Carla Casilli, in her latest Persona blog post, Open Badges launch + Web literacy badges underway, discusses the official launch of Open Badges 1.0 (it has been in beta up until now). She also provides a useful summary of the difference between digital and open badges….
Digital badges vs. Open badges
Digital badges are electronic versions of badges; they can have some metadata associated with them but most do not. An open badge is a specific type of digital badge. The open it refers to is partly technical (it works thanks to open source software, partly ideological it’s based on an ethos of openness). By issuing open badges rather than simply digital badges, organizations are aligning to a standard that they have helped to create.
What the open in open badges means
Open badges are embedded with content. They make use of a standard set of metadata that allows them to act in ways that not every digital badge can. One of their hallmarks is badge interoperability. In practice, this means that when someone wants to know more about an open badge, they merely have to click on it. It’s worth noting that an open badge does not indicate that it is a Mozilla-specific badge but that it hews to a community-defined and agreed-upon set of metadata standards. An open badge will always communicate:
- the issuer: the organization, institution or individual issued the badge,
- the earner: the person who earned the badge,
- the criteria: information about what was required to earn the badge,
- the evidence optional: it may also include earner-specific associated evidence and
- the expiration date optional: they can be set to expire at a given date.
- It may also include the standards with which the badge aligns, e.g., common core, Mozilla web literacy standard*
*Issuers interested in good badge design and badge system design, though, make use of the opportunity presented by this new ecosystem by setting their own standards. It’s more than likely your standards/criteria are superior to other existing standards. Suggestion: Define your own and let other organizations meet them.