Monday, August 20, 2012

Webmaker Badges


We’re gonna launch some Webmaker badges at MozFest and some more next year. They will include a variety of badge types and some awesome assessment. Get ready world.

====LRIYW; (Longer, read if you want version)====

We’re building a Mozilla Webmaker badge system - eventually feeding into a larger Mozilla badge system. As I mentioned in my last roadmappin’ post, this is our number one priority from now through MozFest. And it’s WAY more than designing some pretty images, its the skills, assessments, technology, metadata and learning content as well. It’s all underway and here are some of the details, pulled from a presentation I gave on the Webmaker call last Tuesday**.


I think it’s important to explicitly talk about the why or the goals behind the badges. Not only is that important for justifying and explaining why badges are a huge priority for us, but it can also help inform some of our decisions about the types of badges to include, what’s in scope/out of scope, etc.

  • Badges = disrupting a monopoly and putting the control back into the individuals’ hands…it’s what Mozilla does.
  • Defining / driving a Webmaker experience.
    • tying together tools and experiences
    • defining potential learning webmaking pathways
    • defining an architecture of participation and contribution
  • Building fun into the Webmaker experience.
  • Recognizing and tracking learning.
  • Building and formalizing community.
  • Scaling our stuff beyond ourselves.


With those goals in mind, the following is the current set of badges, assessments and tools (types, touchpoints and technology) planned for the first iteration of our badge system.

  • Skill (I can ____, I know ____)
    • mini (I can hyperlink)
    • cumulative (I know HTML Basics)
  • Achievement (I made a _____)
    • mini (I made a webpage)
    • cumulative (I am a webmaker)
  • Participation (I attended an event)
  • Contribution (I hosted an event, I created a project, I added code)




*NOTE: because we are starting with a very small set of explicit ‘hard’ skills, we are awarding the cumulative based on accumulation of the mini badges. Moving forward, we want to expand to a much broader set of skills, including softer skills. We know that moving to a peer assessment model will be very important for adding more review, evidence and mentorship behind the badges. Look for peer review to come early next year. We’ll be asking for your help on designing an effective peer assessment system.







the badges constellations available by the end of this year below.

NOTE: we are still working through the possibilities with Popcorn so there may be another set of skill badges: mini and cumulative reflecting those skills and that learning either in the first iteration or shortly thereafter.


So how are we going to make all of this happen? (answer: very quickly, but more specifically:) 


We are building OpenBadger (OBr), a lightweight badge issuing tool that, despite being lightweight, will do most of the heavy lifting. Specifically, OBr will handle:

  • Badge creation and metadata definition
  • Badge issuing
  • Connection to the OBI

Tool/Site Integrations

In addition, we will be doing some tool and site integration:

  • Building embedded assessments into Thimble and Popcorn
  • Building calls out to OBr within Thimble and Popcorn. For example, when someone clicks publish, issue this badge, etc.


As I mentioned above, we are pushing towards MozFest for an initial release, but we are already thinking about the follow-up releases and where we ultimately want to get to. So the roll out looks something like this (although everything is subject to change and wide open for comments/suggestions). More detail on the follow up releases to come in separate posts.


  • November 9-12 in London - don’t miss it!)
  • All of the above, first iteration of the badge system

March 2013

  • More badges and skills covered
  • Peer assessment 

Summer 2013

  • Levels
  • Pathways (including non-Mozilla options)
  • Dashboard, goal-setting, portfolios


So that’s the current plan. We would love feedback and suggestions on how to improve the first iteration of the badge system, as well as ideas for the follow-up releases. Let us know!


**Full presentation from Tuesday’s call

***Also, see posts from Jess and Chloe for more details.


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