White paper on open badges and micro-credentials

Open badges are digital badges designed to show that the badge holder possesses certain knowledge or skills. In this white paper, SURFnet documents the possible opportunities offered by open badges in Dutch education, e.g. as an aid to micro-credentialing.

Cover Whitepaper Open badges

Open badges: what, why, how to use them and how to introduce them?

This white paper – compiled on the basis of conversations with educational institutions and other stakeholders – starts with an introduction on badges: what they are, what their significance is, who the stakeholders are and how badges are (currently) used. We then discuss three scenarios: badges for micro-credentials (breaking learning down into units smaller than diplomas), badges for extra-curricular education and badges as game elements. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages for the stakeholders in every scenario. Finally, we investigate what needs to be done to actually introduce badges: this will have consequences for IT infrastructure, personal data protection and co-operation between educational institutions. The white paper concludes with a summary.