What’s in Your (Skills) Wallet?

by Chris Sturgis

IMS Global is reporting that progress is being made in creating the infrastructure to make badges (and I assume microcredentials) a viable way of communicating what you know and can do. There was a great panel by folks from Credly, Badgr and My Mantl on the efforts of the IMS workgroup Badge Connect API. The idea is that badges will be owned by the learner (not the issuing person or institution). The vision is that one day all of us will have a “wallet” within which we hold evidence of what we know and can do. We should be able to take out what evidence of our skills and share it in the way we want and with whom we want, when we want. The example is that I might want to share that I know something about competency-based education but not that I am an intermediate level surfer (which I’m not, it ends up I’m too scared of waves to really achieve my goals).

The IMS Global workgroup (IMS Global is wonderfully collaborative) has identified three roles that must be available: Issuer, Host and Displayer.

  • The Issuer awards the Open Badge Assertions to recipients (I have to go find out what ‘assertions’ mean – but I presume it is the act of determining that someone knows and can do something)
  • The Host platform allow recipients to store and manage the badges they have earned and decide how they will be shared
  • Displayers help learners show off their badges and make sense of them.

The demonstration showed how Credly Acclaim could award a badge, that was then transferred by the owner/learner to the Badgr backpack and then displayed on My Mantl.

In a different discussion someone raised the issue of fraudulent badges. Right now if I was to load up a badge about some skill onto LinkedIn within a few minutes it might be copied and loaded up on hundreds of other people’s profiles. There is simply no verification process on LinkedIn currently. That’s part of the problem the Badge Connect API is trying to solve.

Will this be where we end up? Will the HR departments of companies all be paying Credly to manage their badging capacities and to help them assess their organizational capacity and gaps? Will we all be paying Badgr someday to hold our backpack of skills?

Don’t know. Stay tuned.

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