Recently we have had quite a few guests on Radio EDUtalk who have talked about or been interested in open badges1. As I’ve blogged about before I am not completely sold on badges for learning but I am interested enough to want to try them out is a small way. Unfortunately I don’t have any pupils to use a guinea pigs. I therefore though it might be worth a wee experiment on EDUtalk badges.

A little googling lead me to davelester/WPBadger, A lightweight badge issuing platform built using WordPress and I’ve installed the plugin at EDUtalk. After installing there are a few different additions to the dashboard:

  • In the settings there is a WPBadger Configuration section where you set up an email that will be sent when a badge is awarded.
  • The Badges section is where you create Badges, these look like custom posts. They contain a description and an image.
  • There is an Awards section where you award the badges by creating posts.

It took me a few attempts to get to a system that seems to work. I had to use the github.com version rather than the one in the wordpress plugin repository. I also made a few mistakes setting up badges, you need to limit the description string to long and then had single quotes in a description. Once I had changed that things began to work.

I’ve not tested the system to any great extent, Robert Drummond kindly helped, but it seems to work. I don’t think I’ll award badges willi-nilly to all our previous guests of contributors, but please get in touch if you have been a guest or contributed audio if you want me to send you a badge and help testing the system.

It looks as if setting up a badges system is pretty simple for teachers who have access to a wordpress blog they can install plugins in via FTP and pupils or learners with a mozilla backpack.

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