The Open Badges are based on the Mozilla Foundation’s open standard and have been maintained by the IMS Global Learning Consortium since 2017. They are not a specific product or platform, but a type of digital badge that is verifiable, portable, and packed with information about skills and achievements. Open Badge is a digital picture, which contains metadata that informs who has issued the badge to whom and on what basis as well as a digital way to show one’s expertise regardless of time and place.
Open badges are
- open and free: open badges are developed with the help of free software and an open technical standard which can be used by anyone to create, issue and verify open digital badges
- transferable: open badges can be collected from multiple sources, online and offline, into a single repository in order to display hard and soft skills and achievements on Learning Management Systems, social or professional networking platforms, digital portfolios, résumés, personal websites etc.
- stackable: whether they are issued by one organization or many, open badges can build upon each other and be stacked to represent the full story of an individual’s skills and achievements
- evidence-based: each open badge contains important metadata, which is hard-coded into the badge image file itself that links back to the issuer, criteria and verifying evidence
Educational institutions at all levels, professional development organizations, libraries and museums, nonprofit organizations, companies and government agencies can use open badges for motivation: open badges can drive the acquisition of knowledge and skills by encouraging individuals to continuously engage with materials and activities to achieve intended learning outcomes and can serve as a way to visualize the learning trajectory and for recognition and credentialing: open badges are a sort of credentials showcasing authentic evidence of knowledge, competences and achievements.
Open badges enable individual advancement on learner’s study paths and knowledge base. In order to develop the learner’s interest and commitment, learning material and learning environments should be readily available to learners in an inspiring form. At best, the learner’s self-directedness can be increased by using digital tools and using intrinsic elements as inspiration for knowledge accumulation. At the same time, it is possible to identify formal, informal and non-formal skills.
In ToVET project, we have created 16 badges to complement all eight key competences for lifelong learning that the Council for European Union has recommended in the 2018 framework.
The badges are divided into different categories depending on their content and nature. Some are regarded as so-called prerequisite badges and are meant to be achieved before applying for the other badges.
The so-called Meta Badges are collective badges combined of two or more content badges. These Meta Badges are automatically distributed to an individual who has successfully gained all content badges belonging to it.
The structure of the Open Badges for Key competences for lifelong learning created by the ToVET project consortium.