In Scotland, interest has been growing around the opportunities afforded by the open, standards-based, accreditation framework, Open Badges, to augment traditional accreditation routes. At the Jisc RSC Scotland Open Badges Design Day, held in April 2013, staff from further and higher education institutions worked with the Mozilla Badges and Skills Lead, Doug Belshaw and the CEO of DigitalMe (DML Competition ‘Badges for Lifelong Learning’ winners and Badge the UK leads) Tim Riches, to consider possible badge-based pathways to learning and to explore the Mozilla Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI). At this event, there was consensus that it would be useful to bring together interested parties to identify areas where Open Badges could add value to education in Scotland and to engage in joint developments.
Open Badges in Scottish Education Group
In response to this, the Jisc RSC Scotland has convened the Open Badges in Scottish Education Group (OBSEG) which now includes members from schools, further and higher education institutions, educational agencies including the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Education Scotland, professional bodies, employer bodies, national and local government, Open Badge projects such as DigitalMe’s Badge the UK and Mozilla. The group performs an overview and mapping function of Open Badge developments in Scottish education, oversees a number of sub-groups developing badge constellations and pathways, and provides a forum for discussion and strategic agreement around Open Badge developments.
I was delighted when active members of the OBSEG, the SQA, issued a press release on the opportunities they are investigating with Open Badges: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/67688.html. As far as I’m aware, this commitment from a national awarding and qualifications authority is a world first. The SQA has gained feedback from the wider sector on Scotland’s aspirations in relation to Open Badges via the OBSEG and Jisc is looking forward to continuing to support the Open Badge developments enabled by this commitment and by others, in the Scottish education community.
You can find out more about the OBSEG, the organisations, institutions and bodies represented and the work of the group at: http://bit.ly/obseg