Information for IoC Badge Issuers

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Overview

Author: Michelle Bachler, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University.

This document aims to describe what you can expect from us and what we will need from you in order to issue IoC badges.

Support

The Institute of Coding (IoC) Bading platform is committed to supporting Universities and organizations through the process of designing, managing and issuing their IoC badges. We will work collaboratively with you to setup and run badging for IoC related events. If you have any requirements not currently met by our platform, please feel free to discuss them with us.

Please Note: We are introducing a new fee structure to help us maintain this platform beyond the original research funding period that ended in March 2021. Please see our fees page for more details.

Website and API

IoC website homepage
Figure 1 – IoC website homepage (not logged in)

This website and API currently support three types of end users:

1. Badge Issuers, like yourselves, wanting to issue badges for IoC related events.
2. Badge Recipients who want to view and download the badges they have been issued.
3. Badge Validators: Third parties who want to check that a given badge they have been presented with is a valid IoC badge.


Badge Issuers

All IoC approved Issuers will be given a login account to the IoC Badginf platform. Using the website or the API issuers can view the information for the badges they have been authorized to issue, they can setup their badge recipients and they can issue badges to them:

Badge Issuer homepage
Figure 2 – Badge Issuer homepage


Badge Recipients

Badge recipients will be able to login to our website and view their IoC badge portfolio. Here they can view the details of any of their badges in our friendly viewer page (see figure 4) and download their badges:

Main section of the Badge Recipient homepage
Figure 3 – Main section of the Badge Recipient homepage


Badge View page with example data
Figure 4 – Badge View page with example data


Validators

We have created a website and API endpoint where anyone can come and validate a badge. They must have access to the badge (or for the API the badge JSON) and they must have separately obtained and confirmed the email address of the person who says it is their badge.


IoC Validation webpage
Figure 5 – IoC Validation webpage


Badge Uses

There are many Open Badge services in existence for issuing, storing and sharing Open Badges. We will just mention the main badge storing service in this document.

Note: Existing services do not yet understand our blockchain verified badges. So in order to interact with existing badge services, learners will need to download the 'Traditionally Verified' badge version from their 'My Badges' portfolio page.

Badges are usually stored in what are known as backpacks. Backpacks give the user complete control over their achievements by allowing them to organize, display and manage their badges in one place. Until very recently Mozilla ran the biggest badge portfolio system called ‘Mozilla Backpack’ (https://backpack.openbadges.org/). Mozilla have now closed their service down and handed over the running of a backpack service to a site called Badgr (https://support.badgr.com/).

Badgr backpacks allow someone to store and organize their badges into collections and shared badges or collections with others. Badgr allows a person to share badges in three ways:

1. Via url links
2. Via Social media
3. Via embedding

For full details please visit: https://support.badgr.com/portal/kb/articles/sharing-badges-from-badgr


Badgr Backback help page
Figure 6 – Badgr Backback help page

For more information on Badgr backpacks please visit: https://support.badgr.com/portal/kb/articles/using-the-badgr-backpack

Badgr sharing on Social Media help page
Figure 7 – Badgr sharing on Social Media help page

For more information of how to share badges on Social Media via Badgr please visit: https://support.badgr.com/portal/kb/articles/sharing-badges-on-social-media

Issuing IoC badges – What we need from you?

All our badges are issued using the Open Badges Specification version 2, which is currently maintained by IMS Global: https://www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/Badges/OBv2p0Final/index.html. We are working towards supporting the entire specification over time.



Becoming An IoC Badge Issuer

To become an IoC Badge Issuer, you must be part of the IoC project or an educator in the computing space. You will need to Email Us first to express your interest and we can then begin a dialog to approve you as an IoC Issuer.

Please Note: We are introducing a new fee structure to help us maintain this platform beyond the original research funding period that ended in March 2021. Please see our fees page for more details.

Once approved to be an issuer, you will need to supply us with some details. For the Issuer details associated with any badges you issue, and to setup your website admin account, we would need the following details from you:

Issuer Details

(http://www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/Badges/OBv2p0Final/index.html#Profile)

Property Description
Required: Name e.g. your university/organisation name
Required: Description e.g. a description of your university/organisation
Required: Image URL e.g. a URL to a publicly accessible version of your logo (or send us an image and we will host it locally)
Required: URL (website) e.g. your university/organisation main website
Optional: Email e.g. your university/organisation main contact email (optional)
Optional: Telephone e.g. your university/organisation main contact number (optional)
Required: Account email We would also need an Issuer email address to be used to create the Issuer administration account on our system. This would be used by whoever is setting up the Recipients and Issuing the badges to them. We recommend a generic account that could be shared on your side. We will then setup and Issuer account and this email address will be emailed with a link to complete registration.


Creating badges for approval

Once you have an IoC Issuer login, you can go to the Issuer admin area and start entering the details for any badges you would like to submit for approval. Badges can have a complex structure of data behind them incorporating alignments, events, organizers and sponsors of events. Below are the data elements to be considered for each of those:

Badge Details

(www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/Badges/OBv2p0/index.html#BadgeClass)
Property Description
Required: Badge title A title for your Badge. For clarity badge types should be unique within your badge set for a given badge type unless a new version of an existing badge is being release.
Required: Badge description A description of your badge
Required: Version A version release number for your badge. Default is usually '1.0', but can be any string representing a version of your choice.
Required: Badge Type Alignment

All IoC badges need to align to an approved IoC Badge Alignment.
Please see section entitled 'Gateway Badging Alignment Types', for more details of the types currently available.

Knowledge badge types will require the additional information shown in figure 26 below:
Knowledge Badges - additional information
Figure 26 – Knowledge Badges - additional information

Required: An image for the Badge You will be able to design this using the templates available on the 'Create Badge Images' area of the Issuer Administration page.s See Gateway Badging Alignment Types for examples. See figure 28 below: Create Badge Images page
Figure 28 – Create Badge Images page
Required: Badge Criteria (www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/Badges/OBv2p0/index.html#Criteria). This is basically a statement of what the student had to do to earn the badge.
Optional: Badge Criteria Skills

Badge Criteria skills are a way to describe in a badge the individual computing skills gained by the person who has received this badge. We have created a set of skill options based on the Computer Science Ontology topics. This breaks all the computer science topics down into a fine grain and gives us a starting point for a skills list.

We have created an interface for issuers to explore and select skills they wish to add to a badge, the Badge Criteria Skill Selection page. This interface allows you to explore and select skills and stores the three elements we need to know to add a skill to a badge:

  1. Skill name: the name of the skill
  2. Skill url: the url of the skill in the skills schema that needs to be put into the issued badge data.
  3. Skill level: the attainment level the badge holder has reached in this skill. Currently we have started with 4 levels: 'Basic', 'Competent', 'Knowledgeable' and 'Expert' following those expressed in the Skills and Recruitment Ontology (SARO) which the IoC Criteria Skills ontology extends.

From the Badge Criteria Skill Selection page you can search and explore the skills data and also save a selection of skills that you want to add to a badge. You can then easily copy your saved skills list so that you can paste it into any documentation or emails you send us with the data for your badge. In future versions of the IoC badging system we intend to integrate and expose this more directly.

Optional: Badge Criteria Events One or more events can be associated with a badge's criteria.
Each event has the following properties:
						Event:
								Name                                       (required)
								Description                                         
								Start Date and Time                        (required)
								End Date and Time                          (required)
								Location Name
								Location Po Box Number
								Street Address – e.g. 72 Windsor Street
								Town/City
								County
								Post Code
								Country

								Organizer(s)
										One or more Organizations (see below)

								Sponsor(s)
										One or more Organizations (see below)

						Organization:
								Name                                        (required)
								Email                                       (required)
								Location Po Box Number
								Street Address – e.g. 72 Windsor Street
								Town/City
								County
								Post Code
								Country

						
Optional: Tags You can also add some Tags of your choice.
Optional: Issuer Alignments (www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/Badges/OBv2p0/index.html#Alignment)
This is where you would enter any accreditation standards that your badge aligns to.
Note: Any Alignments will need to be entered in advance of selection on the Badge creation form through, the Manage Alignments area of the Issuer Administration screen.
Knowledge Badges - additional information
Figure 27 – Issuer Alignments - Alignment creation screen


Issuing badges to students

Once your badge or badges have been approved, you will be able to issue them to students (recipients).
In the Issuer administation area (see figure 2 above) you can setup your badge recipients. You will have a form to enter the following details for a recipient (see figure 8 below):

Recipient Details

(www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/Badges/OBv2p0Final/index.html#IdentityObject)
Property Description
Required: a name We ask for a name, but that is only for use on our system so you can identify the person. It is not put into the badge issuance.
Required: an email address For the recipient we need their email address. This email should be a personal email that they are likely to control for some time as they will need to show ownership as part of validation of the badge to employer etc. if requested.
Optional: Your unique Identifier Here you can optionally add your own unique identifier for the recipient. This may be useful when tying this to your own system, especially if using the API. This property is also not used in the actual badge issuance

Section of the Recipient Management page showing the form for creating a new recipient
Figure 8 – Section of the Recipient Management page showing the form for creating a new recipient


Assertion Details (issued badges)

The issuing of an instance of a badge is known in the Open Badges specification as an Assertion and we often refer to it from a system point of view as an badge issuance, (www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/Badges/OBv2p0Final/index.html#Assertion).

On the Badge Issuing page you will be required to select a Badge Recipient and Select a Badge to save as a pending issuance (see figure 9 below).

Section of the IoC Badge Issuing page with example data
Figure 9 – Section of the IoC Badge Issuing page with example data


Evidence

Once a badge is pending you can optionally add any Evidence items to the issuance: (www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/Badges/OBv2p0Final/index.html#Evidence).
For a given item of evidence you can enter the details as shown in figure 25 below:

Evidence creation form
Figure 25 – Evidence creation form

IoC Endorsement

Just for your information, we will automatically add an IoC endorsement to all Badge Objects. It will follow the Open Badges Endorsement object schema: (www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/Badges/OBv2p0Final/index.html#Endorsement)

This endorsement section will be part of the Badge Object and will appear in each badge Issuance JSON (Assertion) with the following information:

Endorsement Issuer

Property Description
Name Institute of Coding
Description Our mission is to break down barriers to digital learning and employment. We believe learning should be a lifelong process and that everyone has a right to improve their skills. We want to spread opportunity by offering access to education, providing what you need, when you need it, in a place you can reach.
URL https://instituteofcoding.org/
Email ioc-badges@open.ac.uk
Image https://instituteofcoding.open.ac.uk/badges/images/logos/ioc-logo.png

Endorsement Claim

The Institute of Coding endorse this badge and its issuer.



Gateway Badging Alignment Types

IoC currently support the following gateway badging alignment types:

  • Attendance – This badge represents attendance of an Institute of Coding related event. To earn this badge the recipient must attend an Institute of Coding related event.
  • Community Service – This badge represents community service actions around an Institute of Coding theme. To earn this badge the recipient must perform a community service around an Institute of Coding theme.
  • Knowledge Self-Assessed – This badge represents knowledge of an Institute of Coding domain. To earn this badge the recipient must have self-assessed their knowledge of an Institute of Coding domain set by an event or course.
  • Knowledge Bronze – This badge represents a basic knowledge of an Institute of Coding domain. To earn this badge the recipient must show evidence of a basic knowledge of an Institute of Coding domain.
  • Knowledge Silver – This badge represents an intermediate knowledge of an Institute of Coding domain. To earn this badge the recipient must show evidence of an intermediate knowledge of an Institute of Coding domain.
  • Knowledge Gold – This badge represents a confident knowledge of an Institute of Coding domain. To earn this badge the recipient must show evidence of a confident knowledge of an Institute of Coding domain.
  • Super Badge – This badge represents an additional, non academic, reward for attaining multiple other badges at an Institute of Coding related event. To earn this badge the recipient must have completed a set of Institute of Coding badges.

IoC attendance alignment badge IoC community service alignment badge IoC self-assessed knowledge alignment badge IoC bronze knowledge alignment badge IoC silver knowledge alignment badge IoC gold knowledge alignment badge IoC super badge

Attendance Badges require the following considerations:

  • Courses that require the student to be present at the training for a specified length of time e.g. 80% of the time for a week long course; 100% of the time for a 1 day course. This should be specified in the badge information on the digital badge webpage
  • Online courses that require the student to complete the course. There should be consideration given to whether it is possible for students to appear that they have completed the course without engaging with it properly. For example, some platforms allow users to self-declare that they have completed a unit etc. If there is a risk of this, then there should be some checks introduced that would avoid this possibility
    • How does the Digital Badge issuer know that a student has completed the course?

Knowledge Badges require the following considerations:

Knowledge badges must be assessed - completion alone is not sufficient as this does not differentiate from attendance. To be awarded a knowledge badge:

  • The course details on the digital badge website should clearly explain how this course will be assessed
  • What is the pass rate or notion of success for each assessment (and for the course overall)
  • How is this monitored? How does the student demonstrate this?
  • It must be accepted that students might not pass and may need to repeat the course
  • If a student does not pass, but continues, can they be awarded an attendance badge?
  • If a student gains an attendance rather than a knowledge badge how might this impact the award of a super-badge?
  • Providers must provide the details of every unit of assessment for each course, indicating pass level

Knowledge Badge levels

  • Providers need to clearly indicate why a course is e.g. silver rather than bronze. This should include the level at which the training is aimed, in addition to the way that it is assessed
  • We would expect the higher level badges, especially gold, to mainly have e.g. exam-type assessment

Examples of the gateway badge alignment types applied to badges:

Example of the attendance level alignment applied to a badge Example of the community service level alignment applied to a badge Example of the self-assessed level knowledge alignment applied to a badge Example of the bronze level knowledge alignment applied to a badge Example of the silver level knowledge alignment applied to a badge Example of the gold level knowledge alignment applied to a badge Example of a Super badge

Please Note: The IoC badging panel will assess the knowledge badges submitted for consideration. Attendance, Community Service and Super badges may require panel assessment if they are not obviously related to an IoC theme and therefore require further approval.



Appendix

1. Example Badge JSON


{
    "@context": [
        "https://w3id.org/openbadges/v2",
        "https://w3id.org/blockcerts/v2"
    ],
    "type": "Assertion",
    "id": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/assertions/9b370317cba6157a05fd8cc14623cf111d4a205e6f29c409e9049b7f4fbb736b",
    "issuedon": "2019-09-05T10:57:46.609Z",
    "recipient": {
        "hashed": true,
        "identity": "sha256$20c7f9e90645f6fdf40b426bd974d6cf9d4a2c21baf9b415a6c9f87bc2b4e551",
        "type": "email",
        "salt": "iocbadges54937210087"
    },
    "recipientProfile": {
        "type": [
            "RecipientProfile",
            "Extension"
        ],
        "publicKey": "ecdsa-koblitz-pubkey:0x006a3c8cb1e094986875c2be424b1e42c73fa109"
    },
    "verification": {
        "type": [         "ERC721TokenVerification2018",
            "Extension"
        ],
        "publicKey": "ecdsa-koblitz-pubkey:0x00c9ae48683d786a54550255c2456c13930bfcc9"
    },
    "badge": {
        "@context": "https://w3id.org/openbadges/v2",
        "type": "BadgeClass",
        "id": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/848249e9b4ad012b0a1828eac3d7924d2ba5dbc9b624a74ae2917dc000df2b1e",
        "version": "2.0",
        "name": "Getting Started with Coding Bootcamp",
        "description": "This is a three day intensive coding bootcamp on the fundamentals of computer programming, taught using Processing (a dialect of Java). The bootcamp builds participants' programming skills by introducing core constructs - variables, conditionals, loops, basic data structures and functions - as well as the computational thinking necessary to create, debug and adapt simple arcade games.",
        "image": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/images/badges/qmu/qmu-ioc-badge-2019.png",
        "criteria": {
            "@context": "https://w3id.org/openbadges/v2",
            "type": "Criteria",
            "id": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/criteria/f07aadb67fecb9e3e7362d8166d75477497133aeaa181d64353d4c20f5b1a1b5",
            "narrative": "Participants must attend all 3 days to be awarded the digital badge."
        },
        "issuer": {
            "@context": "https://w3id.org/openbadges/v2",
            "type": "Issuer",
            "id": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/issuers/a539094e40e1602225cce1045998ec49659aa48097221abe71b8c15722f7a621",
            "name": "Test Issuer",
            "description": "A great Issuer",
            "url": "http://test.net",
            "email": "test@open.ac.uk",
            "telephone": "",
            "image": {
                "type": "ImageObject",
                "id": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/issuers/images/logos/litemaplogo.png"
            }
        },
        "endorsement": [
            {
                "@context": "https://w3id.org/openbadges/v2",
                "type": "Endorsement",
                "id": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/endorsements/5b0afeb52309684134bec000bfe7aa8f27de70e528034f0fc603b26e49208471",
                "issuedon": "2019-09-05T10:57:46.616Z",
                "issuer": {
                    "@context": "https://w3id.org/openbadges/v2",
                    "type": "Issuer",
                    "id": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/endorsers/7c63368edf5976dd9d8cc4eb5fbd4b245ef4cd0b3428ddac16a117cac2cf380a",
                    "name": "Institute of Coding",
                    "description": "Our mission is to break down barriers to digital learning and employment. We believe learning should be a lifelong process and that everyone has a right to improve their skills. We want to spread opportunity by offering access to education, providing what you need, when you need it, in a place you can reach.",
                    "url": "https://instituteofcoding.org/",
                    "email": "ioc-badges@open.ac.uk",
                    "telephone": "",
                    "image": {
                        "type": "ImageObject",
                        "id": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/images/logos/ioc-logo.png"
                    }
                },
                "claim": {
                    "id": "http://blockchain20.kmi.open.ac.uk/badges/848249e9b4ad012b0a1828eac3d7924d2ba5dbc9b624a74ae2917dc000df2b1e",
                    "endorsementComment": "The Institute of Coding endorse this badge and its issuer"
                }
            }
        ]
    },
    "signature": {
        "type": [
            "ERC721Token2018",
            "Extension"
        ],
        "targetHash": "844228454a67f0929b962a1bc8d9a50cd072c277fcff651ce24a8ffebacee7c0",
        "hashType": "Keccak-256",
        "canonicalizationAlgorithm": "URDNA2015",
        "tokenId": 10,
        "anchors": [
            {
                "sourceId": "0xa8f9ca0fe4e53cbc6858ab0af80f95b7f0b23df3",
                "type": "ETHData"
            }
        ]
    }
}