Who creates a badges relationships?
I believe two different people (or groups) create the badge relationships; the issuer and the earner.
The issuer creates a badge and its metadata detailing the badges criteria, origin, contact, etc. The issuer also knows how the badge exists in relationship to other badges. Does the badge stand alone as representing a skill or knowledge all on its own? or does the badge exist with other badges to be a part of a curriculum, learning objectives, a learning journey or a cluster of skills and knowledge?
The earner, who has little control over a badges metadata, will also create relationships between badges. Is the earner creating their own learning journey or clustering badges to represent a unique set of skills and knowledge. I believe one of the strengths of badges is how the earner is given greater control of their learning by allowing them to create a personalized curriculum.The earner needs to be able to organize their own badges. Fortunately this can be done in the Mozilla badges backpack.
This distinction is important when considering the required additions to the badge metadata specification. Once a badge is issued its attributes cannot be altered for (given current thinking) this would invalidate the badge. I agree with this assertion. What this means is that if an earner wants to set relationships among their earned badges this needs to be done in the earners badge backpack and not alter the metadata of the badge itself. I believe the issuer has many reasons to set the relationships within the metadata of the badge, as the issuer understands how the badges fits within learning and related learning. Look to the above webmaker badges for an example of this.