Open Badges are online credentials that take the form of a digital icon. They may be referred to as digital badges, but the two terms are not quite synonymous: digital badges usually stay within the website where they were issued, while Open Badges can be shared openly across websites or social media pages.
Open Badges and Evidence
Information relating to the earning of the badge appears when the badge is clicked in order to ensure that Open Badges are interpreted correctly when removed from the context in which they were issued,. This information is called badge metadata, and it is important because it allows people outside the badging program to understand what was required to earn the badge. Badge metadata may include:
- the date the badge was issued
- the name of the issuer
- the name of the earner
- what the earner had to do to earn the badge
- a hyperlink to work produced in the process of earning the badge.
Open Badges and Sharing
By virtue of being openly shared, badges allow earners to tell a verifiable story about themselves via their collection of badges. It means that employers, startups, and volunteer organizations can find people with specific skills. And by enabling people to make their skills visible, badges can facilitate the formation of new networks based on shared skills and interests.
In post-secondary institutions, badges are being used to recognize specific skills acquired within a classroom. Compared to other credentials issued by a post-secondary institution, such as a degree or a diploma, badges are more specific in indicating the nature of the accomplishment.
The Growth of Open Badges
To read a history of open badges and how they became a part of education environments, read "A Brief History of Badges."