About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5938-5947
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain


M. Myllymäki, I. Hakala

University of Jyväskylä (FINLAND)
Open Badge is a learning badge which is a system-independent, electronic and visual way to describe competences and skills. Open Badge depicts an image, and the metadata attached to it describes the badge holder's competences. The learning badge contains, among other things, a description of the skills learned by its earner, information about the issuer, the date of its issuance and its validity. The earner of this badge can utilize the digital aspect of the badge by for example distributing it in social networks or adding it to his/her electronic CV or ePortfolio.

Educational organizations are not the only potential users of skill badges. For example, for companies providing product training, the Open Badge concept offers many opportunities: from modernization of training to marketing and productization of education. Deployment of digital learning badges will give the education provider the opportunity to better open its educational contents to customers. The possibilities that digitalization brings with it, including chaining of badges, their validity open for scrutiny and distribution opportunities, give added value in many situations related to demonstration of one's skills. Great potential, especially from the viewpoints of productivization of education and marketing, can be envisaged. There are also many challenges related to the Open Badge concept; one of the biggest of these is how to deploy the concept. During deployment, attention must be paid to many things. These include issues like who can issue those badges, how to verify the skills and competences created, how to manage the practical aspects related to their issuance, what kind of added value is provided to the parties involved, and so on.

On the practical level, making use of the Open Badge learning badges is still undergoing expansion, because up to the present moment organizations have lacked tools with which to manage the learning badges issued by them. The Open Badge Factory project, consisting of many subprojects, was carried out in Finland during 2014. One of the subprojects was working on the Open Badge Factory (OBF) cloud service to create, administer and issue learning badges in accordance with the Open Badge concept. In the other subprojects, the university, companies and an adult education institution, which acts as an umbrella for nongovernmental organizations, piloted the concept and the Open Badge Factory service in their own environments from the perspective of their own training programs.

In its own subproject, in addition to piloting, the University of Jyväskylä carried out research covering the whole value network. The research produced a vision about the utilization potential of the Open Badge concept. On the other hand, the research also gave some ideas about the possible challenges and issues to be focused on when deploying the concept. This paper presents results of the piloting carried out conjointly with the Open Badge Factory project and experiences from the perspectives of the parties involved.
author = {Myllym{\"{a}}ki, M. and Hakala, I.},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {5938-5947}}
AU - M. Myllymäki AU - I. Hakala
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 5938
EP - 5947
ER -
M. Myllymäki, I. Hakala (2015) OPEN BADGE CONCEPT IN EDUCATION – BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 5938-5947.