All about badges

(in 20 minutes or less)

Badges from licensed under Creative Commons

digital badge

an online representation of a skill or achievement

open badges

an open technical standard anyone can use to create, issue, and verify digital badges

Badge Alliance: Why Badges:

Mozilla Open Badges:

Imagine that...

  • your skills and competencies could be captured more granularly across different contexts (formal and informal)
  • evidence of your skills could be collected and associated with your online identity (blogs, eportfolios, websites)
  •  you could discover relevant opportunities and craft your own learning pathways based on your own interests, at your own pace


  • you could present a more complete picture of yourself to key stakeholders: employers, mentors, peers, collaborators



Bull, B. (2014, Sept. 4). 15 Reasons Why People are Using Digital Badges. Retrieved from:

Emerging research on primary functions

Intended practices for badge systems include:

  • Recognizing learning (that may not be otherwise visible)
  • Assessing learning (awarding credentials for achievement, often leveled or cumulative, often used with eportfolios)
  • Motivating learning (increase engagement, encourage participation, can be linked to privileges or reputation)
  • Studying learning (emerging research and evidence on the impact of digital badges on learning)

Design Principles Documentation Project:

How do you make them?

What are they made of?

* badge name

* description URL

* badge criteria

* badge image




* issuer

* date

* recipient

* alignment (standards)

* evidence URL

- a digital image

- with metadata "baked" in

Criticisms, challenges...

  • Extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation
  • Gamification skepticism
  • Trust, rigor, validity
  • Trivial, juvenile

Casilli, C. (2012). Mozilla Open Badges: building trust networks, creating value. Retrieved from:


Hickey, D. (2014, Aug. 5). Of Course Alfie Kohn Dislikes Open Digital Badges: Transcending a 40-Year Old Debate. Retrieved from:



Who's using them?

Showcasing Co-curricular:


  • Value proposition (why earn the badge?)
  • Who is it for?
  • What skills/behaviours does it represent or encourage?
  • Criteria (what do you need to do to earn it?)
  • Evidence (what artefacts or information?)
  • Who awards it?
  • Who endorses or recognizes it?
  • Will it be cumulative or part of a larger badge system?
  • Institutional policy implications?

Mozilla Badge System Design Worksheet:

Digital Me. Badge Canvas.


KPU's Badge Pilot

"I Cite My Sources"

KPU Library Online Plagiarism Tutorials:

Moodle badge link:

* Badge is displayed in students' Moodle profile ( & Mozilla backpack if they choose).



Meg Goodine (

Manager, Learning Technology

Teaching & Learning Commons

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

For more information about badges, visit the Reconnect Learning website


All about badges

By Meg Goodine

All about badges

Originally created for presentation to the KPU Student Services and Leadership team, March 17, 2015. Updated Dec. 1, 2016

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