Update on Badging with Webmentions

As #EDU522 Digital Teaching and Learning Too wraps up I find myself reflecting on my goals for the class…I mean “my goals” in the class not the hopes on the instructional design. Much more on that later.

All summer, well before EDU 522 began, I set off to create a remixable template others could use in course design. The goal was simple HTML and instructional design. I knew this would be the subjective I chose in the class for my learning project.

As part of edu522 I explored adding a badging system to the class. While I do not have a deployable badging webmention badging platform yet I was able to get to a proof of concept.

Webmention Badge Flow

First I developed a learning activity on a static site that could receive webmentions.

Learners would then have to send a “reply post” to the assignment containing a link back to evidence that met the criteria.

In this example Cooper Kean shared his reflections on the digital detox project.

I then set up an account on webmentions.io to track when these replies come in. This creates “a ledger” of sorts.

I then created an individual badge to send back to Cooper. This obviously isn’t scalable I can’t make a new html file for each badge I issue but this project really came down to proof of concept.

Then using the webmention endpoint on Cooper’s blog I sent him the badge as a webmention.

In this screenshot you see the webmention entry page which you can find on any webmention enabled WordPress site at /wp-json/webmention/1.0/endpoint

I then entered the badge as the source url and the link to Cooper’s application as the target url.

I sent the webmention and it was successful. Cooper can now decide how and when he wants to display the webmention.

You can see an example of a webmention badge as a comment on Cheri’s page.

The final step was to throw the badge into a microformats parse to see what data would be available for machines and people to consume. The results are here

You can see I get the links to the application, a list of the criteria, links to the original assignment and links to the learner’s evidence.

Next Steps

The proof of concepts works. You can easily use webmentions and microformats to issue badges.

Course Template

I want to build a way to issue and receive badges in my remixable course template. I tried to spin up an Heoku app but ran into authentication issues and I then tried Ruby but ran into cert issues installing gems.

Teaching #edu522 in three weeks while also writing a 1.4 million dollar IES grant..I couldn’t dedicate the time I needed to learn how to build either app.

I did start playing with the form fields that would be needed for a student badge application. Will also need a badge creation form. I can’t spin up one html file per learner per badge forever.


I need to pull in the learner’s name from the h-card on their site some how. That will obviously be important information to parse. I also would like the criteria and evidence to be a property but there are no micoformats for this yet….

Moving Forward

By the time I leave IndieWebCamp NYC I want to have a remixable course template as a static site that piggybacks off of a platform to create and issue webmention badges.

I need to do another reflective post on the instructional design choices I made in #edu522, but teaching with different post kinds and webmentions was awesome. There are many ways to embed assessment so learning and not measuring learning stays the goal of the class.

If you have any interest in exploring different technologies for badging beyond the #OpenBadges 2.0 standard join us and let’s build together.

Featured Image: Nerd Merit Badges shipment flickr photo by hyperdashery shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

6 responses on “Update on Badging with Webmentions”


  • Chris Aldrich

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