What is an Open Badge?
Open Badges are connected, verifiable digital credentials represented by an image file that is shareable across the web. A “backpack” of earned badges showcase a more detailed picture of a person than a CV or résumé. It’s a constantly evolving picture of a person’s lifelong learning and expanding skill set. Open Badges are portable digital credentials containing metadata about the recipient including evidence of earning. The metadata contained within an Open Badge allows anyone to identify the issuing organization, view the badge standards, and verify and evaluate the learner’s achievements.
Open Badges and Digital Credentials 2.0
Open Badges 2.0 updates ensure that individuals have ownership and control of their learning data. The updated standard also increases trust by adding a 3rd party endorsement to a learner’s achievements. The introduction of endorsements means that badges issued to groups of people can now be endorsed by a respected and trusted 3rd party authority, providing further evidence to support an awarded achievement and adding to the value of digital credentials.
Previously, badge earners would need to provide additional context when sharing their achievement online by way of hyperlink URLs to external websites. The new standard, which includes the Embed Criteria and Embed Evidence features, will help digital credentials become more discoverable, as the criteria used to award them, and evidence of skill to earn them, become more machine readable. The new standard also ensures full portability, as the badge-associated metadata moves with the badge solving the broken link issues of the past.
Another new feature for badge issuers is the introduction of version control. This will allow for updates to be made to the badge framework and for these versions and their associated differences to be viewable.
Where Can I Share my Open Badges?
Badges can be shared on:
Blogs, websites, ePortfolios, and professional networks
Social media sites – Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn
Benefits of Open Badges
Open Badges put learners in control of how and where they share verifiable evidence of their skills and achievements with people, organizations, and social platforms. These digital credentials can be earned through a variety of experiences, regardless of your age or background. They can be used to build pathways to support individuals as they work towards learning goals, provide routes into employment and nurture and progress talent within organizations. It can give earners the opportunity to follow their interests and passion while documenting personal and professional growth. It becomes an alternative way for them to document and share their skills and achievements.
Badges are portable, widely recognized, and publicly available to easily share with current or future employers. They provide employers another way to identify talent based on competency and attitude, helping employers and educators better match individuals with non-traditional experiences to relevant opportunities.
Badges show evidence of rigor of the academic achievement through the inclusion of criteria, assessment details, learner’s evidence, alignment with external frameworks, accreditation details, and endorsements. They are based on an Open Specification which enables badges to be issued and transferred across the web and other digital exchanges, across different learning providers and across borders.
Badges can be a simple and effective way to motivate your employees, partners, and customers. Rewarding your most loyal advocates with credentials that showcase their expertise ultimately leads to happier customers, more renewals, and increased revenue.