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Get to Know Badges

Familiarize yourself with badges, peer assessment, and the OBI.


Badges are a lightweight, engaging way to recognize learning. At P2PU, we've pioneered the use of badges as assessment. Check out our published paper on the subject. Our badge model even scaled for a pilot of 500 learners with our Webmaking 101 Challenge. We've won grants for our badge program, to boot.

But how do badges actually work? How can you make one?

Say you’re designing a Challenge at P2PU. Or as a learner you notice a skill that’s not currently captured by P2PU’s suite of badges. Check 'em out:

You’d like to make a badge yourself. OK, sweet.


The badge creation process has just a few steps. In this Challenge, we will walk you through them.

1.) Identify Skills: what are you assessing?

2.) Select and Design Assessment: who is awarding badge and how?

3.) Create Graphics: what does the badge look like?

4.) Community Review and Implementation: how does the magic happen?


Your Task.

In the comments section below, introduce yourself. How did you learn about badges? What specifically do you need help with? 

I am a librarian at a middle school, and I just read an article about using badges in the library which had a lot of helpful links to get started, the link to p2pu being one. In my state we have book award lists where students read a certain number from the list and then vote for their favorite. The book receiving the most votes wins that award and is recognized as the winner in all K-12 schools for that year. I'd like to create a badge for students who qualify to vote. There are four lists with each one created to appeal to a certain age group. Because I have a wide range of readers, my students have the opportunity to read enough to qualify to vote for more than one list. I'd like to create several badges for this library event. One badge for each list they qualify for, and a special badge if they read every book on a list, and another badge if they read enough from each list to be eligible to vote in all three of the lists I promote. One list is strictly for lower elementary students, so I don't promote that one. I do keep very close track of student progress. Every time they read one of the books, take an online quiz about it, and earn a certain score on the quiz, I give them a sticker which they put on a poster in the library. Once they have read the required number of books, we have a "voting party" and all who are eligible particpate in the party and vote for their favorite book. I'd like to reward them at the end of that with a badge that they would place on their online school profile.

Task Discussion

  • v4lent1na said:

    Hi, I'm sofiastella. I learned about badges reading an article on the web long ago.

    Then I did a bit of research on my own and I landed here at P2PU.

    For now, I just wish to learn more about badges and how they work.

    I've no particular project of my own, since I'm still a student and I'm still learning myself.

    on Sept. 8, 2013, 8:04 a.m.
  • Leo Kindon said:


    My name is Leo. I became interested in Digital Badges after doing some basic research on methods for rewarding students for the extra work that they do both inside the classroom and outside the classroom. 

    I hope to design a Digital Badge program for the school at which I teach,

    I need to learn all that I can about promoting, creating and awading digital badges.

    Any help that anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated. 


    on July 5, 2013, 9:44 a.m.
  • Joel said:

    Hi, Joel here


    ALready familiar with badges


    Planning to set up P2P course and award my own badges through my consultacy work.



    on June 7, 2013, 6:45 a.m.
  • John Martin, aka EdVentures said:


    My name is John Martin, although you may find me in various regions of the 'Net as EdVentures. I've been playing around with badges a bit since last summer when I started listening into the public work sessions through Mozilla, but have recently started pushing harder as I now have a reason to issue my own badges, and I have a few clients and edugeeks who are looking to do the same. 

    I've actually created my first badge and set it up for issuance on my website



    My focus is going to be on creating an effective structure and continuum for badging as it applies to the workshops and learning environments that I create and facilitate.

    on May 29, 2013, 10:44 a.m.
  • NateSavery said:

    Hi there,


    I'm Nate.  I'm interested in communication, technology, and communication technology.  I've recently started to do some research about badges, and I'm interested in the potential of this 'movement' to change credentialing and as one step toward building a user-centered, bottom-up ecology and value system online.  I look forward to learning more about badges and to getting a more in-depth look at the P2PU platform and user experience in the process!

    on May 22, 2013, 4:30 p.m.
  • mixmaxmin said:

    Hello all,

    I'm Max, I see lots of potential for badges to be used in professional development which is an area I work in. I am interested in understanding how to make badges and deploy them so they can be awarded through a peer assessment model as done here.

    on April 26, 2013, 11:01 p.m.

    John Martin, aka EdVentures said:

    Hi Max,

    What area(s) of professional development are you involved in? How might you envison badges being utilized in your work?

    John Martin

    on May 29, 2013, 10:33 a.m. in reply to mixmaxmin
  • mose said:

    heya all,

    When I was kid playing at D&D (in the 80's) there were magic items rewarded when you complete any kind of quests. Sometimes those were totally useless items gamewise but players invested a symbolic value, an initiatic materialisation in them. As a game master I learnt that there is a balance about granting them, giving them names, drawing them, building their symbolic value.

    Now I build web applications and community websites. It's kind of related, in some ways. Now badges get all over the place, and gamification makes it obvious that all this is connected to the roleplay of my teenage years. So I'm interested to see around what are the trends about it. Instinctively I propably know some of it, but I'm still curious to see how this is presented as a process.

    on April 20, 2013, 5:57 a.m.

    John Martin, aka EdVentures said:

    Another D&D gamer, welcome aboard! I think your philosophy and relationship between your RPG days and the badge initiative is well placed. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts as your progress through this course.

    on May 29, 2013, 10:35 a.m. in reply to mose
  • Anonym said:

    Hi everyone,


    My name is Kate. I work as a Training Specialist for a health clinic. We provide a lot of training for our team members on various topics (compuers, customer service, personal/professional development, etc) and I'm looking at using badges as a way to recognize thsoe who are taking time to grow themselves. Hopefully the badges could also be a motivator for those who do not currently attending training to do so!

    on March 18, 2013, 4:26 p.m.