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We’ve gone ahead and announced BadgeKit, we’ve shared the common verbs that drove our brainstorm around its definition and we’ve kicked off conversations with many folks in the community for feedback on our thinking. 

Having done this sort of wide and open brainstorm around BadgeKit, we’re now trying to reign things in a bit and get clear and concrete around a definition of the beta version of the product, i.e. the MVP, the minimum viable product, that we’d like to get to by March 2014. 

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The verbs that drove us to the initial thinking of BadgeKit served us well but we needed to brings things down a level closer to the reality of the user experience.

So an exercise we did was to think through a complete end to end user experience we wanted to enable. That user experience is captured in the following steps. [This is also documented in our BadgeKit github repo wiki.] 

1. We want an issuer to visually design the badges and define the criteria for earning them. 

  • The issuer should be able to visually design badges. 
  • The issuer should be able to define the metadata aligned with the open badges standard. 
  • This includes the criteria page outlining the requirements for earning the badge. 
  • This includes defining evidence required for earning the badge. 

n.b. Keep in mind that badge designing can be done on a number of existing platforms including Makebadges, Achievery, openbadges.me, and many more.  

2. Learners can then apply for the badge by submitting evidence and their e-mail address  - on a splash site for DML

  • After the badge has been designed and defined and made available to earn, learners should be able to apply for that badge. 
  • Badges built on other badge design platforms should be easily importable and made available to earn. 
  • The learner should be able to go to some site, say the Digital Media & Learning conference site, and see all earnable badges created by various issuers from step 1. 
  • The learner should be able to see all the information behind the badge including criteria information. 
  • The learner should be able to apply for that badge by submitting appropriate evidence and email address. 
  • The learner should receive a notification confirming they have applied for that badge. 
  • The badge application should go to an assessor review queue awaiting assessor review. 

3. Mentors or peers can review the badge applications against the criteria. 
Once criteria is met, the badge will be issued to them via email.

  • Submitted badge applications need to be reviewed and assessed based on defined criteria. 
  • Designated mentors with permissions or peers, aka assessors, should be able to go to some site, and see all the badge applications that they are allowed to assess. 
  • Assessor should be able to click on a badge application and review it against the provided rubric. 
  • Assessor should be able to provide feedback to the badge applicant. 
  • Assessor should be able to grant or deny a badge. 
  • Badge applicant should be notified that they have earned a badge or not earned a badge. 

4. Recipient accepts the badge and sends it to their backpack - badge acceptance flow from email

  • Badge applicant, when provided with notification about the badge status, should be able to act on the information provided in that email. 
  • Badge applicant, when notified, should have access to the feedback provided by the assessor. 
  • Badge applicant, when awarded a badge, should be able to send the badge to their backpack. 
  • Badge applicant, when denied a badge, should be able to reapply for the badge.  


5. They share their badge on their [Facebook or even LinkedIn hey!] profile.

  • Badge earner should be able to easily share out their badge to their Facebook profile page from their backpack. 
  • Viewers of the badge on the Facebook profile should be able to see all metadata embedded within the badge. 


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Sound simple enough? The good news is we have a lot of the pieces in place already to drive this experience. But there’s plenty of room for improvement. We’ve built many of these component pieces while building CSOL, but we want to make the experience better, smoother, faster, and more seamless. 

In our initial brainstorm, we had a laundry list of things we wanted to include as part of BadgeKit. But thinking through what we wanted to deliver for beta, we felt like rather than introducing dozens of new half-baked features, we wanted to build something, while seemingly narrow in scope, really really well. So our MVP delivery will be gut checked by the above steps. We’ll make sure we do a kick ass job with enabling a fluid user experience outlined above and keep you all in the community apprised of each step.