Getting Started: Open Badge Factory

A growing number of solutions* are emerging for creating, issuing and managing Open Badges. At the moment, I've chosen to work primarily with Open Badge Factory at This page is designed to help newbies navigate Open Badge Factory.

This page is part of a collection exploring Open Badges for different audiences with a global perspective, but always looking for examples in Canada.

The shortcut to this page is:

*see a list on the Badge Alliance website:

Mozilla's Google Doc spreadsheet: Platforms for Issuing Badges or ere:

and/or this 2014 blog post: Want to issue open badges? Here are some options

Short Presentation

Introduction to Open Badge Factory

About Open Badge Factory

Open Badge Factory (OBF) is a cloud service from Discendum Oy of Finland. It can be found at

Why Open Badge Factory?

Open Badge Factory is a reliable and flexible badge management platform which has been specifically designed for the needs of education and training organizations. It supports European privacy standards.

Features and benefits

  • Simple, intuitive interface
  • Robust administration (e.g. Creator vs. Issuer roles)
  • Open API
  • Plugins for Moodle, TotaraLMS and Mahara ePortfolio (other plugins coming)
  • Detailed reports (stats for badges issued, accepted, viewed, earner ratings, etc.)
  • Badge templates, libraries, categories
  • Badge applications (i.e. apply for a badge using a form)
  • Milestone badges ("meta badges" made up of other badges)
  • Earner evidence can optionally be embedded in the badge
  • Coming:
    • A badge passport service to make receiving and displaying badges easier and more flexible
    • Multilingual badges
    • Translation of the interface to other languages
    • Community features: sharing and endorsement of badges

"Freemium" Costing Model

All features of the service are completely free for a 2-month trial period. After 2 months, Open Badge Factory offers 3 service levels: Free, Basic and Premium.

At the Free level you can access OBF's basic features and plugins, but you can only create one badge. This service level is convenient for developers who need to test their plugins or for organizations which need to issue only one badge.

The Basic level gives access to most features although some are blocked, such as milestone badges. There is a maximum of limit of ten different badges that can be issued. However, there is no limit on the number of times any badge can be issued. This service level is suitable for organizations with small badge systems.

Premium level customers have full access to all of OBF's features. Badges can be created and issued without any limitations. This level is suitable for larger organizations which want to create badge pathways and develop large, structured badge systems.

Find out more.


Getting Started

Earn your first badge

Complete this online application to earn a Learning Agents Open Badges Explorer badge. Once your application has been approved by a Learning Agent, you′ll receive an email message that will help you upload the badge to a free account on Open Badge Passport. If you don′t already have an account, you′ll be prompted to set one up.

You can export badges from your Open Badge Passport account to your Mozilla Backpack, if you have one.

Now you can earn badges from all organizations who support the Mozilla standard.

For example, you can also earn the Learning Agents Open Badges: Discerning Learner badge further down the page..


Display your badges

From Open Badge Passport via Pages

See video tutorial: Create a Page in Open Badge Passport (part of a series)

From Open Badge Passport to various social media

Use the SHARE function to share badges and pages  to LinkedIn, Twitter, GooglePlus, Facebook and Pinterest.

Directly from Your Mozilla Backpack

You can display your badges directly from your backpack by dragging them into a Collection folder, making that Collection public and clicking on the little "share" icon to get the URL. You should spend a bit of time editing your shared Collection page by adding a  title and comments on particular badges.

From Mozilla Backpack to LinkedIn

How To Display Your Open Badges on Your LinkedIn Profile from Mozilla Backpack

From an ePortfolio

This page is published from a Mahara ePortfolio, which has an optional displayer for Open Badges. See some badges displayed here: If you have a Mahara ePortfolio, pester your administrator to install the Open Badge Displayer.


Create and Issue Badges with Open Badge Factory

Request a pilot account

Go to and click on the "Sign up" button.

The piloting phase is January through December 2014 and use of the service is free of charge during this time. (There will almost certainly always be a free option, though likely with few or none of the reports.)

Log in and try it out

The interface is fairly intuitive and there is a fairly good Help page here:

PS: You'll need to supply your own badge graphic

Open Badge Factory does not provide an online badge graphic designer. They recommend you find a visual designer to make your badges more attractive and distinctive. Visual design is a big differentiator.

However, when you're just experimenting with something new, sometimes you just want to "throw something up there" to make sure you understand the process, or you might want to play with the various elements of a badge without having to be a visual designer. For those situations, here are some short term alternatives:

  • Make your own at one of these sites:
  • Use this incredibly ugly badge graphic:
    • In addition to being ugly, this badge graphic conforms to the requirements of being a 200x200 png file.
      (Right-click to download)

      Test badge

Ugly test badge in action

The badge below was used to test the addition of additional criteria when issuing the badge. This could optionally include links to evidence, certificate number, earner name etc.

(Click on the badge, then click on the criteria link)


Useful Links

Badge System Design Template
A useful tool developed by Carla Casilli at Mozilla (now Badge Alliance), this template will help designers start thinking through some of the prompts that need to be answered before building the system.

DigitalMe's Badge Canvas
Simplified one-page alternative to the above (but check both), used as a workshop tool.

Design Principle Documentation Project
Long (interim draft) report about what works and doesn't work, based on 30 case studies (5 in the draft).
Page 3 makes a great cheat sheet for the design principles, which will feed into your planning above
As an interesting alternative, the Design Principles Card Deck can be used as a workshop tool (each card is a Design Principle)

Onboarding information for Issuers, Displayers and Earners
By Sue Smith. Quite technical, but useful to understand more about how the technology works


Informal demo (playlist): Open Badge Factory

Informal demo (playlist): Open Badge Passport