Policy Review of Open Badges for Open Education: What Does it Take to Scale up Open Digital Credentials?

Ilona Buchem
Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Germany


The Internet and digital media have created unprecedented opportunities to connect, communicate and learn. In the digital age learners have abundant and diverse possibilities to engage in open learning in order to reach their personal, social, academic and work-related goals. Open learners can participate in open courses (e.g. MOOCs) and use open resources (OER) but they also need tools to recognise and communicate their open learning achievements on the web. Open credentials supported by open badges help learners aggregate learning achievements and evidence of learning from multiple sources in a portable, shareable and verifiable format. This policy review focuses on the question of how to scale up the adoption of open badges as building blocks of open education and open learning with the aims of capturing, recognising and communicating open learning achievements, such as acquired skills and competencies, across contexts and systems. The review builds on the discussion paper titled “Establishing Open Badges at Policy Level” published as one of the outputs of the Erasmus+ strategic partnership “Open Badge Network”. The review summarises key policy research findings and formulates policy recommendations for scaling- up the adoption of open, digital credentials in Europe and beyond.

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