Exploring Open Badges

This explores using a “Badge Ecosystem” for creating a couple of types of value: Skills Certification and Volunteer Contribution.


Badge Ecosystem

High-level Badge Ecosystem

This diagram illustrates some of the roles, systems, and actions that are part of a generic badge ecosystem:

  • The role of “Badge Issuer” is the one which creates the value inherent in a badge:
    • What the badge stands for
    • How it was earned
    • Ability to confirm or refute the Badge Holder has actually earned the badge
    • Any other supporting details regarding what the badge is conferring upon the recipient.
  • Badge Holder (skipping Meta Badge Issuer at this time) is the one who  fulfills the requirements to earn that badge.  They are recipients of the value conferred by a badge.
  • Badge Consumer is one who would recognize a badge and accepts its worth as proving the holder is able to demonstrate the badges skills.
  • Meta Badge Issuer is one who helps Badge Issuers develop their badges, building value within the set of badges by awarding badges for badge issuers (eating your own dog food).

More general information on Badges can be found on Mozilla’s Open Badge Wiki: https://github.com/mozilla/openbadges-backpack/wiki

Skills micro-credentials

When a member of a community demonstrates progressive levels of mastery, an issuing organization can certify that members level by awarding a badge. The badge documents and certifies that a given set of criteria have been met.  The issuing organization maintains records documenting the criteria that have been met to earn the badge.

Volunteer Contributions

Organizations often rely on the services of volunteers who donate their time.  If that time is unskilled, and there is no “market” for setting a price for their time, it is unlikely the donation could be entered into the financial records — or be written off as a tax-deductible contribution by the volunteer.

However, if a skilled volunteer provides services that would otherwise be paid for, financial records become feasible.

Badges may be a way of defining skill sets which are required to treat a volunteer’s time as skilled services.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *