Digital Open Badges



Open digital badges is a standard to recognise and verify learning and achievements. They are digital micro-credentials that may represent identity, interests, competences and achievements across the web.

Mozilla Foundation introduced Open Badges Infrastructure in 2011 as a new shared technical standard to help recognise skills and achievements. Badges that are compliant with Mozilla Open Badges standard follow the technical protocols that specify the requirements for badge image, metadata, badge issuing and storage.

Charachteristics of Open Badges

Open digital badges is a new online standard to recognise learning and achievements. Compared to other traditional credentials, such as certificates, diplomas or degrees, open digital badges introduce new characteristics:

  • Flexible

Open digital badges can be used in a variety of learning and working contexts, both online and offline, to motivate, recognise and verify any type of achievements.

  • Granual

Open digital badges act as micro-credentials. They visualise learning paths, show progress, specify achievements. Badges can be organised in groups according categories.

  • Evidence-based

Open digital badges have possibility to embed any type of evidence to verify learning and achievements claimed by the badge earner. Badge evidence enables ePortfolio solutions.

  • Verified

Open digital badges may include self-assessment, peer review or issuer assessment options. Badge issuer decides on the type of assessment to verify badge achievement and evidence.

  • Sharable

Open digital badges are easy to share anywhere on the web. Badge earners can share their achievements on social networks, blogs, ePortfolios and add badge links to CV.

  • Transferable

Open digital badges can be downloaded and imported to other platforms that uses the same Open Badges technical standard. Badge metadata is automatically loaded and displayed.

Open Badge Metadata

Open digital badges capture essential information about learning and achievements by storing this metadata inside the badge image. If made public, this information can be accessed and viewed by anyone. Verified issuing organisation and attached evidence by badge earner improve the credibility of badges.

Open Badges standard specifies the required and optional information to be included in the badge image metadata:

  • Required: Badge name, description and criteria

  • Optional: Evidence, standards, tags

Badge issuer ID, badge earner ID and badge issuing time is added during the badge issuing moment.

  • Badge earner is identified through an email address.

  • Badge name recalls the content of a skill or achievement in few words.

  • Description provides with the details of achievement: describes the context, specifies the achievement, refers to completed tasks, explains the assessment procedures. How to write a good badge description?

  • Criteria tell about the tasks set by badge issuer and completed by badge earner to qualify for a specific badge.

  • Issuer maybe an organisation, company, institution or private person that issues a badge to recognise learning and achievements.

  • Evidence is an optional but very much encouraged data to enrich and backup the claim for specific achievement. It can be of variety of formats: text input, file upload, image, video, badge code or even another badge.

Open digital badges can have other extensions, such as standard, endorsement, that will be added on Badgecraft platform in the future.

How to write a good badge description?

Badge description tells the badge viewer about the specific learning and achievement that this badge represents. When providing details about the competence or achievement, you may include the following:

  • Context of the achievement. Where did specific learning happen? When did achievement was unlocked?

  • Description of the achievement. What new knowledge, skills and/or change of attitudes/behaviours did happen as a result of learning? What kind of specific achievement was reached?

  • Tasks completed. What did badge earner complete/demonstrate in order to qualify for this badge? What roles or activities did badge earner undertake? What evidence did badge earner submit to claim this achievement?

  • Assessment procedures. Which assessment procedures were in place to verify the badge achievement and evidence? Who was involved and how was the assessment carried out?

Tips to consider when describing badge achievement:

  • How will others, outside of your context will comprehend achievement represented by a badge? Badges will be viewed by diverse audiences: badge earners, future employers, formal education staff, others.

  • What style of writing is common/acceptable for the context(s) where a badge will be used/viewed? Playful badge descriptions can motivate learners but may be taken less seriously in more formal contexts. It is good to test samples with targeted audiences.

  • Who does verify the badge achievement and evidence? Badge description can be written from the first-person’s perspective when the badge achievement and evidence are self-assessed by a badge earner. When badges are issued by staff, then the third-person’s perspective can be used to describe earner’s achievements.

  • How long is not too long? Badges will be displayed on the web, it is good to have badge description that tells just enough information to understand the achievement and its context.

  • Humans vs. machines. Badge metadata is machine-readable. This means that badge information may be discovered by search algorithms and filtered accordingly.