Open Thinkering


Tag: project

Code of Conduct for

Pixel art running shoe with speech bubble

Last week I was thinking about a Fediverse instance focused on fitness/exercise. I’m pleased to say that, with the help of Matti at Spacebear OÜ, I’ve set up a Pixelfed instance at

Registrations are currently closed, and I’ve asked for potential testers to kick the tyres and establish some norms. Before I do that, I want to ensure there’s v0.1 of a Code of Conduct established. If you’re interested, I’d like your assistance.

>>> Click here <<< for an etherpad with a draft Code of Conduct. Please follow the instructions at the top of the pad if you’d like to contribute!

Temporary logo for the purposes of illustration created by DALL-E 2

Wanted: a simple 3-step Open Badges platform to generate claim codes and issue badges

Today I’ve been frustrated by Open Badges issuing platforms. Instead of getting philosophical about it, or bemoaning the state of the world (as I usually would!) I’ve decided to be more practical. If you’re a developer, I’m hoping this might tempt you into a side project…

That’s because, while I haven’t got the skills to create a badge issuing platform myself, I do know what it is that I and other people want. I’ve been in and around badges for the past 11 years, and I know Open Recognition can only flourish if it’s easy to issue and earn badges by claiming them.

Today, in my case, it was related to people completing activities as part of the email-based courses that WAO offer. But there are many other use cases.

I’m sure there’s other things that need to be in the mix, such as CAPTCHA codes, to prevent spam, and a simple admin interface. However, at its core, this is a really simple process.

Step 1: enter claim code

Mockup of screen showing text-entry box with a 'Go!' button. The prompt is "Got a claim code? Great! Enter it below"

Below the box is a link: "What's a claim code?"

As badge claimant, I want to be presented with an extremely simple box in which to paste a claim code I’ve copied from an email, chat message, or somewhere on the web.

(if I’ve come to this page by accident, or don’t recognise the term ‘claim code’ I want a link/tooltip to show me what this means)

Step 2: fill in essential details

A form asking for the applicants name, email address and evidence in support of their submission for the 'Innovator' badge

On the next screen, all I want to do is to fill in a form to tell the platform my name and email address. I then want the ability to enter words in a text box and/or upload a file providing evidence in support of my application.

Note that I’m not creating an account here. The badge issuing platform literally issues badges to the email address I’ve entered, if my submission is approved.

(if I don’t know what is meant by ‘evidence’ or what is required then I want to be able to click on a question mark icon for a link/tooltip to explain this )

Step 3: confirmation of submission

A confirmation screen confirming tha the submission has been received.

Once I’ve submitted my name, email address, and evidence, I want confirmation that the platform has received my application, and what will happen next. That’s it. Done.

There we go! This would require some kind of admin interface on the backend, but for an MVP this could literally be a spreadsheet. Who’s going to give this a try as a side project and make the world a better place? Here’s the Open Badges v2.1 specification if I can tempt anyone…

Come and get involved with the MoodleNet community!

TL;DR: I’m leading a new project called MoodleNet that is currently described as “a new open social media platform for educators, focussed on professional development and open content”.

I don’t know about you, but I like getting involved with projects on the ‘ground floor’, so to speak. Figuring things out excites me, as does taking a bunch of possibilities and figuring out a way forward. It’s with this in mind that I’d like to invite you to get involved with a new project I’m leading: MoodleNet.

MoodleNet ecosystem

It’s really early days and, in fact, we’re still figuring out what MoodleNet actually is. Suffice to say that Martin Dougiamas, Founder and CEO of Moodle, sold me on it enough that I’ve agreed to spend four days per week on it from January 2018. One way he’s described it is as, “a new open social media platform for educators, focussed on professional development and open content”. Sounds good to me!

If you’ve been involved in any of the work I’ve helped establish before, such as Open Badges or the Web Literacy Map, then I want you to know that you’re very welcome as part of this new project I’m leading. So are those who are entirely new to this way of working! As you’d expect, we’ll be working entirely in the open, making progress with a combination of community input, business priorities, and decisions taken by Moodle HQ.

Job one is to write a white paper that helps tell the story of what MoodleNet could be. I loved the approach Erin Knight took with the original Open Badges for Lifelong Learning working paper, where she explained how badges could help in various scenarios. I need help in defining those scenarios for MoodleNet .

No matter whether you’ve got ten minutes, ten hours, or ten days to contribute to the MoodleNet project, your time and experience is valued. I’d love it if you could check out the work so far, introduce yourself in the MoodleNet forums, and perhaps help out with white paper. Thank you in advance!

Some people may wonder what  taking on this new role as MoodleNet Lead means for my consultancy business, Dynamic Skillset — and for the co-operative I co-founded, We Are Open.

This opportunity to lead an open-source project that could help so many educators and learners was too good to pass up! I’ve really enjoyed full-time consultancy with a range of clients, but it’s time to get my teeth into something longer-term.

Given that I’ll be working four days per week with Moodle, I still have scope for additional consultancy and working through the co-op. Feel free to get in touch as usual! It’s just that now my time will just be even more precious than usual, and I’ll have to lean on my co-op colleagues to a greater degree.