Projekt:Återkopplingssystemet 2014/In English

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This is a translation of the blogpost from august 2014.

Issuing open badges for Wikipedia skills in the Education Program

Issuing open badges to recognise the achievements and skills of educators and students who edit Wikipedia relies on how it is valued by the earner (and I guess the issuer), that is, there should be an incentive for earning the badge.  I expect the value proposition for such badges to look very different across cultural contexts, and its quite likely that they have to.

I have chosen to embed this system of open badges in the context of Unesco’s concept of Media and Information Literacy (MIL). Unesco puts MIL at the core of democratic processes and when teachers instruct students to edit Wikipedia, their students are empowered by having a voice in the public media landscape and also teachers foster “equitable access to information and knowledge”. On the part of students, their Wikipedia experiences allow them to understand media and how to critically evaluate content and participate in free knowledge sharing.

As yet, this is only an outline of a proposal for badge system design.

Open badges to recognise Wikipedia skills of students

“It [MIL] lies at the core of freedom of expression and information - since it empowers citizens to understand the functions of media and other information providers, to critically evaluate their content, and to make informed decisions as users and producer of information and media content.” UNESCO

Badge description: The earner of this badge has actively participated in creating and sharing free knowledge, by successfully contributed to Wikipedia as part of a classroom assignment.

Skills and knowledge: These badges are visualisations of the skills needed when composing and editing a Wikipedia article, and as badges they are also awarded as recognitions of these skills.

  1. Communication skills.
  2. Critical evaluation of sources.
  3. Media and information literacy.


  1. The student communicates their knowledge in a neutral point of view and in accordance with encyclopaedic genre.
  2. The student use reliable sources to reference their work with appropriate forms of citation.
  3. The student demonstrates media and information literacy by producing media content and promoting free knowledge.

Finally, the badges are only representations of these skills, and some pieces of evidence need to be determined as the indicators of these skills. I hope to make use of the “my course-page” extension for eliciting evidence for student badges.

Open badges to recognise Wikipedia skills and experience of educators

Badge for Educator with Wikipedia skills
Badge for Educator with Wikipedia skills

“Empowerment of people through Media and Information Literacy (MIL) is an important prerequisite for fostering equitable access to information and knowledge and promoting free, independent and pluralistic media and information systems”. UNESCO

For educators, issuing badges is a way of accrediting achievements and also break down a fairly extensive pedagogical process into manageable milestones and specific tasks, yet allowing enough room for educators to design assignment and assessment according to their syllabus and students. The educator has the pedagogical knowledge to bring curriculum and Wikipedia together, and I think that is the key to successfully integrating education with Wikipedia editing.  This is why I find the visual representations of the tasks helpful in communicating to educators what designing Wikipedia assignments to students are about. I also want the badge system to encourage educators to really get involved with the Wikipedia content as well as the open culture and understand its usefulness as a pedagogical tool, simply because I think they need to.

Badge description: The earner of this badge has the skills needed to use Wikipedia as a pedagogical tool, by connecting knowledge of the topic, pedagogical skills and media and information literacy.

Steps taken:

  1. Syllabus design
  2. Topic inventory
  3. Student feedback


  1. The Wikipedia-assignment is designed established with an established syllabus including a plan for instruction.
  2. A topic inventory of Wikipedia content is carried out, either individually by the educator or as a joint in class activity.
  3. Using Wikipedia as a tool for discussing and giving feedback, either in teacher-student or peer-to-peer.