Open badges

The Mozilla Open Badges project aims to make it easy for any organisation or learning community to issue, earn and display badges across the web. Learning opportunities are everywhere; learning happens online and in a traditional classroom environment.

Mozilla document the Open Badges project in their White Paper, Open Badges for Lifelong Learning, which was co-authored by Peer 2 Peer University and The MacArthur Foundation. The White Paper highlights learner scenarios, terms and definitions of badges, and explore the learning framework within the Open Badges environment. We explore how it works and identify key outcomes for leaners and organisations.

What is an Open badge?

A ‘digital badge’ is an online record of achievements, tracking the recipient’s communities of interaction that issued the badge and the work completed to get it. Digital badges can support connected learning environments by motivating learning and signalling achievement both within particular communities as well as across communities and institutions.

Open Badges is redefining how individuals get recognition for their skills and achievements outside the traditional learning environment. Mozilla’s intention is to create a digital learning ecosystem that is open enabling learners to improve their knowledge, skills and work opportunities.

An Open Badge gives the learner new skills, achievements, and ownership of their own professional and personal development.

How it works

Mozilla’s Open Badges framework and connected learning infrastructure awards learners their badges from different sources and communities. Learners collect badges in their Mozilla Open Badges backpack. The Badges backpack operates within the Mozilla infrastructure and supports its learning ecosystem. It allows the learner to display their badges across a number of sites sharing their achievements across resulting in employment opportunities.

Open Badges has three main roles:

The Earner

Anyone who wants to earn a badge; earning a badge means you have proven that you have the knowledge, ability from learning the skill.

The Issuer

The organisation creates the badge. They assess the skill, competency and achievement the learner must complete to earn the badge.

Identify key outcomes for 21st century

The trend towards Open access education is gaining momentum. According to Webopedia, open learning is defined as:

an approach to learning that gives students flexibility and choice over what, when, at what pace, where, and how they learn.

Many organisations and individuals have joined the Mozilla Open Badges community where they design and issue Open Badges. Their badges represent a variety of skills and competencies that the learner acquires from completing their curriculum.

Mozilla’s Open Badges is a pioneering education movement that is helping to create new learning opportunities for learners as well as empowering learners to develop new knowledge and build on their skills and experience.