Since we decided to implement Open Badges in our Moodle, I started to think at what course to design that could have been 100% online and students would get excited about. Having a conversation with the library about resources on referencing and plagiarism, I got the right idea.
I was going to design an Academic Writing Badge!
At Croydon College all HE students use the Turnitin plagiarism software and the number of FE departments switching to Turnitin is growing rapidly. This is pushing students in questioning more how to write academically, by using references and avoiding any occurrence of plagiarism – this is the perfect time to make the open badge a success!
The Learning Resource Centre team have been teaching referencing and plagiarism programs for a few years and I have teamed up with them to convert some of their content to an online format. Leading the project, I thought that from an instructional design point of view, would have been needed more for our students to make sure they had what needed to write an exceptional essay – which is why you would go through an academic writing course. I started to undertake some research and I found great resources about researching skills on the State Library of Victoria website. Few emails and a great Copyright team got me the right to use the resources in our Open Badge.
The idea was defined and the resources were there. I just wanted to put them together in a way that could appeal to students but at the same time have the official element of a qualification.
I decide to use Captivate to create the e-learning contents and to input them into Moodle as SCORMs so students' progress would have been tracked automatically and they could get the badge award when all the tasks assigned were accomplished.
To complete the academic writing badge, students had to go through three modules, each included a final assessment with roughly 10/15 questions. Students were asked to complete each module with a minimum of 80/85% depending on the complexity of the assessment.
I asked myself if I was setting this at an higher level than I initially thought, but with the rest of the team we identified that was important to maintain the value of the Open Badge and only be awarded upon recognition of an achievement.
I believe this to be a great start to our open badge launch year. Most will still need to come in refining the online course, but the feedback so far has been great. For example, teachers are adding the badge course link to students feedback when they feel the need in developing this skills.