IBL Studios Issues an Open Source Badging Platform

Guest Post: James Willis | 06.19.2015

This post originally ran on the Re-Mediating Assessment Blog on June 19, 2015


IBL Studios Issues an Open Source Badging Platform

By James Willis

We worked with Michael Amigot at IBL Studios in a previous project to launch the first instance of open badges in Open edX in Lorena Barba’s Python MOOC at George Washington University. The code to issues badges is now available at GitHub as an open source tool for those interested in issuing their own Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI)-compliant badges. IBL designed this to be “[a] platform to award your own institution’s badges. The badges you create and earn with this server are compatible with the specifications of the OpenBadges project.”

The open badges community continues to grow through the development and implementation of open source software. What distinguishes IBL’s platform is that it is a fully-functioning, badge-issuing open source code that will work with multiple providers, including learning management systems.

It is fully OBI-compliant, multi-language, and tested across platforms. IBL premiered this server in recent MOOC work for the Spanish government. Cross-links are provided for Mozilla Open Badges Backpack and the Open Badges Technical Specification.

Mozilla Open Badges Backpack

Launched in mid-June, this badge server is fully open source so that any site administrator may implement the coding for free. The server is operable with Open edX or other providers so long as the following requirements are met:

  • PHP > 5.3.9 (php5-mysql, php5-json, php-gettext) (Recommended > php 5.4.0)
  • MySQL 5.x (PDO connections are used with php5)
  • Apache2.4 server (you could use Nginx; remember to configure the options properly)
  • mod_rewrite (to protect certain directories with .htaccess files)
  • Certain directories require write permissions (defined in installation process)

At the Open Badges in Higher Education project, we are happy to see these resources going forward for Open edX.  We are continuing to work with IBL and the Open edX community to help instructors and organizations issue open badges that are compliant with the Open Badge Infrastructure standards.

 James Willis, III is a research associate in the Center for Research on Learning and Technology at Indiana University. He has a PhD in comparative religion from King’s College London. His research interests include academic technology and learning assessment, human-machine ethics, and the digital humanities.

[ Update: BadgeOne.com – An Open-Source Badge Server, Operable With Open edX ]