CyberCourse (Cyco for short) is a philosophy, set of methods, and open source software for improving university skills courses, like programming, statistics, and grammar. It is available for download at

A Cycourse is a course made using Cyco. Cycourses include hands-on exercises. They are typically construction exercises, where students write a program, analyse a data set, etc. The author of a Cycourse creates the exercises.

Authors create rubrics for each exercise. Human graders use rubrics to give students formative feedback. The grading interface uses “clickable rubrics” to make formative feedback practical at scale. As part of their assessment, graders decide whether students have completed the exercises.


     Let each Cycourse have its own badges, defined by the Cycourse’s author. Authors are the ones with domain expertise, so they are in the best position to decide what badges a Cycourse should offer.

     Cycourses are skill oriented by nature. They already contain many exercises, whereby students demonstrate their skills. It makes sense for authors to define badges by selecting sets of exercises that, if successfully completed, demonstrate student skills.

     The sophisticated Cyco grading system already asks graders to judge whether students have completed exercises. Their decisions should be the basis for awarding badges.

     Students should be able to link cycourse badges to an Open Badges backpack.


Cycourse author defines exercises

Does this seem a lot of effort to create a badge? It’s not. Exercises are created anyway, as part of the normal process of creating a Cycourse.
    Note: the demo at already has the exercises and page ( set up.


Cycourse author defines a badge


Student stores a badge into backpack

Note: if you want to use the Cyco demo to earn the badge, edit a student account to use your backpack email address. Log in as one of the students, and make the change. You should change the email address back to something fake when you are done. If you forget, your email address will be in the demo until it resets itself at midnight, EST.