The development of work on Open Badges, alongside e-portfolios, has been a strong feature if the Europortfolio Project, see the work on the Matrurity Matrix at http://europortfolio.org/matrix for example. But just how far on are with implementation? The recent extension of a UK survey on Open Badge implementation gave us the opportunity to find out.
Five-six colleagues from twenty-four countries represented within the Europortfolio community responded to this first survey, which gathered information on the implementation of Open Badges across Europe and beyond. Three quarters of respondents were from Higher Education. The detailed results will be available shortly, here we provide some headline conclusions:
Our initial conclusions:
- There was a high level of awareness of Open Badges amongst respondents.
- Only a third of our respondents reported holding held senior management roles, suggesting that much activity is still led by practitioners. The vast majority of respondents were either academic staff or e-learning technologists, the latter normally within central service units. However two thirds of respondents felt they had a strategic influence in their institution, suggesting at least a high degree of institutional interest in this work. The learning technologists in particular were more likely to report holding a senior role.
- Key anticipated outcomes from implementation were centred upon the recognition of ‘softer’ skills (team working, communication etc.) and increased learner motivation, this often being connected to the more regular feedback and accumulation of evidence that Badges support..
- While only a small group of respondents were currently implementing Open Badges with learners, almost half of the institutions represented in the survey were either at the exploratory stage or at full implementation across the institution with a further 20% implementing with a single academic group at least.
- Pilot or initial work was – in half the cases – with small groups (50 or less).
- Some 25% of respondents reported that their institution had, or was working toward a policy to support implementation, with 8% already having a policy in place
- A quarter of respondents had been issued with an Open Badge themselves.