Kineo, the leader in learning technologies and co-owner of Totara LMS, is pleased to announce that the platform has become the very first Learning Management System to support Mozilla’s new Open Badges.
The new functionality is just one exciting part of the innovation-packed version 2.4 release of Totara.
Kineo is very excited about Open Badges, which are a major development in how evidence of learning competency is earned and awarded. The Open Badges open source project is run by the Mozilla Foundation. Its aim is to provide a better way of enabling learners to ‘tell the whole story of their skills’ and was called one of the new technologies to watch by Harvard Business Review. Support for Open Badges has been developed for Totara LMS and Moodle, so both will benefit from the new functionality.
Open Badges are portable and verifiable, and can be issued by any organisation, such as an employer or institute. They contain data about the issuer, the standard of competency, expiry dates (if relevant) and what the learner did to earn the badge (e.g. test scores, project work). Akin in spirit to Project Tin Can, the focus is on evidence of competency.
Learners can display their Open Badges in many places – via a learning record in the LMS for example, but also through social media channels such as LinkedIn. Thus badges can change how talent is identified and managed, and provide the learner and the employer with an objective and accurate ‘story of their skills’.
It is a concept that links strongly with the LMS, where much evidence and completion of learning is recorded. With a development roadmap led by Kineo and focused on innovation, Totara 2.4 is the first LMS to build in a mechanism for issuing and managing Open Badges.
Totara LMS is a custom distribution of Moodle for the enterprise. Over 200 organisations have adopted Totara and gained the benefits of a feature-rich, open source LMS designed for the needs of large employers. Totara customers include Sony Europe, Vodafone Ireland, Cable & Wireless, City & Guilds, and many New Zealand government departments.
In addition to Open Badges, Totara 2.4 introduces a number of further enhancements including:
- Evidence tabs for learning plans
- Multiple learning plan templates
- Collaboration features to support joint working on online projects
- Improvements to the face-to-face module
- Enhancements to the HR synchronisation module
- Improvements to the report builder, and
- Incorporates the benefits of new features in Moodle 2.3 and Moodle 2.4
Richard Wyles, CEO of Totara Learning Solutions explains, “The world needs this innovation. Modern economies are concerned about skill gaps at the same time as having entrenched unemployment. Totara 2.4 is a game-changer and Open Badges herald an exciting future. As well as the education environment, employers will soon be issuing badges, and we believe some badges will gain recognition quickly because merit from credible organisations has currency. By integrating new badge functionality into Totara, educators and employers now have access to practical low-cost solutions which recognise and reward learners with more precision, flexibility and portability.”
Sven Laux, Technical Director of Kineo and Product Director for Totara LMS commented: “Open Badges are a disruptive and different approach to evidence and rewarding learning, so we’re particularly excited about this innovation becoming part of Totara. As part of the City & Guilds Group, we have an increased focus on efficient awarding and accreditation for learners, and the Open Badges initiative is closely tied to our strategy here.”
Kineo has designed and delivered over 100 open source Moodle and Totara LMS solutions for its clients including Tesco, M&S, Nike, Nikon and many more. Find out how Kineo can transform your LMS experience and arrange a demo or email firstname.lastname@example.org.