The success of the open badging ecosystem goes beyond the technical maintenance of the Open Badges Infrastructure and the ongoing stewardship of the Open Badge Specification. The Badge Alliance conducted several cycles of working groups from 2014-16.
The BA organized cycles of working groups, comprised of action-oriented teams of volunteers. Each working group focused on a specific topic and was chaired by an individual or organization leading efforts in the wider community. Members addressed key questions, issues, and opportunities facing the Open Badges ecosystem and infrastructure for documenting and credentialing learning.
When the Badge Alliance soft-launched at the Summit to Reconnect Learning, 10 initial working groups were formed to address some of the most crucial issues facing the broader infrastructure for the Open Badges ecosystem. These groups completed their first cycle in October 2014, delivering completed reports and survey data in their field. A second cycle in 2015 focused on delivering v1.1 of the Open Badges Specification, and a third cycle began in 2016 focused on the development of a v2.0 specification.
Currently, groups operate on a short-term basis as they’re needed, strive for broad representation across the globe, and are one of the primary means by which the Open Badges ecosystem work is advanced. Details on current and past working groups can be found here.
Active Working Groups
There are two currently active groups for the 2016 cycle. These groups hold active meetings and are producing deliverables scheduled for release at roadmap points in 2016.
Archived Working Groups
- Endorsement Working Group
- Infrastructure Working Group
- Messaging Working Group
- Research Working Group
- Open Badges Policy
- Taxonomies Working Group
- Cities & Network-wide Badge Systems Working Group
- Digital & Web Literacies Working Group
- Globalization, Localization & Badge the World Working Group
- Workforce & Acceptance by Employers Working Group
- Educator Professional Development Working Group
- Higher Ed Working Group
Operations and Communication Channels
Most working groups hold a conference call every other week, where the chair/cabinet gathers feedback from the participants on important proposals, plans, and deliverables related to the group’s goals. In between meetings, the broader working group community can weigh in on these and other issues asynchronously in the working group forums and mailing lists.
The weekly schedule of working group calls is available on the BA calendar. The chairs of all active working groups meet with the BA team to discuss overlaps and connections across working groups, as well as consider best practices and challenges facing the groups. Structure of Working Groups Each working group includes a:
- Chair - Representative of the organization leading the working group’s conversations.
- Cabinet (optional) - Individuals responsible for setting the group’s initial goals, strategy, and roadmap. Some working groups may not need a cabinet as this work may be done by the chair.
- Badge Alliance Liaison - Dedicated member of the BA team who works with the chair/cabinet to analyze feedback from the broader community, draft proposed plans, track the work, and recruit working group members from other organizations.
An individual Badge Alliance member or representative of a BA member organization serves as chair. With the assistance of the BA staff and other community members, the chair organizes synchronous meetings, sets the agenda, and pursues goals. The outcomes of Badge Alliance working groups are openly published for the benefit of the entire Open Badges community.