Open Recognition and Its Enemies

Serge Ravet, Learning Futures, Sept 18, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This five-part series has one of the worst opening paragraphs ever, and is quite loosely written throughout. Ultimately it addresses the issue of formal recognition of open badges. It's a frustrating read (stick to the point Serge!) but the author makes some good arguments worthy of consideration. Here are the parts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five. Serge Ravet (who should consider putting his name on his blog somewhere) points to the tension in the idea of open badges conferring formal recognition on informal learning. The idea of formal recognition should be contrasted with informal recognition. Only the latter captures the intent of informal learning. Formal recognition, by contrast, leads to such things as quality standards for badges, which ultimately would limit the cadre of badge issuers to a small set of recognized institutions. But instead of formally accrediting badge issuers, Ravet argues that issuers should be endorsed informally. The core question here is: what does it mean to formally recognize informal learning, and can this be done without undermining inform al learning, or casting it (and evaluating it) by the standards of formal learning?

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