Five Years of Progress in Open Credentials

In 2011, Mozilla created Open Badges with funding from the MacArthur Foundation and a network of partners committed to developing a new way to recognize and connect learning any time, any place, and any pace. Since then a growing community of contributors has driven the Open Badges movement.

Over the past five years, open credentials or digital badges have gained momentum as a way to capture and demonstrate knowledge and achievement. Through these efforts, badges have gained widespread interest and adoption by policy, technology, and education stakeholders. Open Badges are re-imagining ways to recognize learning beyond formal credentialing systems.

Funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation, Promising Practices of Open Credentials: Five Years of Progress, is a compilation of case studies focused on out-of-school learning, K–12 schools, higher education and workforce badging initiatives and lessons learned about designing and implementing open badging systems.

We want to hear from you — What valuable lessons are you learning? Where would you like to see Open Badges going in the next five years?

In the meantime, next steps for the Open Badges technical specification include widespread market development and adoption. IMS Global Learning Consortium will manage the evolution of the Open Badges technical specification, which defines the technical requirements for what a badge must represent for both issuers and earners. As an open-governance, member-based standards consortium, IMS Global has deep experience with Open Badges and the expertise to lead the evolution of the specification, and also drive the adoption and portability of badges. The aim is to create a global skills currency based on the Open Badges Specification, under the leadership of IMS members with the support of the Open Badges community. More information on how to contribute to the development of Open Badges technical specification can be found here.

In addition, Digitalme has carried out important updates to the Mozilla Backpack to maintain an open source, inter-operable option for individuals to store, share and move their badges between platforms.