What You Need to Know About Micro-credentials Open Badges - Digital Promise

What You Need to Know About Micro-credentials Open Badges

May 21, 2019 | By

Micro-credentials provide educators with recognition for the skills they develop throughout their careers. Earners receive a shareable digital badge that enhances their resume and validates their unique skills. All micro-credentials issued on Digital Promise’s Micro-credential Platform are Open Badges, which has been important for the growth of the micro-credentialing ecosystem.

What is an Open Badge?

Mozilla created Open Badges in 2011 with funding from the MacArthur Foundation and a network of partners (including Digital Promise) committed to incorporating this technical specification.

An Open Badge is three things:

  1. A badge image
  2. Information about the issuer of the badge
  3. Information about the badge earner

If a badge lacks one of these components, it’s not an Open Badge. For example, if there is no information about the badge issuer embedded into the badge, it cannot be verified by a third party.

A community of contributors has since driven the Open Badges movement. Because of these efforts, badges have gained widespread interest and adoption by policy, technology, and education stakeholders, and are providing ways to recognize learning beyond traditional credentialing systems.

Why is earning an Open Badge valuable?

Open Badges empower individuals to take their credentials with them wherever they go, building a rich picture of their lifelong learning and achievements journey.

Imagine you’re starting a new job, for example, and want to communicate that you can teach computational thinking. With an Open Badge, you can share evidence of your competencies with your new employer, who can then easily verify your skills.

Technically speaking, each micro-credential awarded to educators through Digital Promise’s platform is aligned to the Open Badges 2.0 (OBv2) specification. When compared to alternative forms of credentialing, OBv2 offers more robust and reliable capabilities to users in the education and employment marketplace.

Open Badges are:

  • Verifiable—Open Badges can be verified for authenticity by the earner and by those providing recognition for the badge
  • Portable—Open Badges can be transferred between any Open Badge standard-compliant system without losing or mishandling any achievement data
  • Controllable—The earner of the Open Badge can control with whom they share their Open Badge and in what systems it lives.

How do I know if my awarded badge is an Open Badge?

If you want to verify your badge, the first step is to download it from the platform where you earned it. If you’re having trouble finding where to do that,reach out to the customer support team from that platform. This embedded image must be downloaded as a PNG image file. (Note: Your badge should download as a PNG file by default.)

Once you have your badge, complete the following steps:

  1. Visit this website: https://badgecheck.io
  2. Drag and drop or upload your badge from your computer when prompted.
  3. Enter your email address.
  4. Click Verify.

If the badge is valid, the badge checker will let you know.

Valid Open Badge message

Example of a valid badge confirmation

If your badge isn’t valid, you’ll see a different image, similar to the one below.

Example of an invalid badge confirmation

Now what?

If your badge is valid, congratulations! You can share your badge universally and feel confident that current and future employers can verify your competencies. If your badge is not valid, contact the platform provider where you earned the micro-credential and request an Open Badge.

In your communication include:

  • Your name
  • A link to your badge (as evidence it was awarded)—This would be your “award” page which shows information about the badge. This information includes when the badge was awarded, to whom (you), the issuing organizations, and other information about what was required to earn the badge.
  • An email address where you would like the newly awarded Open Badge sent, along with a confirmation email

If you cannot obtain an Open Badge from your platform provider, contact mcsupport@digitalpromise.org for support in obtaining an Open Badge.

For more on micro-credentials, explore our Educator Micro-credential initiative page and visit our Micro-credential Platform.

2 Comments

  • Susan Booth says:

    I have nothing to download to check badge wise. Can you just send me the badge to post on my signature if I have been awarded one?

    • Robert Bajor says:

      Hey Susan, there are many ways to share your open badge once it’s been awarded. If you would like to embed your personalized micro-credential (badge image) into your email signature, I recommend doing the following:
      1. log into the platform and navigate to your “dashboard”.
      2. click the awarded badge you would like to embed.
      3. click the “download badge” button.
      4. Click the three dots next to “verify badge”.
      5. click “download baked image”.

      You can use this “baked” png image like any other digital image file. And, because it’s a real open badge, it can be verified at any time using the same badge validator.

      Thanks again for reaching out. Please visit https://microcredentials.digitalpromise.org/contact and complete a technical support ticket if you need any additional support or have any followup questions.

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