Open Badges in Higher Education Conference University of Southampton - 8th March 2016 #openbadgesHE

On 8th March 2016 The University of Southampton is hosting the Open Badges in Higher Education Conference aimed at raising awareness of the huge amount of activity both in Higher Education and in the commercial world for Open Badges. Discussions and workshops will investigate the use of alternative credentials for recognising achievements of skills and co-curricular contributions within the student experience.

Why Badges? When you give a certificate to a student then it belongs to you and the person receiving it. This is a one to one relationship and although may be of value to the person who has been given it, it would need to be made into a digital artefact for it to be seen by anyone else. As part of our students digital identity authentic recognition from a university or employer via an open badge means that they can build up their online presence with expertise and valuable recognition. Even if a student issues another student a badge, it may still hold value, and may be recognised as valuable by an employer if the badge was in recognition of great team work.

Display your achievements

University of Southampton active badge users

  • Geography are using Open Badges for a first year module on professional skills for geographers. This is being done in support of the employability agenda.
  • iChamps - Innovation and Digital Literacies Champions are working towards their Open Badges to recognise their contribution towards digital skills development across the University.
  • Psychology are using Open Badges via the Achievements within Blackboard Education. They are using badges to motivate students and are using the functionality of Blackboard to support this.
  • WSA have been using Open Badges to support education and are issuing them through their own system.
  • ISVR are interested in using badges as part of their modules.
  • LifeLab (Medicine and Education) are working with the NHS via on digital badges supporting the agenda for the Department of Health.

There is great interest already across the University of Southampton. Externally across the sector Open Badges are being used for a range of activities. Warwick, Sussex and the Open University are all active Open Badge users.

Reward and recognise ambition

We are currently inviting proposals for contributions to this exciting event. Submissions will be accepted until early January 2016. If you would like to express your interest or would like further information on contributing to this event please contact Katie Eason on or submit your proposal on the form below.

We also encourage you to register for your place at the conference now as places are limited.

Display your skills and achievements on social networking profiles, blogs, websites and more

Badges will provide us with data, for example types of activities, skills and evidence of activities around competences. Open Digital Badges are used extensively across the UK to support the recognition of skills within schools, colleges and universities. Employers are increasingly turning to Open Badges as a method of gaining appropriate attention for skills that they see as important for skills that they see as important for their organisations and as mechanism for encouraging interest in their activities, raising awareness of their mission and functions. Large employers are already advertising and using badges.

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