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This project was submitted by an applicant to the Digital Media and Learning Competition.

Moodle as Issuer, Mahara as Displayer


Moodle as Issuer, Mahara as Displayer is a proposal for a grant as our focus is on open source infrastructure for broad-based usage.

A. Content Alignment

We will release early and often and would welcome collaboration with any of the content collaboration partners selected. We have a highly experienced team and adopt open source development methodologies.  develop we will collaborate extensively

B. Badges

Content – Our proposed project is content neutral and will work with any content.

Skills – Similarly any skills that are input into either Moodle or Totara for tracking will be supported with our solution. 

Discrete vs. dynamic. – One aspect of our interest is in accommodating recognition of continuing professional development (CPD) i.e. tracking ongoing performances.

Scarcity and granularity – In Moodle we aim to either modify and extend,  or alternatively implement a new module similar to current certificate module found in Moodle contrib. This will allows a user access to a badge once a set of specific criteria are met and this can be as granular as any gradebook item e.g. results of a quiz.

Qualifications – Again, our solution is neutral to any qualifications delivered via the Moodle LMS.

Role identity. What roles or identities will be represented by the badge or set of badges? How do the badges allow individuals to take on roles or build identity?

The solution will support levels.

Performance/Assessment – assessment options are a function of the LMS i.e. Moodle

Permanence – the option to expire a badge will be a necessary part of our solution for reasons of practising certificates for specific roles e.g. health professionals.  

Portability – Our interest is in developing Moodle permission checks, use the Mozilla Badge Baking API to generate the badge and return to the user (this will change once full support for badge generation is implemented). This will achieve portability and is why we wish to demonstrate the proof of concept with Mahara as the Display system. In addition, Moodle users will be able to display their badges in their Profile page.

Design – this will be fully configurable on the fly as per the current Certificate module.

Transparency/Meaning – we aim to focus on vocational training. The badges will have meaning through either the provider or through accredited credentialing bodies.

Protection – Verification will be facilitated by a code generated from Moodle that provides metadata using the JSON design for the “badge baking”. We note that the aim of open badges is to have a distributed ‘baking’ system and we see this as an integral role for the LMS.

Endorsement – this will happen in the context of credentialing bodies or recognisable organisations running Moodle. In particular, we also have interest in Mahara eportfolio providers establishing endorsement context for the display of badges.

C. Technology

There are three key areas where will develop functionality for the core releases of Moodle and Mahara respectively.

1.       Moodle Badges Module

We intend to redevelop and extend the current certificate module, enabling a user to receive a badge or certificate once a specific set of criteria are met. This can be as fine0grained as a single learning activity or at a higher level such as course or program. It could be as simple as attendance.  

Once the Moodle permission checks are complete, we will use the Mozilla Badge Baking API to generate the badge and return to the user. This will change once full support for badge generation is implemented, and this will then be a function of the Moodle Gradebook.

The module will need to generate the PNG file to provide the base image for the badge on the fly (using a PHP image generation library).

See for our starting point.

Badges will be displayed in the User Profile page.

2.        Displayer in Mahara

Given that we are the core developers of Mahara, we see this as a relatively easy component of the project. In addition, have a significant starting point with the ePortfolio API in Moodle. See

3.       Mahara Repository Plugin for Moodle

The other side of the coin is enabling a badge repository in your eportfolio to be displayed in the LMS – e.g. in a forum post for example. To achieve this, we will develop the long awaited repository API to demonstrate badge display in Moodle from an external repository source.

D. Team

The project team is led by Richard Wyles, who is uniquely qualified to design the optimal solutions across the two applications. Richard played an instrumental role in the growth of Moodle from 2004 to 2008 and now leads Totara Learning Solutions, providing a distro of Moodle to the corporate market worldwide.

In addition , Richard is the Project Lead of Mahara, the leading open source ePortfolio system . See

The development team will be predominantly sourced from Catalyst IT, the largest Moodle Partner globally, and lead developers of Mahara. See

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