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

S2R Badges

A. Content Alignment
This is a collaborator proposal by Radiowaves, based on DigitalMe’s Stage 1 proposal S2R Badges.

B. Badges

Content & Skills
S2R is a sports reporter training programme where young people learn to
create media, apply their skills in a professional situation and mentor others.

Our badge system recognises the range of competencies gained, and rewards attainment, in each of these three skill sets.

All the S2R badges are designed to reflect real-world transferable skills. Key ones are: social media creation, reporting, interviewing, editing, time management, collaboration, responsibility, motivation, mentoring others.

‘Community Achievement’ badges show the variety of hard and soft skills gained on the programme and are internal to our organisation.

‘S2R Medals’ reward higher skill levels achieved through developing these competencies and are named Journalist, Producer and Coach.

Each medal will have a Bronze, Sliver and Gold Level, for example: Silver Journalist, Bronze Coach. Gaining the S2R Medals will require students to attain relevant Community Achievement badges, alongside assessment by educators.

S2R Medals will be pushed out to the OBI.

A breakdown of content and skills is in the attached presentation.

The badge sets will represent discrete skills, with the S2R Medals representing an aggregation of those skills into a rounded portfolio.

Our system is granular through progression levels in Community Achievements and S2R Medals.

Community Achievement badges are internal and will not be pushed to the OBI. However, they will demonstrate progression towards S2R Medals.

S2R medals will be pushed to the OBI to demonstrate key milestones reached in students’ S2R learning journey.

Community Achievements such as submitting a story to S2R will be relatively easy for students, allowing a wide audience to participate then build their skills. These will not be pushed to the OBI and therefore will not require full registration with BroswerID.

Scarcity is maintained at higher levels to reflect much deeper learning and engagement. S2R Gold medals will only be achievable by students reporting from a live sports event. This activity can only be assessed by practitioners.

Levels & Qualifications
S2R Medals represent recognised skill sets in sports journalism skills:

The Journalist set shows core skills such as research, interviewing and editing.

The Producer set shows their successful application to a live working environment.

The Coach set shows the ability to pass on skills and mentor others.

In each set, learners progress from Bronze through Silver to Gold.

S2R Medals will have significant value to providers of further learning and to future employers.  S2R is already endorsed by media partners such as the BBC, who have recognised learners’ online S2R portfolios as part of successful applications to join BBC Apprenticeship schemes.

Through this badge system we will build upon this recognition to create significant value to providers of further education and future employers.

S2R Medals recognise the three main S2R roles - journalist, live reporter and peer mentor.

Students can pursue their strengths and interest in one of these roles, or develop skills in an unfamiliar or new role.

For example, a student may achieve a Gold in journalism whilst remaining at Bronze in coaching. Alternatively, they may aim for Silver in each set.

We want to offer flexible learning paths that reflect and support students’ needs,

S2R provides prestigious live reporting opportunities for students who have completed training. Badges will give us a clear system for allocating these opportunities. For example, bronze medalists will access local events, gold medalists national finals.

Badges will help with this access, by providing visible reassurance to event organisers that students attending will perform appropriately.

In additional to these live opportunities, we aim to provide additional online opportunities.

For example, ‘Senior Reporter’ is a special status that grants the ability to manage other students’ work and customise the site . To earn this privilege students must have achieved the Bronze Coach medal.

The criteria for achieving the badges will be a combination of:
  • quantitative, system-generated rewards
  • peer assessment
  • teacher/practitioner approval.
These three elements will create a scalable system to accommodate thousands of users whilst ensuring quality is maintained.

Peer assessment will create a sustainable ecosystem to support scale. We believe that peer education and peer mentoring are highly effective and wish to exploit this in the project.

Peer assessors will select which student work is accepted or sent back. They will have clear criteria and guidelines on providing feedback to help future improvement. Learners completing Medals can become assessors.

Live reporting can only be assessed by practitioners present at the activity, due to the complexity of skills demonstrated. Practitioners assessing Producer badges will have clear criteria and a rubric.

S2R Badges aim to represent demonstration of skills with transferable and long-term value, such as journalism and mentoring. We expect S2R medals to feature on CVs and college and job applications, giving them worth and durability.

As certain skills represented evolve, we will adapt and update badges.

Meaning and Portability
Whilst S2R Medals use sports journalism as a learning framework, they demonstrate skills which have direct relevance to any workplace or educational establishment.  

We will explore fast-tracking learners to roles and privileges in other programmes.  

As DigitalMe’s programme develops, with partners such as BBC and Nominet Trust, S2R Medals will have greater currency in a broader context.

Visuals and concept implementations are included in the attached presentation.

The badge design clearly represents role and skills domains (Journalist, Producer, Coach), levels (bronze, sliver, gold) and a sports theme through movement in the design.  

Full information on the specific skills represented, the evidence for them and the S2R approach will be included in the meta data and linked information pages.

Through external and peer assessment, the risk of gaming is effectively limited for S2R badges.

Moderators approve the work needed to gain badges, and work needed for higher levels must be assessed by a staff member or senior student. Only approved practitioners can award Medals.

The balance of automated achievements to enable scalability and peer assessment to ensure quality will be closely monitored.

Endorsement of S2R medals by third parties would add significant value but is not essential. S2R has strong links with media organisations such as the BBC and with sports clubs such as Manchester United. We will build on these relationships to endorse our badges.

C. Technology


We will use the existing Radiowaves platform to issue Community Achievement badges which would be managed and presented locally. Visitors to users’ profile pages will be able to see what badges a user has gained and how they got them.

The S2R Medals at Bronze, Silver and Gold will be managed and awarded locally through Radiowaves but also incorporated in the Open Badge Infrastructure and pushed to the OBI backpack for display on any relevant site. The metadata with these medals may include links back to the user’s profile page.

See the attached presentation for badges on Radiowaves and external sites via widgets.


S2R Medals will meet OBI specifications so they can fit in the broader ecosystem. We will also develop the Community Achievements to fit with the specifications where possible to enable them to be ‘upgraded’ at a later date following feedback from the community.


Radiowaves provides mobile app, an API, Facebook connect, Youtube style video embed code and RSS feeds for Moodle and Mahara. We would incorporate badges into these widgets where possible. Radiowaves is used extensively by learning centres to enhance their learning platforms - this project will build on this existing network and provide an excellent route for many new centres to participate in badging.

D. The Team/Expertise
We have extensive experience in designing, building and managing social media platforms for education. Our development team has a broad portfolio of skills with specific expertise in .NET, SQL, xHTML, JQuery and Javascript.

As well as developing our own platforms we have developed projects with PHP, JSP, Wordpress and Mahara. We have integrated 3rd party APIs from Google and Facebook and developed our own API.

We have a growing development knowledge of mobile apps in iOS and Android.

We have practical knowledge of setting up and managing cloud servers including edge caching, media encoding and streaming servers.

Combined with this technical knowledge the Radiowaves team has significant experience in developing learning programmes, with over 100,000 children and teachers across our platforms and with WWF, Oxfam, British Red Cross and ActionAid

We have a strong relationship with DigitalMe, supporting S2R from the start. We understand both the learning, social and technical vision for Open Badges and how this can be applied effectively to an online community.

We have won a national innovation award from leading education technology body BETT and are 2012 ICT company of the year.

We are passionate about education and technology, understand that good people make good projects and will allocate a senior team with the experience and enthusiasm to achieve success.

Please find more about Radiowaves in the attached document.





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