Working Groups

The Badge Alliance has become part of IMS Global as of January 2017. The below descriptions of Badge Alliance activities from 2014-16 can show you some of the great things we learned along the way that led to this latest transition and the growing success of Open Badges.


The Badge Alliance works in Groups

Working Groups are action-oriented teams of volunteers working together to expand the open badges ecosystem and infrastructure for documenting and credentialing learning. Working group members meet regularly (typically biweekly by conference call) to define and achieve goals, develop and test hypotheses and working plans, and generate collective action. Groups operate on a short term basis as they are needed, strive for broad representation across the globe, and are one of the primary means by which open badges ecosystem work is advanced.

The Badge Alliance is framed on the Constellation Model of Collaborative Social Change, which supports multi-organization partnerships across complex networks. The Badge Alliance work is being done through a set of Working Groups comprised of individuals and organizations working together to address key questions, issues and opportunities facing the ecosystem.

When the Badge Alliance soft-launched at the Summit to Reconnect Learning in February 2014, ten initial working groups were formed to address some of the most crucial issues facing both the broader infrastructure for open badges, and the growing ecosystem as a whole. These groups set a foundation for the first work of the Badge Alliance. In 2015, the Standard Working Group developed the v1.1 Open Badges Specification out of the findings generated by the 2014 cycle. Leaders in the badges community identified and addressed timely community needs by starting a new cycle of the Higher Ed Working Group and starting the Taxonomy Working Group.

This page records key information, publications, contact information, and links to community spaces for each of the Badge Alliance working groups. past and present. Suggest a Working Group.

Working Groups with a Focus on Infrastructure

The success of the open badging ecosystem depends on a robust infrastructure, which includes and goes beyond the technical maintenance of the Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) and the ongoing stewardship of the Open Badge Standard. The Badge Alliance team works closely with select partners and community members to support and strengthen crucial elements of the infrastructure, including badges policy, messaging, research, and endorsement.

Working Groups with a Focus on Ecosystem

The broader open badging ecosystem encompasses all the different sectors and industries developing and implementing badge systems. These Working Groups are driven by community leaders in specific areas, including higher education, digital and web literacies, educator professional development, workforce, and citywide badge systems.

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Working Groups with a Focus on Infrastructure

Working Groups with a Focus on Ecosystem

Cities & Network-Wide Badge Systems

Building and connecting badge systems across cities and other networks. This working group will reflect the growing momentum of the Cities of Learning initiative and find ways to leverage badge systems across networks and cities to create a more connected, richer learning network for learners to tap into.

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Working Group Logistics and Operations

Each working group includes:
    Each group is proposed to the community by the Badge Alliance staff or community members. An individual Badge Alliance member or representative of a BA member organization serves as chair. With the assistance of BA staff and other members of the community, the chair organizes synchronous meetings, sets the agenda, and pursues goals within the group's problem space. The outcomes of Badge Alliance working groups are to be openly published for the benefit of the entire Open Badges community.
Discussion Forums and Community Calls
Most working groups hold a call every other week, where the Chair/Cabinet can gather feedback from the participants on important proposals, plans, and deliverables on 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 can be found on the calendar. The Chairs of all active working groups meet with the Badge Alliance team to discuss overlaps and connections across working groups, as well as consider best practices and challenges facing the groups.
Working Group Cycles
Working group actions are defined by two 'cycles' of six months per year. This framework will define terms for group leadership, and provide short-term deadlines for deliverables on the groups’ goals. The First Cycle ran from April to September 2014 and focused on establishing each working group and setting attainable goals for September. The Second Cycle began in July 2015 with the Standard and Higher Ed working groups and was joined in September by the kickoff of the Taxonomy working group. This is the current cycle.