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Read up on Badges.

Complete all 11 tasks in order to get more acquainted with badges.

  1. Read the Mozilla Open Badge announcement made in September of 2011:
  2. Visit and comb through all of the information available. Pay particular attention to the 'About' page and the organizations teaming up with Mozilla.
  3. Read up on the Open Badges Roadmap:
  4. Check out Planet OpenBadges for regular posts about everything the Mozilla Open Badges team is up to.
  5. Follow the Open Badges Resources Decision Map (thanks to Doug Belshaw for this resource!)
  6. Learn more about the Open Badge validation process from Jon Buckley:, who works at the Seneca Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT).
  7. Read about the Higher Ed/Open Badges debate in the NYTimes: Beyond the College Degree, Online Educational Badges.
  8. Onboarding docs: (thanks to Sunny Lee from Mozilla for this resource!)
  9. Assertions Wiki: (thanks to Sunny Lee from Mozilla for this resource!)
  10. Check out Educause’s "Things you should know about badges": (thanks to Liz Renshaw)
  11. Susbcribe to Audrey Watters,, a technology journalist.


What resources did you find helpful? What other resources have you found? Post your answers to the forum below.

Task Discussion

  • nancyf said:

    I really like and appreciate the Educause article on badges - very clear and concise about the benefits as well as the issues.

    I also really like the Mozilla Napkin Sketch in the About section of the Open Badges site.  Again very clear and visual - so easy to see how open badges work without words!

    Lots of great resources shared here.



    on April 3, 2014, 9:53 a.m.

    Leah MacVie said:

    Thanks Nancy- I can see that you added a few to your Evernote Notebook for future reference. :)

    on June 6, 2014, 10:19 a.m. in reply to nancyf
  • Tom Miller said:

    Most interesting was the mozilla roadmap and most specifically the "federated city backpack" which will be released in March 2014.

    These tools will open up the opportunity to develop a city-wide learning ecosystem is very exciting.

    on Jan. 6, 2014, 1:19 p.m.

    Leah MacVie said:

    Thanks so much for mentioned BadgeKit- which came out by now and appears to be awesome! I would love, love to get a badge ecosystem up and running with my city- it could be an awesome endeavor. 

    on June 6, 2014, 10:24 a.m. in reply to Tom Miller
  • Sandra Dyke said:

    Because I am looking at research about using badges for documenting soft skills attainment I was particularly interested in the links related to verification of the issuing of badges.  I found the assertions link particularly interesting with the discussion on verification and the ability to add expiry dates and revokation list option.  From my reading, it seems the ability to issue badges in authenticate situations is where the value will lie.  I guess that over time those who believe in the badge concept will produce lists of which sites they think are worthwhile in the same way as they recognise the value from different learning organisations.

    I think the life long learning concept will be the best arena for badge use - if I choose to upskill in certain areas, a badge can show what I have achieved by providing a link back to what it means.  To use this in a job seeking environment will involve educating employers about their use, purpose and power by providing brief explanations on how they work and what I have learned.  If anything, badges should provide an opportunity for those who like upskilling to show that this is one of their positives in the work environment.

    on Sept. 15, 2013, 11:29 p.m.
  • PamelaR said:

    I found all of the articles to be very informative an resourceful, however, I thoughlly enjoyed the Audrey Waters blog and the open source badges. I have actually used the latter to obtain 2 badges.

    on Sept. 6, 2013, 9:42 p.m.
  • v4lent1na said:

    I chose to follow the Mozilla Open Badges Blog and Bananigans! on tumblr, since I have an account on tumblr from which I follow many resources on web 2.0, design, creativity and writing.

    My tumblr is like a central place for learning and findings great resources. 

    on Aug. 9, 2013, 6:55 a.m.
  • janzeteachesit said:

    on July 24, 2013, 4:43 a.m.
  • Brendan said:

    What an excellent reading list. I started at the top and worked through them and every step was useful. As I've said elsewhere the more I learn about the badges the more convinced I am about them. 

    I've still got a bit to learn about 'issuing', the reading on that seems to very quickly become highly technical. I'm not really very technical at all and I wonder if the course developers realise that for a lot of people it is the idea that they wish to explore.  If they are convinced about it they will then get someone to help them with the techy stuff.

    on June 24, 2013, 10:06 a.m.
  • Rodney Hargis said:

    As several others have mentioned, the Educause PDF was exceptionally helpful.

    At first glance, the  Resource Decision Map made my head spin.surprise  But upon further review, it has proven to be a valuable document, as it has helped guide my learning and give me a little bit of direction. 

    I've been exploring whether or not it would be possbile to use OBI to create an LTI to interface with our LMS (wow.  there's an alphabet soup sentence for ya) or if I should establish a standalone system that exists external to our infrastructure.   I don't have a clear picture of the whole scenario, but the more I learn, the more sense it all makes. 

    The one thing that is abundantly clear is that there are significant areas where my knowledge is woefully inadequate...  But that's why I'm here, now isn't it?

    PS It's good to see Hack Education included in this list.  Audrey's site is one of my favorite resources. 

    on May 29, 2013, 10:45 a.m.
  • lurasaki said:

    I agree with Cheryl and am disappointed that the Planet Open Badges blog has not been recently updated.  I learned a lot from each of the resources (though most of the really tech-y/code ones were over my head), but I seemed to relate most to the entries in this blog.

    A new resource I'd like to add is an article posted Dec. 7, 2012 by Paul Fain on the Inside higher Ed site titled "Digital Badging for Veterans."

    Working for an institution looking at new ways to credit prior learning, this article provided even more insite into uses/application of badges in higher education.

    on April 29, 2013, 10:03 p.m.
  • Cheryl said:

    Disappointing that the Planet Open Badge blog was last edited in May 2012!

    I found the Educause’s "Things you should know about badges” resource a clear and succinct overview of the Open Badge concept.

    The Onboarding docs and the Assertions Wiki was a step too far for me with lots of detail on the technicalities. Likely to be useful for coders etc.

    on March 22, 2013, 11:32 a.m.
  • Cheryl said:

    Disappointing that the Planet Open Badge blog was last edited in May 2012!

    I found the Educause’s "Things you should know about badges” resource a clear and succinct overview of the Open Badge concept.

    The Onboarding docs and the Assertions Wiki was a step too far for me with lots of detail on the technicalities. Likely to be useful for coders etc.

    on March 22, 2013, 11:31 a.m.
  • Magnus Olsen said:


    I found the decision map useful and also enjoyed all the reading about how the system around badges are starting to grow and spread. I work as a headmaster/principal in Sweden and i'm looking for a way to make all learning count, not just what happens in the classroom and the tests teachers give to students. Maybe in a few years we'll use badges in our K-12 education?

    on March 15, 2013, 11:33 a.m.
  • nataliep said:

    I enjoyed the PDF.  The coding information is way over my head.

    I participated in the Mozilla Open Badges weekly community call today -- it's very interesting to hear/see people addressing issues about the badge ecosystem, and the Open Badges forums on Google have a wealth of information.

    I've just learned about a site called  I can't share too much about it as I'm just learning, but through the site, you can award and be awarded different badges.  There isn't a list of available badges, from what I can tell.

    The New York Times Education page has a sub-section called "Education Life." There have been a number of relevant articles there in the last 3-4 months. 

    Here is an article about a digital badge program at Purdue University:


    on Feb. 6, 2013, 7:24 p.m.
  • mjl578 said:

    Thanks for the links. Some I'd already seen, but the pdf is especially helpful for what I need to do: explain Badges to others!

    on Jan. 26, 2013, 2:14 p.m.

    nataliep said:

    I agree that the PDF from Educause was particularly useful!  The readings about coding and programming badges make my head spin....I am definitely looking for ways to create badges within an existing infrastructure.

    on Feb. 6, 2013, 7:18 p.m. in reply to mjl578
  • Liz said:

    These were excellent resources.  I am doing a presentation on badges for an online course that I am taking and this really helped focus my efforts with great information.

    on Jan. 22, 2013, 1:30 p.m.
  • Razvan said:

    I really enjoyed Hack Education, it has sensible, well-researched analyses.

    I would recommend:

    - Halavais, A. M. C. “A Genealogy of Badges: Inherited Meaning and Monstrous Moral Hybrids.” Information, Communication, and Society 15, no. 3 (2012): 354-373 - read the online version published here:

    (it draws attention to the implicit language of badge systems, and opens up the context to include other types of badges)

    - Jakobsson, M.,  The Achievement Machine: Understanding Xbox 360 Achievements in Gaming Practices,

    (a detailed study of badges in gaming and how they they transform the practice of gaming)

    - Highashi, Ross et al., The Roles of Badges in the
    Computer Science Student Network,

    (it presents a large scale badge system for Higher Education, it may offer inspiration).

    Hope they would make for some good lectures.

    on Dec. 30, 2012, 6:26 p.m.
  • Matt's Myth said:

    This was a great resource to find, I'm new to the whole Open Badge System and  I just love the idea.

    on Dec. 25, 2012, 7:25 p.m.
  • ColinMaxwell said:

    I decided to try open badges after seeing Doug Belshaw present about them at E-Assessment Scotland a few months ago. i blogged about it here.

    Doug Belshaw is Mr Badges at Mozilla!

    on Dec. 21, 2012, 9:43 a.m.

    Leah MacVie said:

    True that, Colin. He was also a participant in this challenge once- a few Mozilla folks actually were. :)

    on Dec. 28, 2012, 10:07 a.m. in reply to ColinMaxwell
  • Kelly Boucher said:

    Based on what I have just read, I believe my biggest challenge will be getting buy-in from my college to implement a digital badge system, sicne it has to be housed on a server. Other than my instituations server, what other server options might be possibilities?

    on Dec. 7, 2012, 1:09 p.m.

    Leah MacVie said:

    Great question, Kelly. In my experience, you could consult with your IT team to A: set up a seperate server or B: Go third party and host them securely off site. I'd like to hear some thoughts from others on this one. 

    on Dec. 28, 2012, 10:09 a.m. in reply to Kelly Boucher

    ToddF said:

    Hey Kelly and Leah.  I'm toying with the idea of implementing badges in a cloud-based system, but have the evidence URL's hosted at the institution.  My thought is that you want people to trust that the evidence for the badge is really provided by the institution that claimed to award the badge.

    Here is my toy code base for implementing badges in the cloud.  I don't know if it will develop into anything useful or get thrown away as a learning exercise.

    on Dec. 28, 2012, 10:23 p.m. in reply to Kelly Boucher

    Stephen Gilman said:

    I am a noob---never really got discussion boards or how they feed back into email. What am I reading here. Can I / How can I respond to it? Stephen
    on Dec. 31, 2012, 12:04 a.m. in reply to ToddF
  • Joanna Marcotte said:


    I have been using 3D Game Lab, a gaming based learning platform in which students can earn badges designed by teachers for completing various learning tasks or quests.  The designers of 3D Game Lab have been working with Mozilla and NOAA to design badges for the OBI platform.  To learn more go to or to see the work that is being done.

    on Nov. 29, 2012, 11:26 p.m.

    Leah MacVie said:

    Wonderful finds- Joanna! I'd like to hear more about your work and I'm sure others in the open badges community would as well. If you haven't already- consider posting to the badges group about this.

    on Dec. 28, 2012, 10:10 a.m. in reply to Joanna Marcotte