Open Badges’ characteristics
There are several important differences between physical badges (for example paper certificates) and digital ones, that make the use of Open Badges particularly effective.
- Open Badges are based on an Open Standard: the technology on which the entire Open Badge system is based (Open Badges Infrastructure, or OBI) is free and open source. Open Badge software can be used by anyone to create, issue and verify badges.
- Open Badges carry embedded information: Open Badges are rich of information, hard-coded within the image as metadata. Among them there is the name of the Issuing Organization, the criteria by which one earned the badge, and the tests passed by the recipient to earn it.
- Open Badges are verifiable: the truthfulness of all information coded in the badge is always certain and can be checked via specific apps, named validators.
- Open Badges are transferable: people can collect badges from different issuers, both on-line as well as off-line, and store them in a single location named backpack. This helps to show one’s abilities and test results on social media networks, job-related websites, generic websites and everywhere else.
- Open Badges are stackable: badges issued by any organization can be built on top of other badges, even if created and issued by different organizations. This allows to hierarchically organize sets of badges to describe the full history of personal abilities and achievements.