Update: This will now take place at P2PU.org

Semester of Learning: Mozilla badges and assessment

At the Thinking Digital Conference 2011 Nicole Yershon, Director of Innovative Solutions at Ogilvy mentioned an idea that immediately struck a chord with me. The idea? Having a semester of learning. This, of course, is a term loosely borrowed from universities but the way Nicole described and applied it (before I drifted off into a reverie of what I could spend a semester learning about) was much more self-directed and informa.

I’d like to propose a collaborative semester of learning.

After being initially sceptical, I’m now super-excited about the revolutionary potential of Mozilla’s Open Badges project and I want to investigate it further. I want to go beyond the type of research I would do for a single blog post and go a lot more in depth.

I have a feeling some may wish to join me in this.

Mozilla’s project in a nutshell:

  • Today’s learning happens everywhere, not just in the classroom. But it’s often difficult to get credit for it.
  • Mozilla and Peer 2 Peer University are working to solve this problem by developing an Open Badges infrastructure.
  • Our system will make it easy for education providers, web sites and other organizations to issue badges that give public recognition and validation for specific skills and achievements.
  • And provide an easy way for learners to manage and display those badges across the web — on their personal web site or resume, social networking profiles, job sites or just about anywhere.
  • The result: Open Badges will help learners everywhere unlock career and educational opportunities, and regonize skills that traditional resumes and transcripts often leave out.

I’m proposing the following as a basic minimum for this semester of learning:

  1. It lasts about six weeks, from Saturday 13th August to the end of September.
  2. Participants pool their findings and have asynchronous discussions (location TBC)
  3. Synchronous discussions as and when required.

The whole thing would be very light-touch, completely interest-based and informal. We’ll experiment with approaches for badge-giving within communities both educational and otherwise and, well, generally just see how it goes.

So… you in? (let me know in the comments)