CanCred Factory - Hosted in Canada by Canadians
- CanCred Factory, this Open Badge publishing platform, offered to organizations by subscription
- CanCred Passport, a complementary Open Badge storage and sharing platform, offered to individuals for free and to organizations by subscription
Learning Agents is the Canadian partner of Discendum, creators of Open Badge Factory and Open Badge Passport, which provides the technology for CanCred.ca. Discendum was established in 2001 and is now the leading educational technology company in Finland.
Learning Agents is an award-winning innovator of educational technology solutions for learning and career development, established in 2000. Recent clients include eCampus Ontario, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, LEARN Quebec, Red River College, Carleton University, Médecins san frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and the Federal Privy Council Office.
In 2013, Learning Agents received the PEARL award (Pursuit of Excellence in the Assessment and Recognition of prior Learning) from the Manitoba Prior Learning Assessment Network for its innovative work with ePortfolios. In 2016, Learning Agents co-authored and helped launch the Bologna Open Recognition Declaration, a global call for a universal open architecture for the recognition of lifelong and lifewide learning achievements.
The promise of Open Badges
Open Badges is an open technology standard for eCredentialing developed by the Mozilla Foundation to recognize, validate and demonstrate learning that happens anywhere. Open Badges are portable digital credentials, created and issued by organizations such as schools, vocational organizations, companies and employers for their students, members, staff, clients or partners.
Open Badges unlock a world of possibilities especially for the recognition and validation of informal and lifelong learning. The Open Badge eCredential standard is being adopted worldwide by a rapidly increasing number of organizations and learners.
Implementing a successful Open Badges strategy with CanCred Factory
CanCred Factory is an Open Badge management platform that provides a centralized and simplified environment for maintaining quality Open Badge systems. It’s a Canadian cloud based platform that provides the tools your organisation needs to implement and manage a meaningful, consistent and sustainable eCredentialing system that will build your reputation over time.
With CanCred Factory’s centralized management you can avoid fragmenting your eCredentialing strategy across multiple platforms. You can manage who in your organization is authorized to create badges and who is limited to issuing them. You can track the performance of your badges through detailed reports on the number issued, accepted, viewed, rated, etc.
CanCred Factory is now getting underway in Canada. We’re allied with Open Badge Factory, a global solution for Open Badges. Check out the Open Badge Factory success stories as we develop ours here in Canada.
Open Badge Factory will help you…
Become a trusted badge issuer
When an organization applies for an administrator account in CanCred Factory at the Premium level, we verify that it is a valid organization and that the person applying for the account belongs to that organization. Badge earners can trust the badges they receive because they are issued by a verified source (Please note: limited to Premium level and above).
Manage your badges
You can establish who in your organization is authorized to plan, design and create badges and who has the right to issue your badges. (Premium level and above) You can also delegate the issuing of your badges to other trusted organizations who use CanCred Factory.
You can manage all your badges in one place, and issue them in different systems (LMS, CRM, HR systems, etc.) using CanCred Factory’s issuer plugins. Organizations can also develop their own plugins easily using the Open API guide at Open Badge Factory.
Track the badges you issue and evaluate their impact
You can generate detailed reports about how your badges have been received, used, seen and ranked by your target groups. These reports help you evaluate the benefits of your badging strategy and improve it.
Share badges with other organizations
You can allow other trusted members in CanCred Factory’s online community to issue your badges or issue badges created by others. You can also collaborate with other community members in the development of wider badge ecosystems, such as for multi-level education and training networks at a regional or national level.
Engage and motivate your badge earners
For many users, receiving a badge into the Mozilla Backpack for the first time is not easy which can have a negative impact on acceptance of your badges. With CanCred Factory, your badge earners can easily receive their badges in CanCred Passport, our companion platform, which is free for end users. (They can also easily or direct them to Mozilla Backpack or download them.)
CanCred Passport is an open cloud service where badge earners can display and share their badges. They can use their badges to build Pages, or “micro-portfolios”, allowing them to include other evidence such as documents, images and videos. Earners can display their individual badges or Pages on social media, such as LinkedIn.
CanCred Passport is also an evolving online community that supports social interaction between badge earners, organizations and communities of practice.
Open Badges and Organizations
Open Badges and educational institutions
You may ask: are Open Badges needed in the academic world where expertise is displayed via official certificates and degrees? We ask: do degrees based on courses tell you enough about the real capabilities of students?
Open Badges do not compete with official certifications. They complement and enhance them to provide a more complete picture. Badges can make well-structured courses more obviously modular, visible and competency based, This improves an applicant’s chances on the job market by allowing them to highlight particular competencies that an employer may be seeking.
Formal education is officially recognized through diplomas, but people learn many other things at school. Open Badges enable recognition and acknowledgement of a person’s soft skills, such as social, teamwork and mediation abilities, acquired from positions of responsibility, club activities and other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in the institution.
Open Badges can also be used for formative purposes, such as gamifying campus orientation programs and promoting diversity, healthy lifestyles or traffic safety - but their focus is on the recognition and transferability of learning.
Professional Development for educators is an early growth area for Open Badges, particularly in digital literacy, ITC skills and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). Recognizing in-service training and other forms of CPD with Open Badge eCredentials is an engaging “Train the Trainer” success strategy for your badge system, as you value the learning of your educators.
Open Badges are an important building block for the Recogniton of Prior Learning (RPL), such as when a student returns to formal education. Learning acquired through formal education is relatively easy to acknowledge but recognizing experiential learning can be a challenge. Open Badges can help by mapping and sign-posting learning pathways based on mutually agreed-upon criteria which reflect learning objectives or outcomes. Badges enable authentic Recognition of Prior Learning, along with the identification of any learning gaps that the learner can address to achieve the goal, whether it be for credit, a job or a promotion.
Open Badges and Associations/Non-profits
An association or non-profit’s activities are transformed and streamlined with thoughtfully crafted Open Badge systems. Open Badges enable recognition and acknowledgement of members’ skills, knowledge and achievements. It’s also possible to encourage and recognize volunteer service with badges.
Work in this sector calls upon many skills that are acquired through informal learning and mentoring. These skills aren’t normally recognized in formal credentialing systems. Using the Open Badges standard as a modular framework, associations and non-profits can develop badge systems either by themselves or with partner organizations. In this way, they can recognize and acknowledge the knowledge and expertise of their workforce and also make the value of their work more visible to the broader public.
Open Badges and workplace learning
Open Badges offer the same possibilities for workplace and work-related learning as for educational institutions and associations. In-service trainers make their courses and their resulting competencies more visible. Both employers and employees benefit from the badges that are earned. Working with badges, employers can assess the benefits of training, assemble teams for projects and manage rising talent. Employees can use badges to demonstrate their skills and knowledge for when applying for jobs or career advancement.
For workplace learning providers, Open Badges make the excellence of their development offerings more transparent to their customers. Fixed-term badges can certify time-sensitive competencies in areas such as technology, health and workplace safety. Badge expiry becomes the signal for a training refresher. Innovative companies can use them for customer support and as a marketing strategy for product training - this strategy is known as External Enterprise Learning.