Inge Ignatia de WaardBy Inge Ignatia de Waard. Although developing informal badges are one of the key debates in MOOCs and online learning in general today, not all institutes belief it to be worth investing. Which is a pity, as open badges in a more 'formal' (if that is possible) way might allow people to really add credentials to their name and build up a reputation (even an expertise) from there. My first encounter with informal badges was through discussion forums where the more reputed, helpful participants got several stars next to their name, indicating their answers were worth reading. But as time went by those informal badges captured the attention of public, learning projects. One of which was the iSpot project, a UK start-up that started out as a mobile learning project to allow amateur as well as expert explorers of the wild natural environment to exchange notes, learn from each other and gain extra expertise. Read more...