Using narratives and evidence in Open Badges

What is evidence and why use it?

Evidence is anything presented that supports an assertion or claim. Evidence is used to prove or disprove something and can clarify things, so there's a mutual understanding of facts. Depending on the information shared, evidence may have varying degrees of strength and come in different forms. Evidence may contain personalized information specific to the badge recipient or it may contain more universal information applicable to a subset of the badge recipients that may be organized in groups or cohorts.

Evidence can be included in badges awarded through the Canvas Badges site or through the Canvas Credentials LTI for Canvas.

Narrative evidence in Open Badges

Narrative evidence in Open Badges

Narrative text supports Markdown and may consist of personalized information about the award including a writing sample, or other reference, or observations/commentary supplied by the issuer. Narratives are baked into an Open Badge's metadata and can be viewed and/or consumed by anyone with whom the badge was shared. Narratives may contain individualized commentary for each badge award or they may apply to a subset of recipients and contain the same or similar information.


  1. "This student showed exceptional leadership skills by facilitating classroom discussions, leading break-out groups and coaching students on homework assignments."
  2. "Recipients of this badge were certified on 2020-Jan-15 in Portland, Oregon, at our testing facility."

URL evidence in Open Badges

Evidence in Open Badges

Evidence URLs point to publicly accessible information that supports the badge award. Evidence URLs are included in the badge's metadata and may be viewed and/or consumed by anyone with whom the badge was shared. Evidence takes many forms. It can be personally provided information, information drawn from a document or it may be provided in the form of material objects. Evidence URLs may point to student work and contain learning artifacts.

  • Know your audience: Consider who will be the main consumer of the badge metadata — What information is important and why?
  • Evidence URLs should be easily accessible and not stored behind a firewall or login unless necessary
  • Broken evidence links may have adverse effects — Plan to host the links in perpetuity or for the life of the badge

Use caution to ensure that URLs do not contain sensitive or personal information recipients would not wish to share with their earned badge.


  • Links to a published article
  • YouTube videos
  • Collections of photos
  • Google Docs files accessible by URL
  • ePortfolio items

Including a narrative or evidence with a badge award

From the badge award page enter the following:

  1. For the overall narrative, you may use Markdown formatting to add more information to the badge.
  2. For evidence items, each may include an external URL, a narrative or both. The narrative of each item often is used to describe what is found at the URL, so a badge consumer understands what the content is before viewing.
  3. Enter information into the appropriate field(s).
  4. There is one overall narrative and as many evidence items as you wish.
  5. Select the Award badge button to finish the process and award the badge.
Including a narrative or evidence with a badge award