‘hexadaisy layout’ by Darla available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrosz/2040577615 under a Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license

When Open Badges was kicking off ten years ago (see the original white paper), it was conceived to be a recognition infrastructure for skills attained and achievements accomplished anywhere at any time. Badges could assert skills learned informally, formally, really in any aspect of and through life. It was hoped that recruiters, employers, and others could evaluate the badges to find people who had skills that aligned with the opportunities being offered. …


Graphic of hexagons representing Open Badges connected in a triangle representing the VC trust triangle.
Graphic of hexagons representing Open Badges connected in a triangle representing the VC trust triangle.

In the W3C VC-EDU call on June 7, 2021 we discussed Open Badges asserted as W3C Verifiable Credentials (VCs). This call began the public discussion of Open Badges as Native VCs (potentially as Open Badges 3.0) to inform the IMS Open Badges Working Group. Why are we discussing this? Why does it matter? How will it work? Feedback from folks in the community have suggested that it would be helpful to answer these questions first from a conceptual standpoint. In a later post, we can outline what the structural changes could look like.

Open Badges are digital credentials that can…


As with many, the 2016 election left me feeling bewildered about the effects of the web on society. As someone who’s been working on the web for nearly her entire career, I wanted to improve my understanding of online human behavior and trust to contribute more responsible technology. In 2017, I started working on a Ph.D. in Media Psychology at Fielding Graduate University and am currently working on my dissertation that studies the adoption of self-sovereign identity. In many respects, this aligns with the work I’ve been doing for the last decade in ed tech and Open Badges.

Self-sovereign identity…


One of the often discussed challenges of Open Badges is what to use to identify the recipients (or earners) of badges. For a long while, Open Badges could only be issued to email addresses. For at least a couple of reasons this was not a great solution: 1) email is not an identifier, 2) what happens when the badge earner doesn’t have access to that email anymore or leaves a job or school?

Then, in late 2016, the recipient property was expanded to include URLs. Most platforms still use email but this opened up the possibility of using other identifiers…


Credit: Open Badges 2.0 Implementation Guide
IMS Final Release

Open Badges launched in 2011 as a type of digital credential that could recognize learning, skills, and achievements happening anywhere at any time. They are referred to as “Open” Badges in some respects because of their capability to use evidence to demonstrate achievements that had no other form of recognition such as learning how to code, participating in an afterschool program, demonstrating soft skills, or volunteering at a local community center.

These digital credentials are hosted on web servers and contain metadata that describe the achievements. They can be emailed, shared and uploaded online. Like digital photos which are embedded…


Background: The Open Badges specification describes a method for packaging information about accomplishments, embedding it into portable image files as digital badges, and establishing an infrastructure for its validation. This data should makes it possible to verify the asserted achievements by identifying the issuer and recipient, explaining the criteria required along with the evidence of the achievement. Open Badges are JSON-LD compatible, making it possible for them to be consumed by applications, APIs, as well as searchable and findable on the web.

Open Badges is currently at V1.1 and movement has started in the direction of 2.0 to address long-standing…


The Combined Possibilities Part

This post is the third in a series of five blog posts designed to explore, inform, and encourage public discussions about the possibilities, opportunities, and challenges arising at the intersection of Open Badges and blockchain technology.
Part 1: “
The Open Badges Part
Part 2: “
The Blockchain Part

Carla Casilli & Kerri Lemoie

Over the last five years, we have dedicated ourselves to working in the open as founding members of the open badges revolution. We continue to share our insights publicly in this blog post, exploring the possibilities of combining badges and blockchain, two innovative, new technologies. As always…


Originally published at www.edsurge.com on May 12, 2016.

When you hear the word blockchain does it make your head spin? Wall Street analysts and fintech experts claim it could make traditional banking obsolete; Airbnb just acquired a team of blockchain experts; and the country of Estonia will use it to secure a million patient health records.

But what exactly is blockchain, and what are its implications for higher education?

Originally created as the underlying database for bitcoin (the peer-to-peer digital asset and payment system), blockchain’s technology is now being seen as valuable and purposeful beyond the financial sector. …


The Blockchain Part

This post is the second in a series of five blog posts designed to explore, inform, and encourage public discussions about the possibilities, opportunities, and challenges arising at the intersection of Open Badges and blockchain technology. Find the first post, “The Open Badges Part” here.
Carla Casilli & Kerri Lemoie

Starting from open

Over the last five years, we have dedicated ourselves to working in the open as key players in the open badges revolution. With this series of blog posts, we continue to share our ideas, insights and explorations publicly.

A quick aside

Since we began preparing this second post a few weeks ago…


The Open Badges Part

This post kicks off a series of five blog posts designed to explore, inform, and encourage public discussions about the possibilities, opportunities, and challenges arising at the intersection of Open Badges and blockchain technology.
Carla Casilli & Kerri Lemoie

Starting from open

Working together with the community to build the Open Badges ecosystem over the past five years has always been both exciting and rewarding — and if response to our first Welcome to BadgeChain blog post is any indication, this year will be even more so. Since that post went live we’ve been blitzed with questions, excitement, and interest from a…

Kerri Lemoie

Director, Digital Credentials Research & Innovation at Concentric Sky & Badgr. Equitable Technology Activist. Competitive Axe Thrower. She/her/hers.

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