UK Government interest in Open Badges

The UK Minister for Skills recently commissioned the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG)  to make recommendations regarding the use of technology in Further Education - and in particular the barriers placed in the way by Regulatory Bodies, Funding Bodies and Awarding Organisations. The full report - and Government response - is available here .

While eportfolios do not feature recommendation 5 reads: Awarding bodies to explore the use of “open badges” to accredit learning in virtual environments and digital skills.

The Minister's response included the following:

"We believe in the power of technology to transform education. From disruptive technologies like Open Badges, through to better use of technology to improve the teaching and learning experience, digital adoption can improve standards. Technology can make teaching more engaging for learners and more fulfilling for teachers. Technology empowers good teachers. (page 3)

In broad terms, the conferring of an Open Badge on a learner is similar to the award of a qualification certificate, and the same quality standards must be ensured. The emerging opportunities offered by Open Badges in the areas of peer assessment, employer partnership, learning analytics and the engagement of learners means that it should be considered in learning technology at various levels. We will encourage Awarding Organisations, Ofqual and Ofsted to be aware of the potential of this technology." (page 12)