Mar 192012

Rita Kop's near rant on badges and related trends to certify open learning (MITx, Coursera, etc.). I agree with her views and like the clear-cut way she says it :-). Here's an excerpt:

"Clearly, by awarding badges to open learning episods, for instance, you actually change them into closed courses. We already have lots and lots of those. So, why are people suddenly so obsessed with accreditation of open courses? It seems to me that at the moment the hype generated by MITx and Stanford around their 'open' courses and the idea by Mozilla to give boy scout awards to learners are at its heart, but in my view they do not only devalue Higher Education, and produce a two-tier system, one for the people who can afford the high fees who receive the 'quality learning experience' with all bells and whistles and human interaction and support, and the other people, who can't afford these and who get an open dehumanised, machine learning experience and apparently receive a token of appreciation in the form of a badge from the institution for their effort! All this as employers might value this second rate experience from a top-tier university more than a 'quality experience' from a not so top of the range university. The market in higher education at its best (:-( !!"

Dave Wiley posted a piece on why universities will be the biggest awarders of badges. I can see why he thinks this is the case. Educational Institutions are the ones that have for centuries been award…

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