Designing open badges for a technology integration course. TechTrends, 57(6), 88-95.