The difference between a free sticker and one open badge

Intention becomes significant when the actual drive is significant as well. You get what you put on board, at least, for intangibles. Children are a mirror of the love that they receive and give back no less than the same amount; pets like their families as much as they watch them and take care of them; lovers find in mutual care a nirvana; and foodies enjoy with the last chic creation from a weird chef as long as they put passion and imagination, equally divided. Of course, some exceptions would come: over-priced cooks, with toxic relations, harming owners with endless-loving animals; and estranged parents with disaffected kids. However, the ratio half-half is proven true in all these sort-of jiu-jitsu type of relations, where the strength of an opponent is compensated with the inertia of their partner in fight.

Informal panel about management with Belinda (ICDE), Asha (COL) and friends

Open Educational Resources (OER) look like a jiu-jitsu relation. The more that you put in, the more that you get back. Consumers are not silly, and they complain about low-quality courses, insufficient support, or pointless self-gloating content from a self-claimed guru, with little use. Last week, November the 3rd to the 6th, I attended the 28th ICDE World Congress, in Dublin, Ireland. 800 people concerned and spoiled by open education in multiples ways: resources, licenses, access, technology, etc. A common discussion put some stress on accreditation. As a recurrent karma, accreditation comes to every coffee-table discussion, now and then. And the bottom line is that open badges, in a proper way, could lead to an honest way to accredit some courses. The key question is who provides these badges and who vouches for them. Who is the regulator, or the accreditor, or the quality controller that can guarantee that one badge is valid, useful, acknowledged and significant enough. And a second question on the table: if there is any type of regulator, would not we implemented a parallel, and yet equally complex model to the one sustained by formal education?

Open Educational Resources (OER) look like a jiu-jitsu relation. The more that you put in, the more that you get back.

This is non-trivial question that will make the difference between a good badge and just another free sticker that any user can paste on their laptop’s cover once paid and delivered. If there is no regulation, the accreditation will be supported by the trust chain between the provider, the market and the user/consumer. If there is any type of regulation, we are just installing a new system, as a way to replace or complement the current one.
With Prof. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers (Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Karlsruhe) and Dr. James Brunton (Dublin City University)

I personally believe that the user is more owner of their competences, skills and achievements than any paralegal system, if this leans on any regulation, no matter supported for what. The contractor or the academic colleagues can validate the profile and make it accepted or not. A sort-of liberal approach transferred from the economic world to the educational system (e.g. ResearchGate). Because, what is the actual value of an accreditation that might be implemented for economic, free-spirit or alternative reasons? Will there be a third way once the second model becomes too large and little operational? When will these accreditation schemes stop? Which one will be more valid and why? I am not sure that competences, skills and performance can be properly measured and interwoven in any model, being formal, informal or non-formal. Even less that open education should follow the same accreditation stamp that the formal system. We should not try to replicate the formal system with an open, different one, but with the same drivers to produce a useful accreditation to the market or the peers based on third-party validators. If the system is created maybe the ground parameters should change too and they could look into behaviour, networking, active contribution to the community, reputation between peers, etc., and not just into content, delivery of academic activities or tasks grading. We require some progress, however not just to create a parallel, unconnected well, but for an integrative model amongst formal, non-formal and informal educational opportunities.

Dublin, Ireland
November, 2019

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