What are Open Badges?

Canvas Badges/Credentials allows users to issue and manage a standardized type of digital badges called Open Badges. A digital badge is a visual symbol of accomplishment. They can be awarded for any definable achievement and earned in many learning environments, games or the workplace. An Open Badge is a specialized type of digital badge that contains verifiable metadata about achievements according to a common data format, the Open Badges specification. Because they follow an open standard, recipients can combine badges from many different sources into common collections, and when they share them, these badges may be verified by any compatible system to ensure that they are trustworthy representations of their earner's experiences.

Much of the visioning and initial groundwork in the early phases of Open Badges was completed by OpenBadges.org; a volunteer community of developers who, working alongside IMS Global, provided the vision and continue to promote Open Badge adoption and steer the development of the Open Badges specification.

If you ever have an issue uploading a badge to your backpack, there's a possibility it doesn't meet the Open Badge standard. Run it through badgecheck.io or contact [email protected] to check this.

Each Open Badge is a specific indicator of an achievement that matters in a community. Badges are awarded for achievements of all kinds, such as:

  • interest and engagement
  • participation or attendance
  • membership
  • knowledge or dispositions
  • formal certification (degrees, certificates)
  • proficiency, competency or skill

Digital badges can be awarded in a variety of educational contexts across informal and formal learning by educational institutions, individuals and employers. These badges can aggregate and shed light on learners' interests, capabilities and accomplishments. Badges can serve as the stepping stones on a learning pathway. Badges are organized in badge systems and learning pathways to represent the skills and experiences that are valued in communities.

An Open Badge achievement is represented by a visual symbol, but it also carries detailed metadata, including a name, description, link to detailed criteria and information about its issuer. When this badge is awarded to a recipient, the portable image contains all the aforementioned verifiable data and "bakes" it into the image so that it may be displayed in any Open Badges-compatible application. The ingredients of Open Badges (name, description, criteria and recipient) are much like that of a cake; once baked, individual ingredients cannot be removed from the badge. This allows for greater portability; badges are meant to be shared (also like cake).

How to issue Open Badges

Canvas Badges/Credentials enables a badge earner to store their Open Badges not only in Canvas Badges/Credentials but in any backpack service. Conversely, Canvas Badges/Credentials allows any Open Badges to be stored in its backpack, not just Canvas Badges/Credentials Open Badges. Learn more about awarding Open Badges.

Canvas Badges/Credentials provides the ability for any user to become an issuer of Open Badges. After you've set up an Issuer profile to describe you or your organization, you can define badges to be issued by this profile. When you create a badge, this is referred to as the "BadgeClass." A BadgeClass can be thought of as a type of badge. Each BadgeClass may be awarded to many earners.