Overview: Open Badges

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Page Index

Overview: Open Badges

Open Badges for Training and Professional Development

Open Badges for Training and Professional Development

Open Badges for Higher Education

Open Badges for Higher Education

Getting Started: Open Badge Factory

Getting Started: Open Badge Factory

Schools and Youth

Schools and Youth

Open Badges, ePortfolios and Co-Curricular Records

Open Badges, ePortfolios and Co-Curricular Records

Badge Challenge: Discerning Learner

Badge Challenge: Discerning Learner

Open Badges - Other Resources

Open Badges - Other Resources

Open Badges for Humanitarian Learning and Development

Open Badges for Humanitarian Learning and Development

Open Badges for Humanitarian Learning and Development

Open Badges for Humanitarian Learning and Development

Badge Intros (playlist)

Open Badges as Certification

Mozilla wiki
Links and big graphic

Disrupting the Diploma
2013 LinkedIn article by Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman of LInkedIn and Member of the Board of Mozilla Corporation

Ditch the resume and pick up a badge, they're not just for Boy Scouts
2013 Globe and Mail Article

The Promise of Digital Badges for Career and Technical Education
Article by the Director of NOCTI, which delivers a battery of assessments or Standardized tests for students studying career and technical programs in high schools and technical colleges in the United States. (source: Wikipedia)

Digital Badges as part of Credentialing’s Future
White paper by the Professional Exam Service.
ProExam Digital Micro-Credential Incorporates Software Secure's Remote Proctoring Technology

"Open Badges Are Unlocking the Emerging Jobs Economy"
White paper by Pearson, intended to promote their Acclaim Open Badges.

Infosecurity- ISACA Launches Digital Badges for Credential Verification 
Powered by Pearson Acclaim

Purdue Nursing faculty and students implement Passport
Using Purdue's Passport platform

New digital innovation badges recognize outstanding students
George Brown College

The Canadian Digital Badges Initiative
...an effort to increase awareness of the Mozilla Open Badges Framework, and demonstrate how it could benefit various stakeholders in training, training tracking and certification / accreditation.
So far: Alberta Construction Safety Association, Danatec Educational Services Ltd., Yardstick Software Inc.

SQA investigates opportunities with Mozilla's Open Badges
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is Scotland's national awarding and accreditation body.
Further discussion by Joe Wilson, Head of New Ventures at SQA, in his blog
...Within the national context we believe that Open Badges have the potential to: accredit significant small steps in a learner’s journey from informal learning to formal certification,  offer recognition for the achievement of single competencies and outcomes,  provide recognition for chunks of learning or performance smaller than would normally be recognised in national certification and national credit rating systems and that badges can  be used towards accreditation of prior learning where appropriate.


Open Badges

What are Open Badges?

Submitted for an Open Badge Awareness badge, part of the #OB101 course from the Think Out Loud Club, operating out of City&Guilds in the UK.



Open Badges are portable digital credentials based on a standard established by Mozilla Foundation in 2011. An Open Badge is a graphic (PNG or SVG) file with embedded metadata which describes the credentials with a standardized set of fields: badge name, description, criteria, issuer, evidence (optional), date issued, date of expiry (optional), standards (optional) and tags (optional).

Because Open Badges are based on a standard, they are a portable subset of digital badges, which are often proprietary and follow no standard, developed within platforms as a form of internal gamification. The Khan Academy badge system is an example of proprietary digital badges.

When we say the Open Badges are portable, we mean that they can be exchanged and displayed over networks between systems that follow the standard. This means that they can enable learners to curate and demonstrate the learning that they have been achieving across their lives.

For example:

  • A high school student may be able to demonstrate citizenship or leadership skills using Open Badges from an after school program curated in an eportfolio that they are using to challenge for university entrance or a scholarship
  • A PSE student making the transition to graduate school may use Open Badges from Co-Curricular activities to demonstrate skills such as exemplary communication or an aptitude for helping others
  • A job candidate may use Open Badges from a workplace readiness program to demonstrate that they exceed the minimum level of functional skills needed for a particular job
  • A professional may use Open badges from a wide variety of activities to demonstrate Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Open Badges may be issued manually or algorithmically. Currently, they are consumed manually, but the technology is evolving quickly, and the time is coming soon when computer systems will be able to search and report on them. As this happens, they will become the “competency currency” for skills networks and smart communities.


Examples of Open Badges

Click on the badges below to see what they certify. It's a simple as that...


Open Badges 101 is an open course sponsored by the ThinkOutLoud Club at City & Guilds. The Open Badges Awareness badge was earned by enhancing previous work (these pages) with new text in the column to the left.


Continuous Learning (Conferences)

Learning Agents

Open Badges Directory

The Directory is a storage and retrieval system for Open Badges and an open source community project of the Directory Working Group in coordination with the Badge Alliance.



Tracking Open Badges in the Wild

Flipboard: Badge Chat
Hosted by Noah Geisel of #BadgeChatK12 with other collaborators

Mickie Rops Facebook page
Has been tracking micro-credentials since about November 2015

Mickie Rops Scoopit: MIcro-credentials

Places to Earn Open Badges

Not comprehensive! A living collection...

Northstar Digital Literacy Project

Adult learning and literacy initiative in Minnesota. Proctored or public online earning of badges.

Barclays Digital Driving Licence

Free program with topics developed with experts such as Accenture, IBM and Microsoft. Endorsed by City & Guilds, "to create a digital savvy society".


Choose a badge, then click 'Take' to have a go at earning it, or 'Share' to invite your class to take part.

Mozilla Wiki: Badges/Issuers

Not all of these are public...will be winnowing this

Open Badges 101

Developed by the Think Out Loud Club for City & Guilds. In this short course you'll get a chance to:

  • Learn what Open Badges are and how they work
  • Earn badges to show your increasing knowledge and skills
  • Discover how to get started issuing your own badges

NB: not yet completed...looking for crowd-sourced help.

Open Badge Academy

Planned to be launched by DiigtalMe in September 2015.
The OBA library will be made up of employer-endorsed badges created by national and international companies.

P2PU: Peer to Peer University

P2PU is a grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. P2PU creates a model for lifelong learning alongside traditional formal higher education. Leveraging the internet and educational materials openly available online, P2PU enables high-quality low-cost education opportunities.

Penn State: Badges

...for iStudy Tutorials
iStudy tutorials are available in the following categories to help students succeed in school, in life, and on the job!
Study Skills, Life Skills, Career Skills
OER, not sure if you can earn badges from the Penn State version, but you can badge it yourself if you have SoftChalk

Boys and Girls Club of Canada Badge Centre

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada’s Badge Centre is an interactive space where anyone can earn badges that demonstrate interests, skills and achievements. Through badges, we’re providing online opportunities for the recognition of lifelong learning.

Open University UK: OpenLearn

As of July 2015, 7 courses are free and badged:

  1. Taking your first steps into higher education
    What is university study like? Is it for me? If you are asking yourself these questions, this course is for you.
  2. Succeed with learning
    Help to answer questions such as What do I want to do with my life? Would I cope with studying at university?
  3. Succeed in the workplace
    Do you want to change jobs, are you just starting in the job market or may be returning after a break?
  4. Succeed with maths – Part 1
    If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short course is for you.
  5. Succeed with maths – Part 2
    Part 2 of this course will continue to develop your mathematical knowledge and skills using everyday examples.
  6. English: Skills for learning
    Thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to develop your English reading and writing skills?
  7. Facilitating learning in practice
    Are you interested in mentorship or looking to develop your mentorship skills?


Global humanitarian learning environment, free to end users (registration needed), which has recently adopted Open Badges. Early badges include:

  • Humanitarian Starter Pack

    Humanitarian Principles, Standards & Coordination
    Course: Humanitarianism, Part 1 - Applying Key Principles
    Course: Humanitarianism, Part 2 - Applying Key Standards
    Video: Humanitarian standards in context - Bringing the Sphere Handbook to life
    Resource: Building a better response (BBR)
    Course: Different Needs - Equal Opportunities

    Personal Safety & Wellness
    Course: Travel Safety and Personal Security - Part 1
    Course: Travel Safety and Personal Security - Part 2
    Course: Wellness Briefing

Code School

NB: $29USD monthly subscription, but free level available for elementary badges, such as:

Big Data University

Big Data University has been chosen by IBM as one of the issuers of badges as part of the IBM Open Badge program. Search courses with the keyword badges. Other providers and programs are also available on the IBM Open Badge program page.

EMMA, the European Multiple MOOC Aggregator

Many MOOCs provide badges to be earned, but it's not clear how many do so on this site...


Sample Backpack Collections

Don Presant - Continuous Learning (Conferences)

Deb Baff, Open Educational Resources and Practice Project Manager,UK

Isabelle Delisle, CÉGEPs à distance, QC

Kate Coleman, Open Badge advocate

"My Public Badges"

"My Badges"

My #teachtheweb badges @cynthiajabar

Steve Polyak

Ajay Kumar Jogawath
Mozilla Reps, Webmaker Super Mentor, Open Source Evangelist

Chris Lawrence (Hive Vancouver)

Daniel Macho
Ruby and RoR

Mario Pizzi "Particularly Helpful Moodler"

My Badges About Badges
I have earned these learning about badges

Federal Government Worker

Humanitarian Worker