Open digital badges are simple tools that have the potential to change our current system of credentialing, creating ways to recognize more diverse learning pathways and opportunities for both learners and institutions for generations to come. How, then, do we go about building on this potential? How do we design relevant, innovative, and transformative badge systems that connect people’s multiple spheres of learning and link them to new opportunities?
This research is an early response to designing badge systems grounded in actual practice. It provides a building block for anyone interested in designing open digital badge systems, and also for educators, policymakers, technologists, humanists, scholars, and administrators who have a stake in how badge systems might impact learning, assessment, and opportunities for lifelong learners.