Content-type: text/html Recognition

The question is often asked, how do we know a course has been successful? How do we know what someone has learned? These are underscored by the deeper question of whether we can trust in the education of our mechanics, doctors, engineers and pilots.


2018/11/28 12:00 Conversation with Viplav Baxi


The question is often asked, how do we know a course has been successful? How do we know what someone has learned? These are underscored by the deeper question of whether we can trust in the education of our mechanics, doctors, engineers and pilots.


The problem is intractable because there is not clear agreement on what counts as success. The different outcomes from learning events can be tracked and measured in any number of ways. And all the while, there is the danger of bad actors - of those who cheat on tests, fake certificates, or misrepresent their qualifications.


In recent years we have seen renewed focus the idea of competencies and competency definitions. The American Advanced Distributed Learning initiative has launched the Competencies and Skills Systems program, for example, part of their wider Total Learning Architecture.


There are numerous competency definition standards, everything from Australia's National Competency Standards to the NIH's Nursing Competency standard. Activity tracking has been formalized by xAPI and records are stored in Learning Record Stores (LRS). These systems are gradually migrating toward a decentralized linked data model, as exemplified by the suggestion to develop a blockchain network for badges and certifications.


As a result, we need to think of the content of assessments more broadly. The traditional educational model is based on tests and assignments, grades, degrees and professional certifications. But with activity data we can begin tracking things like which resources a person read, who they spoke to, and what questions they asked.


We can also gather data outside the school or program, looking at actual results and feedback from the workplace. In the world of centralized platforms, such data collection would be risky and intrusive, but in a distributed data network where people manage their own data, greater opportunities are afforded.


While no doubt people will continue to collect badges, degrees and certificates, these will play a much smaller role in how we comprehend how and whether a person has learned. The same data set may be analyzed in any number of different ways and can be used by learners as input to evaluation services that use zero-knowledge methods to calculate an individuals status against any number of defined (or implicit) employment or position requirements.


The skills of a traditional learner - passing the test and meeting the expectations of a teacher - will be replaced with a more concentrated focus on developing a unique set of skills and capacities (and a body of work to support that).


It might be said that the certificate of the future will be a job offer. Already software is being developed to map directly from a person's online profile to job and work opportunities (this is how one of our projects, MicroMissions, works in the Government of Canada). These profiles today are unreliable and superficial, but with trustworthy data from distributed networks we will be able to much more accurately determine the skills - and potential - of every individual. And I think we'll be surprised by what we see.


Create and Award Yourself a Digital Badge

Create a free account on a Badge service (several are listed in the resources for this module). Then:

  • create a badge
  • award it to yourself.
  • use a blog post on your blog as the 'evidence' for awarding yourself the badge
  • place the badge on the blog post.

To assist you in this, you can see this blog post where I did all four steps with Badgr. (I also tried to work with the API, with much less success).

Due: Nov 30, 2018


Conversation with Viplav Baxi Nov 28, 2018 video Viplav Baxi joined us for week 6 of E-Learning 3.0. He is currently Director - Product and Digital Transformation at Oxford University Press in New Delhi, India. We talked about resources, the role of MOOCs in education today, his new 'WhatIfEdu' project, testing, badges and recognition, and community.

E-Learning 3.0 - Recognition Dec 04, 2018 video This is a video summary of the Recognition module in E-Learning 3.0 - it expands a bit on the article and discusses how we can look at existing approaches to recognition - things like competencies and badges - lead us to examine some of the assumptions underlying learning, and to project a new approach to recognition in next-generation e-learning.


Feature Article E-Learning 3.0, Part 6 - Recognition, Dec 03, 2018.

The use of the word 'Recognition' to talk about assessment and credentials is intended to suggest the process involved. The outcome of an assessments process is intended to be for us to be able to determine whether or not a person has certain types of skills, experiences, or knowledge. It allows us, in short, to be able to recognize that a person is, say, a qualified pilot.

Testing for Competence Rather Than for "Intelligence"
David McClelland, 2018/11/26

"...the fact remains that testing has had its greatest impact in  the schools and currently is doing the worst damage in that area by falsely leading people to believe that doing well in school means that people are more  competent and therefore more likely to do well in life because of some real ability factor."

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How did we get here? A brief history of competency‐based higher education in the United States
T.R. Nodine, The Journal of Competency-Based Education, 2018/11/26

Competency‐based education (CBE) programs have spread briskly in higher education over the past several years and their trajectory continues to rise. In light of the spread of competency‐based models, this article provides a brief history of CBE in the United States.

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Competency & Skills System (CaSS)
Advanced Distributed Learning, 2018/11/26

The Competency and Skills System (CASS) enables collection, processing, and incorporation of credentials and data ("assertions") about an individual's competencies into accessible, sharable learner profiles. CaSS will create an infrastructure enabling competencies, competency frameworks, and competency-based learner models to be managed and accessed independently of a learning management system, course, training program, or credential. See also: CASS Documentation.

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Knowledge as Recognition
Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, 2018/11/27

In my view, knowledge isn't a type of belief or opinion at all, and knowledge isn't the sort of thing that needs to be justified at all. Instead, knowledge is a type of perception, which we call 'recognition', and knowledge serves as the justification for other things, including opinions and beliefs.

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Beyond Assessment - Recognizing Achievement in a Networked World
Stephen Downes, 2018/11/27

ePortfolios and Open Badges are only the first wave in what will emerge as a wider network-based form of assessment that makes tests and reviews unnecessary. In this talk I discuss work being done in network-based automated competency development and recognition, the challenges it presents to traditional institutions, and the opportunities created for genuinely autonomous open learning. See also the transcript of this talk.

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Free tools to issue Mozilla Open Badges. Design and award your own open badges: credential skills, recognize learning and create bite-sized rewards to support micro-credentials in your eportfolio.

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Open Badge Factory

"Open Badge Factory is a versatile platform for organisations wanting to create, issue and manage Open Badges. Suitable for any organisation, big or small, Open Badge Factory is a user-friendly and cost-efficient service to start issuing Open Badges and building sustainable Open Badge ecosystems."

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Open Badges

General information page about badges. "Open Badges are verifiable, portable digital badges with embedded metadata about skills and achievements. They comply with the Open Badges Specification and are shareable across the web. Each Open Badge is associated with an image and information about the badge, its recipient, the issuer, and any supporting evidence. All this information may be packaged within a badge image file that can be displayed via online CVs and social networks." See also the IMS Open Badges specification.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]


Application for creating digital badges. Badgr is open source software based on open standards.  Here's the community website. Here's a sample of me creating and awarding myself a badge on Badgr.

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Blockchain Diplomas Land In Virginia At Ecpi
Stephen's Web ~ OLDaily, 2018/11/28

Jacob Demmitt, The Roanoke Times, Nov 26, 2018  It was only a matter of time. "Virginia Beach-based ECPI University has joined a group of early adopters that distribute student degrees through the same kind of decentralized computer networks that power Bitcoin... The concept behind the technology is virtually unchanged, except ECPI is using the blockchain to issue digital degrees instead of digital currencies." The plan does have a definite upside: "It's on there for life. They never have to call the registrar's office and order another diploma." Web: [Direct Link] [This Post] Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Viplav Baxi, 2018/11/28

What if teachers learned to perform to transform rather than be a guide by the side or a sage on the stage? Teachers perhaps need to be an equal part performer who enact and 'live' the subject in their interactions with students.

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Automated Scoring of Speech
ETS's SpeechRater, 2018/11/29

The SpeechRater engine processes each response with an automated speech recognition system specially adapted for use with nonnative English. Based on the output of this system, natural language processing (NLP) and speech-processing algorithms are used to calculate a set of features that define a "profile" of the speech on a number of linguistic dimensions, including fluency, pronunciation, vocabulary usage, grammatical complexity and prosody. A model of speaking proficiency is then applied to these features in order to assign a final score to the response.

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Improving Talent Management with Automated Competence Assessment: Research Summary
N. S. Nikitinsky, Proceedings of the Scientific-Practical Conference "Research and Development - 2016, 2018/11/29

The extensive use of Data Mining and, particularly, Text Mining can greatly improve speed and quality of competence assessment, making it less human-biased at the same time. This approach should improve business processes and significantly decrease HR expenses. Several researchers and developers work in the field of applying modern Data Science approaches to the field of Competence Management.

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EMS, 2018/11/29

AI Engine analyzes individual learner performance against key competencies across entire program – automating individual "learner fingerprints". Assessment data categorized by block, assessment type, skills, body systems, threads, competencies, and EPAs. Learner dashboards provide progress snapshots toward mastery of key competencies throughout the education journey.

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A deep learning-based method for detecting non-certified work on construction sites
QiFang,, Advanced Engineering Informatics, 2018/11/29

Our framework comprises key video clips extraction, trade recognition and worker competency evaluation. Trade recognition is a new proposed method through analyzing the dynamic spatiotemporal relevance between workers and non-worker objects. We also improved the identification results by analyzing, comparing, and matching multiple face images of each worker obtained from videos. The experimental results demonstrate the reliability and accuracy of our deep learning-based method to detect workers who are carrying out work for which they are not certified to facilitate safety inspection and supervision.

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Wanted: The ‘perfect babysitter.’ Must pass AI scan for respect and attitude.
Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 2018/11/29

Predictim, an online service that uses "advanced artificial intelligence" to assess a babysitter's personality, and aimed its scanners at one candidate's thousands of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. The system offered an automated "risk rating" of the 24-year-old woman, saying she was at a "very low risk" of being a drug abuser. But it gave a slightly higher risk assessment — a 2 out of 5 — for bullying, harassment, being "disrespectful" and having a "bad attitude."

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China’s Social Credit System: A Mark of Progress or a Threat to Privacy?
Martin Chorzempa, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2018/11/29

The plan is to link public and private data on financial and social behavior across China, use the data to evaluate behavior of individuals and organizations, and punish or reward them according to certain agreed upon standards of appropriate conduct.

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Underwriting in 2018: InsurTechs Eye Analytics, Automation
Russ Banham, Carrier Management, 2018/11/29

Through the use of cognitive computing tools like machine learning, predictive analytics, robotics processing automation, and both image recognition and natural language processing, underwriting is becoming less manual and more automated. Providers of the tools offer novel ways for underwriters to better gauge risk, set premiums, save time, become more efficient and lower loss ratios.

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Open Badges Certified Products

This is the official listing of products that have passed IMS Global interoperability. Using these products will enable your institution to achieve the benefits associated with IMS. Products that are listed in this directory are guaranteed to meet the IMS standards for which they have passed testing.

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Autograding System Goes Awry, Students Fume
Stephen's Web ~ OLDaily, 2018/12/03

Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed, Nov 30, 2018 This article describes the failings of an autograding system in use in a computing science class in Berkeley. The use of autograders in computer sciences is a natural development, as programs can be tested by debuggers and efficiency algorithms to determine not only whether they run at all, but also how well they run. This article records what happens when they fail, but it's more useful reading when looked at from the context of what should happen when they run successfully (which is what they usually do). Web: [Direct Link] [This Post] Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Lrng + Badgr: Unlocking Opportunity Through A Shared Digital Backpack
Stephen's Web ~ OLDaily, 2018/12/19

Connie Yowell, Wayne Skipper, LRNG, Dec 19, 2018 This announcement portends a developing ecosystem outside the traditional LMS infrastructure. LRNG - which recently merged with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) - allows cities to create an openly accessible network of learning and employment opportunities accessible to schools and youth (see here). It has announced a partnership with Badgr to support awarding badges and displaying badges. "This partnership will allow LRNG users to curate badges from various sources, then share them out selectively." Additionally, "we're working with Classcraft on an API that has allowed their educators and classrooms to access LRNG's playlists." Classcraft allows teachers to  "create self-paced, personalized learning adventures for students out of existing lessons." Web: [Direct Link] [This Post] Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]


Digital Badges As Recognition Of Success
jennymackness, e-learning 3.0 – Jenny Connected, 2018/11/29

Looking back through this blog, I am reminded that in 2012 I attended a SCoPE seminar on digital badges and wrote two posts about it. Reading back through these posts I see that at that time I had some reservations… Continue reading → Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

#El30 Week 6: Automated Assessments
x28, EL30 – x28's new Blog, 2018/11/29

The rich data tapestry of student learning records, might get at a more accurate picture of whether the student's abilities will meet the requirements of a certain job profile. But is the conjecture true for all types of assessments, and will it lead to more justice, and should we embrace machine decisions here?
Continue reading → Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Badges Are Not Sufficient
jennymackness, e-learning 3.0 – Jenny Connected, 2018/11/29

This week Stephen invited Viplav Baxi to join him in a discussion about this week’s topic – Recognition – for the E-Learning 3.0 MOOC. They only mentioned badges briefly, but the task for participants this week has been to create… Continue reading → Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

When You Give Yourself A Badge …
dogtrax, Kevin's Meandering Mind, 2018/12/03

This week’s task over at E-Learning 3.0 is to create and award a badge to yourself, and then reflect on the process. I am still very mixed on the use and effectiveness of digital badging. I’ve had experiences in open learning spaces like CLMOOC and WriteOut (where we designed a Playlist format with badging as […] Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Week 6: Recognition – Task: Create A Badge
lou, learning reflections, 2018/12/03

I have been trying to catch up since I started this E-learning 3.0 MOOC (I started doing week 4, Identity, when the course was almost in week 5 !!), and finally I think I´ve done it! Week 6: Recognition – Task: Create a Badge The instructions for this task were: Create a free account on …
Sigue leyendo Week 6: Recognition – Task: Create a Badge Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Algorithms Ate My Homework: Thinking On Machines And Assessment
dogtrax, EL30 – Kevin's Meandering Mind, 2018/12/03

I really appreciate how reading other people’s blog posts in the E-Learning 3.0 community sparks my thinking. A piece by Matthias in reference to Stephen Downes’ exploration of badging as possible tracking system or as an outcome of automated assessments in a decentralized Internet made me pause. Matthias writes: I think, for the final summative assessments deciding […] Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Elearn 3.0 Week 6 Recognition Task
Frank, Doin’ Stuff, 2018/12/03

Now that I have awarded myself my first Doin’Stuff badge, I now need to do the three parts of the task. I created my WordPress blog on Doin Stuff with a post called elearn 3.0 Week 6 Recognition Task (which I hope you are reading). When Stephen provides the document, I can enter my RSS … Continue reading "elearn 3.0 Week 6 Recognition Task" Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

#El30 Task : Congratulations, You Earned A Badge!
Roland, Learning with Moocs, 2018/12/03

In our course E-learning 3.0 (#el30) we discussed assessment. Course facilitator Stephen Downes: The traditional educational model is based on tests and assignments, grades, degrees and professional certifications. But with activity data we can begin tracking things like which resources a person read, who they spoke to, and what questions they asked. We can also […] Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Recognition, Assessment & Realising the potential of open badges | Random Access Learning
kgq962, Random Access Learning, 2018/12/03

I’m so happy that eL3.0 has finally moved in to an area where I feel like I know what I’m doing. This week on eLearning 3.0 we moved on to assessment and recognition of learning. The conversation between Stephen and Viplav … Continue reading → Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

#El30 – Recognition Task
daveymoloney, Davey Moloney, 2018/12/04

I’m falling a little bit behind on #EL30 at the moment, hoping to put some time aside to catch up properly in the coming weeks. For the ‘Resources’ module of the course, Stephen set the following task for us: Create a free account on a Badge service (several are listed in the resources for this … Continue reading "#EL30 – Recognition Task" Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Digital Badges And The Purpose Of Education
jennymackness, e-learning 3.0 – Jenny Connected, 2018/12/04

We have now come to the end of the sixth topic – Recognition – in Stephen Downes’ E-Learning 3.0 MOOC.  For me, this has been the least satisfying of the course topics so far. I have been trying to work… Continue reading → Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Laura Ritchie,, 2018/12/04

Recognition is this week's topic for #el30 and the abstract asks two very different questions: How do we know a course has been successful? How do we know what someone has learned? For me, these are not necessarily related like a geometric proof. If this -> then that. If the course is successful the student […]

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Connected Learner Badge
Laura Ritchie,, 2018/12/04

This post is about a badge I designed called the 'Connected Learner'. In the world we are all connected, but how often do we connect? This badge can be earned by following some simple steps. If you are reading this, then you have some sort of online presence, even if that is as one who […]

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Knowledge As Recognition (E-Learning 3.0)
ioannouolga, connecting data to information to knowledge, 2018/12/05

Recognition in Education_could come in the form of evaluations, badges etc. The answer to ‘how do we know hat this person is a qualified doctor?’ is the same as the answer to the question ‘how do we know that this is a tiger?’ In short, assessment is about recognition, about trying to figure out how […] Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]