This Wednesday (29th April 2015) the popular weekly Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Twitter chat (#LTHEchat) will be focusing on Open Badges.
What is a Tweetchat?
Tweetchats are a great opportunity to learn by connecting with other HE educators to discuss ideas and share experiences. The timeslot (8-9pm GMT) means that international colleagues can contribute too.
Twitter users engage in a real-time discussion, structured around a set of questions tweeted by the facilitators. The conversation is brought together by the use of a hashtag – in this case #LTHEchat. Anyone can follow the conversation by searching Twitter for the hashtag (you do not need to have a Twitter account to do this) or join in the chat by using the hashtag in their tweets.
If you are new to tweetchats you might want to start by observing, or you can get some tips on joining in from this presentation by Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) where she is ‘Introducing tweetchats using #LTHEchat as an exemplar‘.
What are Open Badges?
Open Badges are part of a long tradition of recognising achievement and motivating learners.
Open Badges bring together the visual appeal and motivation of the badges sewn on the sleeves of Scouts and Girl Guides with the digital aspects of the badges awarded in online video games. They are particularly useful for rewarding skills and achievements that are not recognised by formal qualifications. (www.sussex.ac.uk/tel/help/badges).
In the 21st Century it is possible to create digital badges with metadata built in that details the criteria for the badge; a link to evidence submitted for the award; and an expiry date if appropriate. This information is available to anyone viewing a badge who can get much more information than from a paper certificate or a traditional entry on a CV.
The portability of Open Badges (see How can I share and display my badges) makes them useful for Continuing Professional Development activities which employees are likely to want to see recognised if they change employers.
Here at Sussex TEL we have been running a pilot Open Badges scheme for some time – offering staff who attend some of the TEL workshops the option to earn badges and ‘level-up’ to a TEL Champion badge. You can read more about what we have been doing on the Sussex TEL Open Badges web pages and in this case study in the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.
Open Badges #LTHEchat
Open Badges is an ideal topic for an #LTHEchat because it is something that lots of people in HE are becoming interested in and there is a range of experience out there which should make for an informative and lively discussion. Hopefully the #openbadges hashtag will also draw in contributions from the wider badging community.
You can read more about the chat, which will be facilitated by Phil Vincent (@PhilVincent) and Roisin Cassidy (@Roisin_Cassidy) on the #LTHEchat blog or just join in at 8pm on Wednesday by following the #LTHEchat hashtag.