What is an Open Badge?

An increasingly popular means of recognising, rewarding and publicising achievements, skills and knowledge.

Open Badges are like a scout badge, but not a scout badge.

Open badges are…

  • “a new online standard to recognize and verify learning”- Mozilla Open Badges
  • earned from multiple sources and collected in a single backpack
  • stackable, allowing earners to build a rich digital identity
  • displayed across social networking profiles, websites and more
  • issued by many organisations in H.E. and industry
  • full of information, linking back to the issuer, criteria and verifying evidence

They contain…

Graphic: digital image (600 x 600 px)

Description: details what the badge is awarding

Criteria: defines what has to be evidence to earn the badge

Evidence: verifies how the earner has met the criteria to be awarded the badge

How can I use it?

  • Build your students’ professional digital identity beyond Higher Education
  • Help learners shape a full picture of their skills and achievements
  • Reward extra-curricular learning and achievement
  • Verify practical skills and informal learning
  • Scaffold progressive learning and skills acquisition
  • Complement existing assessments with extra-curricular badges

How could it benefit?

  • Engage learners with extra-curricular opportunities for learning new skills
  • Evidence of learning and achievement is carried with the Open Badge, unlike traditional accreditation systems
  • Open Badges form a mosaic of an individual learner’s skills and interests
  • Learners can curate which badges are displayed where across online profiles and websites to form a bespoke, agile online identity

For a print friendly PDF of this post click here.

Tip! Check out Open Badge Academy’s library of badges to see how other people are using Open Badges!


If you have any comments about how this guide can be improved, or would like to see other resources, let us know!

Web: dmll.org.uk/projects/open-badges/

Twitter: @disrupt_learn