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 Open Badges Community. Badge System Design:

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

Institute for Innovation & Scholarship in Teaching & Learning (INSTL)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

For more information about badges, visit the Reconnect Learning website


Made with