Issuing Open Badges
Why issue Open Badges?
Open Badges provide a flexible way to recognize learning wherever it happens, in and out of formal education and the workplace. They can represent any achievement from simple participation to evidence-backed competency development.
By adopting the Open Badges Specification you are joining over 3,000 organizations across the world who believe in supporting a global Specification that enables individuals to capture and share the richer picture of who they are.
Benefits of issuing Open Badges:
- They can be used to recognize any kind of achievement in any setting, across the different stages of an individual’s life.
- They can be used to build pathways to support individuals to work towards learning goals, provide routes into employment and nurture and progress talent within oraganizations.
- 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.
- They have already been adopted widely across a range of sectors and are being used to recognize both accredited and non-accredited learning in formal, informal and non-formal settings.
- They provide a new way to identify talent based on competency and attitude, helping employers and educators better match individuals with non-traditional experiences to relevant opportunities.
- Open Badges support individuals for whom the traditional education system hasn’t worked. They provide an alternative way for them to get validation for their skills and achievements.
Issuing your own Open Badges
Any individual or organization can create an Issuer profile and begin defining and issuing Open Badges. Any entity that can be described with a name, description, URL, image, and email address is a possible candidate to become an Issuer. To issue Open Badges you need a technology platform that supports the Open Badges Specification.
Cloud based issuing platforms
Many companies have created badge issuing platforms compliant with the Open Badges Specification. They provide a wide range of services, which allow non-technical users issue Open Badges credentials. Platforms each offer a mix of custom services possibly including: online badge designers, badge discovery, issuing, assessment workflow, display, user profiles, social sharing and tools to integrate with existing learning systems. All Open Badges issuing platforms should allow recipients to export their badges to a Backpack of choice. This allows users to stack and share their badges earned on different platforms and choose their own spaces to establish their identity on the web. A current list of badge issuing platforms can be found here: IMS-certified Open Badges Platforms. Many platforms offer integrations with other applications or open APIs for new integrations. Some platforms are also available as open source software for issuers who wish to customize their badging applications further or get involved directly in collaborating to advance the implementation of Open Badges.
Creating a new Open Badges issuer application: The Open Badges Specification provides the information you need to create an Open Badges compliant issuer service. See also our technical guide on how to get started issuing badges to understand the process and requirements.
Designing Open Badges
The process of creating a badge typically involves three tasks:
- Offering a learning or other experience (often with an associated assessment)
- Creating a badge to represent that experience within the Open Badges framework
- Awarding the badge on successful completion of badge criteria
Many issuers provide pathways of related badges that each represent different aspects of the necessary skills or experiences important within a discipline. Whether or not your badge is part of a pathway of badges, you must design the activities, assessment process and staff responsibilities involved in implementing the learning program.
Badge System Design Resources
- Badge System Design Worksheet This Google spreadsheet prompts the system design owner to consider as many areas of a badge system as possible early on.
- Digitalme Badge Design Canvas This document, which features important aspects of badge creation and design, is intended to be printed and written on. The Badge Design Canvas seeks to simplify the process of developing a badge system by bringing it into the analog world.
- DPD Project: Design Principles Card Deck The DPD card deck was created by Nate Otto using the design principles from Dr. Daniel T. Hickey’s Design Principles Documentation Project, to which he contributed. It turns the building of a badge system into a game.
Who’s issuing Open Badges?
A diverse range of organizations and communities, including:
- Schools and universities
- Community and nonprofit organizations. Like the YMCA, 4H and Girl Guides
- Government agencies. Including NASA, the New York City Department of Education, the NOAA and more
- Libraries and museums. Like Cooper-Hewitt, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Dallas Museum of Art
- Event organizers and science fairs. Including Intel
- Companies and groups focused on professional development
- See our Participating Issuers page
Already issuing Open Badges?: Use these insignia on your site and link back to us -Contact us, and we will add you to the list of issuers.