Back in April of 2012, I developed a course on P2PU called Open Badges 101. People from all over the world signed up for it to learn more about open badges. Although I developed it as a very basic personal challenge to learn more about open badges, I was amazed at the wide variety of disciplines (programmers, educators, technologists, etc.) represented in the roster. It launched me into an unexpected community of people who, like me, love to learn. I was encouraged to create more courses on this topic by the wonderful open badges folks at Mozilla and in the open badges community.

Fast-forward 8 months and a few conversations later with Peter Rawsthorne (partner-in-crime) and everything is finally in place to begin working on more courses. A collection of courses, in fact, that will become part of the new School of Open Badges on P2PU. The ‘courses’ will really be set up as ‘challenges’ on P2PU, meaning people can enter at any point and complete the work on their own time. (P2PU ‘courses’ rely on the structure of a time period, where ‘challenges’ rely on each individual to rely on their completion rate and motivation to progress.)

After a few discussions about the topic on the open badges community calls, Peter wrote a blog post where he detailed the upcoming process which would involve:

  1. flower petal ‘metaphor’,
  2. no prescribed journey, and
  3. and ‘nomenclature’ naming.

We worked and tweaked the original diagram, tracks, and challenge titles. The most recent version has us sticking with our flower petal design, but we reverted back to suggesting tracks and paths for participants because of a few issues that we couldn’t resolve:

  1. These challenges will be meant for different audiences (everyone, individuals, institutions, and programmers). Not all of the challenges will be relevant for all audiences. Although individuals can enroll in any of the challenges they wish to attempt, we don’t want individuals to feel discouraged because they can’t pinpoint the challenges that are relevant to them. This is why we decided on ‘tracking’ the challenges.
  2. These challenges will be challenging at different levels within these audiences/tracks and some are considered pre-requisites to others. Similar to the non-track issue, we wouldn’t want an individual to feel discouraged because they enrolled in a course without the pre-requisite knowledge and were having difficulties. Although an individual can enroll in any of the challenges they wish to attempt, we decided to stick with the ‘school course’ (101, 201, etc.) naming convention for this reason.
  3. We stuck with the ‘school course’ naming convention because it is the one individuals are most familiar with (going with letters just didn’t seem right because the challenges needed to also belong to tracks). Also, it will be part of the ‘School of Open Badges’.
Below is the latest version of the flower diagram with challenge names and definitions.

Secondly, I drafted out the badges and course graphics for each challenge using the flower palette.

Next up- we will be working on the curriculum for each challenge. Please reach out to Peter or myself and let us know if you’d like to pitch in and lend a hand on any of these challenges.

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