As web-based learning platforms proliferate, and education increasingly happens in formal and informal settings and in both real and virtual classrooms, there is a growing need for a new form of credentialing that reflects these changes. Traditional, paper-based diplomas and certificates are no longer enough, but designing a meaningful, universal replacement for the old standard doesn’t happen over night. Luckily, Mozilla is on the case.
The Open Badges framework is designed to allow any learner to collect badges from multiple sites, tied to a single identity, and then share them out across various sites, including personal blogs to social networking channels. It is critical for this infrastructure to be open to give learners control over their own learning and credentials, allow anyone to issue badges, and for each learner to carry their badges with them across the Web and other contexts.
Its goals further elucidate Mozilla’s mission, which is simply to provide a system “for alternative accreditation, credentialing, and recognition” and help those alternative credentials “expand beyond siloed environments to be broadly shareable” and to “truly support learners learning everywhere.