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Interact on Assuring Graduate Capabilities > Portfolios and evidence of learning

Portfolios and Badges - friends or foes?

posted Feb 09, 2015 01:07:21 by
For many of us who have a foot in each camp of the research and practice of both Open Badges and ePortfolios, we are thrilled by this union of pedagogies. As Serge Ravet (2014) so eloquently stated: ePortfolios are "organised collections of evidence demonstrating reflective learning" and Open Badges are "criterion based trust systems" - together that have the potential to transform portfolio pedagogy when used to apply for badges and make curated claims for learning. What do you think - partners, friends or foes?
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7 replies
DavidGibson said Feb 09, 2015 04:58:50
Partners, if we effectively design and use the systems to advance reflection and action. If we do not design with that goal in mind, then at best friends and perhaps inadvertently, foes.
KateColeman said Feb 09, 2015 05:39:34
Totally agree David. Serendipitously, Siobhan Lenihan from Deakin shared this article with me today: Showcasing the Co-Curricular: ePortfolios and Digital Badges Interestingly, this is what they are doing at ND:
"These are the parameters of what our digital badges are not here at ND: They are not certificates or certifications and they are not credit bearing. They will however provide recognition of student achievement, and along with eportfolios, they can often provide a deeper representation of those achievements than you'll find in transcripts and more traditional records on the curricular side. Does that make sense?"
This is my favourite bit: "I see the digital badge, displayed and supported in the eportfolio, as a supplement to the transcript and the resume — an opportunity that we have to work with existing paradigms and within institutional frameworks in a way that finally brings out, and showcases, the amazing value of the co-curricular".

FYI, ND uses Credly and Digication.
avatar said Feb 09, 2015 12:36:39
I will go a step further and say that we need to design for INTERaction. The information in badges and portfolios needs to be both valued and unique. I think that the unique aspect can be operationalized in terms of interactions. The information in badges should support disciplinary interactions that otherwise would not have taken place. Otherwise they are are more trouble than they are worth.
Serge said Mar 04, 2015 08:53:15
Open Badges best friends to ePortfolio practitioners and best foes to ePortfolio platforms? Let's face it: the ePortfolio platforms of today are not that different from those that existed 10 years ago and many ePortfolios do not use any dedicated ePortfolio platform. If ePortfolio platforms want to keep up with innovation they will have to do much better than adding a layer of Open Badges, they might want to reinvent themselves from Open Badges.

Open Badges will facilitate the building of rich, trustworthy ePortfolios. We will be able to create truly "open ePortfolios" — one should note that there is a significant difference between using an "open source" eportfolio system and creating "open eportfolios." With Open Badges, ePortfolios won't be simply "open" they will also be "distributed" and "shared" and it is these qualities that will contribute to making them "trustworthy."

Eventually we could describe the difference between Open Badges and ePortfolios as the difference between identity as self-narrative (ePortfolios) and identity through others (Open Badges).

In a presentation I gave in 2009 on "ePortfolio, the engine for learning communities" I presented ePortfolios as "the threads of the social fabric constructing our identity."

Due to the siloed nature of current ePortfolios, this didn't happen. With Open Badges, things are slightly different: no more silos and many threads, the threads of Open Badges feeding our interwoven networks of trust. So, If I had to revise the 2009 presentation I would describe Open Badges as "the substance from which are made the threads of the social fabric constructing our identities."
[Last edited Mar 04, 2015 09:43:56]
A passion for learning
BeverleyOliver said Mar 05, 2015 21:41:01
Thanks for posing Serge - how is an open portfolio different from a LinkedIn profile?
Deakin University
Serge said Apr 18, 2015 07:40:03
Sorry Beverly, I missed the notification of your question — and I hope that I'm not too much of a 'poser'.

Well, let's say that Linkedin is one of the many services that could be built on top of an Open Portfolio, something we will try building through the Open Passport initiative ( A first version of the passport is already available: The launch will be in Barcelona during ePIC.
A passion for learning
avatar said Apr 23, 2015 23:17:56
Thanks Serge! LinkedIn for me is a form of digital portfolio and one service that does allow for badge claims to currently be displayed. It is also an aggregator for other portfolio links and acts as one folio for an audience - in my experience usually for community or employability. I'm interested in how LinkedIn can act as a house to create context for digital open badges and portfolios providing a clear narrative that is also verfified by trusted people in your network.
I presented on this topic of portfolios and badges last week at The fourth international seminar ‘Researching and Evaluating Recording Achievement, Personal Development Planning and e-Portfolio' virtually from my lounge room to Plymouth, UK on the 17th April 2015. This was my presentation . The questions that followed included some obvious and some that I think the portfolio community still after ten years are grappling with - employers, reflection and the role of technology.
I believe in the symbiotic relationship of open badges and portfolios for making:
badge claims
developing narrative for self and identity
learning about self, developing self efficacy
developing digital citizenship skills
creating badge context
I lay all of these under the Audience, Purpose and Context headings and think that as a badge and portfolio community we need to work together to realise these pedagogical shifts in contemporary higher education. The disruptive power that these tools have is to shift us towards learner centred environments, where learners are supported and scaffolded to evidence learning through authentic and experiential models of learning in the discipline.
Enough of me - how do you see the badge and 'e'portfolio world colliding further?
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