When Pedagogy meets Technology: Implementing a Mozilla Badges Platform

Lafayette College’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures began working with badges as a means for assessing student work in 2012. They coupled rubrics-based evaluation inspired by Association of American Colleges & Universities’ VALUE rubrics (https://www.aacu.org/value-rubrics) with a tiered badge system. Badges recognize competency at a variety of levels and celebrate accomplishments across a host of intellectual domains.

Awarding these badges, however, was a manual process managed through a series of Google Forms. FLL partnered with Information Technology Services at ITS to create a badge-issuing platform based on Mozilla’s Open Badges framework.

The new process, piloted in Spring 2015, leverages a dedicated Moodle instance to collect evidence, review student work, and issue badges. Students publish their badges to Mozilla Backpack, and display them on their WordPress-powered Lafolio e-portfolios.

Join us for a rundown of lessons learned as professors and technologists grappled with each other’s jargon, found out what works (and doesn’t work) when adapting the process for Moodle, and workshopped the end product with students.

About the Presenters

Michelle Geoffrion-Vinci, Professor of Spanish, joined the Foreign Languages & Literatures faculty in September, 1998. A graduate of Wellesley College (A.B., cum laude, 1990) and Stanford University (M.A., 1993, Ph.D., 1998), Geoffrion-Vinci specializes in contemporary literature of Spain, applied linguistics, and language-teaching methodologies with emphasis on Spanish for Heritage Speakers. Her current areas of literary research interest include contemporary Hispanic poetries, Spanish women writers from 1800 to the present, and the contemporary Spanish novel. With respect to pedagogy, she is presently researching electronic portfolios for language-learning and assessment.

Kenneth Newquist is the Director of Web Applications Development at Lafayette College where he enjoys experimenting with new technologies and educating faculty about new jargon. His team is charged with managing the college’s various web applications, including Drupal, WordPress, and Moodle. He’s currently leading up the college’s web redesign project. Newquist served on the inaugural steering committee of the Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP) and is a long-time member of that group.

Mary Toulouse is the Director of the Foreign Language Resource Center at Lafayette College and an instructor of French. She has given numerous workshops and presentations nationally on the e-Portfolio and badges, including the 2013 AACU annual conference for college administrators. Along with Lafayette professors Geoffrion-Vinci and Lamb-Faffelberger, she is co author of the publication, Of Proficiency, Prochievement and (e)Portfolios: A Blueprint for Deep Language-Learning and Assessment. Mary Toulouse was recently named designer and site project manager for the e-Portfolio at the National Center for Advanced Language Proficiency, Education, and Research.