From the point of view of an individual, the open badge system represents an opportunity to receive recognition for any kind of achievement whether it be gained through formal education, informal learning or even simple participation in an event or programme. Badge issuers can be any type of organisation (e.g. a school, a qualification body, a professional institution) and can set the achievement criteria for any badge they create. Once issued with a badge and individual can choose to display it and share it with the world any way they like – e.g. in their email signature, on their social media profiles, or in their Mozilla Backpack. So what’s so great about an open badge compared to a good-old paper certificate? Apart from the obvious advantages associated with it being digital, a distinct advantage is that of verifiability. The metadata that is an integral part of each open badge includes fully traceable and verifiable links to the issuing organisation who also have the power to rescind any badge they have awarded in the past – i.e. no more fibs on your CV as it’d be impossible to claim a qualification that you didn’t have! Another advantage of open badges is the ‘open’ part – it’s a completely open platform, not owned or controlled by any one organisation meaning that badges earned (should) stay your own, potentially forever, and are easy to move from one location to another, or between platforms as you wish – the individual retains control.

All in all open badges sound like a very good thing indeed!