The First XBlock that Allows Badges on Open edX is Released

IBL Studios Education released on this week the first Xblock that allows digital badges to be awarded from an online course using Open edX.

The IBL OpenBadges XBlock connects any Open edX code-based platform to any badge-issuing server, including the open source BadgeOne server.

This software has been developed by IBL Studios with conceptual and feature design by Lorena A. Barba and Michael Amigot as well as financial and technical support from edX.

It was used in Prof. Barba’s open online course “Practical Numerical Methods with Python”, which started on December 2014. General consultancy on the principles of open digital badges in education was provided by Prof. Daniel T. Hickey and his team at Indiana University during the fall of 2014.

These are the features:

  1. The badges can be awarded from a “Graded Sub-section” in a course in Open edX. The instructor sets the minimum score for the eligibility of the badge, and configures the badge component with the data of the badge service, badge ID, custom messages for the user, etc.
  2. Once it’s added to a Graded Sub-section, the open-badges XBlock will automatically check the user’s score in that sub-section (when the user enters the sub-section).
  3. While the user does not have a high-enough score for eligibility, the XBlock will display a custom message indicating that this is the case.
  4. Once the user has a high-enough score, the XBlock will reveal the badge image and the input fields to claim the badge.
  5. The user fills the claim form, entering URL fields providing evidence of her learning, etc.
  6. Once awarded, the badge becomes privately available in the user’s account on the badge service. The user then “claims” the badge to make it public (this is the normal operation of open-badge services.)

IBL OpenBadges XBlock is available for free download and installation at GitHub.