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Chronicle Article: “Mooc Mania.” Badges and Alternate Credentialing

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013

October 1st, 2012

An article in the Chronicle today, Oct. 1, 2012, confirms, in case you were wondering, that the MOOC and badges movement (or "mania”) continues unabated.

According to the article -- -- written by Katherine Mangan – "led by some of the nation's most prestigious research universities, new players are signing on each month to teach free, online courses that have drawn tens of thousands of students worldwide.”

I have written a couple of blogs about the advent of alternative learning opportunities and the challenge of credentialing learning out of sight of teachers or mentors and outside of a standard curriculum. The popular answer is badges and certificates. My question is, Where do you put those badges and certificates and how do you show evidence of their value?

In a recent article I published in Campus Technology -- -- I mentioned that a number of eportfolio providers are strategizing about how to incorporate badges and certificates into eportfolios. They are also looking at the "DIY learner” who may or may not be affiliated with a learning institution.

It would seem that the burgeoning trend toward alternate learning, either within or without institutions, should be ideal for eportfolios. Yet, as in the article, and others about MOOCs and badges and certificates, no author mentions eportfolios. How do we get the word out? It seems those pushing MOOCs and badges have a problem – credibility – and we in the eportfolio community have the answer. How to let them know?

With Randall Rode of Yale, I’m co-leading a NERCOMP workshop on "Alternative Credentialing: Badges and ePortfolios” on November 1. See: Join us if you are interested. This is one effort to get the word out that the eportfolio movement and the MOOCs-badges-certificates movement are on parallel tracks but should be on the same track. How can we do more?

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