A Review of Open Badge Platforms

As iChamps we have become familiar with a host of open badge platforms including those that I will review today – these include Open Badge Academy, Open Badge Platform and Badge List. I have reviewed the open badge platforms based on five areas:

  • Badge Design
  • Creation of Badges
  • Interface and Navigation
  • Instruction and Submitting Evidence.
  • Sharing Work

Badge Design

The iChamp framework involves obtaining three badges that contribute to a final iChamp badge. The badge designs exhibited on Badge List are best suited for this framework as you can clearly see that the three minor badges contribute to the final badge. With Open Badge Academy and Open Badge Platform the final badge seems as if it had no relation to the three minor badges and that each minor badge is a stand-alone badge.

badge-design-screenshot

Creation of the Badges

In terms of actually creating the badges all platforms provide a very basic system for badge design that allows use of background shapes, banners and text. If the creator wishes to go further in their design it is possible to upload images. None of the platforms are better than the others in this feature.

Interface and Navigation

Badge List was by far the best when it came to navigating around the website and getting used to the features it offers. Everything is clear and all on one page so that you can see exactly what badges you have completed, what badges you are partaking in and how to share these on social media. When using another function such as sharing or in fact creating your own group the process is clearly presented and instructions are provided if not clear enough already. In addition to this the website design is, all in all, more friendly.

Instruction and Submitting Evidence

Each platform was unique in how instructions were presented and evidence was submitted. My least preferred is Open Badge Factory as it involved a few more steps in submitting evidence. I can see, however, that this is beneficial for the badge issuer as they can collect more information on the person who has applied for the badge. Open Badge Academy is very simple with an add link option. Both Open Badge Academy and Factory excelled at providing instruction for the applicant with large paragraphs explaining exactly was expected as evidence. Badge list provided less information and instruction but equalled Open Badge Academy on evidence submission with and easy add link format. Although Badge List did not have clear expectation and tasks it did provide an excellent feedback system in which the issuer could give feedback to the learner. The only improvement that could be made here is the ability for the learner to respond to these comments. One fantastic addition Badge List has is a chat option in which you can contact employees of Badge List for advice and answers to your questions – they even offer suggestions as to how to use the website without you asking.

Sharing Work

Open Badge Factory is very good in that it has a sister platform called Open Badge Passport where badges can be presented and shared from here. Both Open B
adge Factory and Badge List allow badges to be shared to all social media sites but Badge List gives much clearer instruction on how to do so. It even supports Mozilla backpack and gives clear instruction to share. In comparison Open Badge Academy makes it much harder to share.

sharing-screenshot

 

Charlie Cosstick

Tuesday 20th September 2016

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