Open Badges: Myth Busters!

Feb 9, 2020

By Simone Ravaioli, Director Strategic Partnerships.

Busting the myths about Open Badges!

By Simone Ravaioli, Director Strategic Partnerships.

Busting the myths about Open Badges!


Open Badges are a visual representation of achievements, flexible in order to capture any learning experiences in a standard format – they are open and interoperable. Badges can be issued as formal high-stakes credentials like academic degree certificates at all levels as well as lower-stakes, informal, co-curricular activities. Open Badges are used in academia as well as in the corporate L&D environment, becoming de-facto, common credentialing language that bridges both education and work. Let’s debunk some of the myths about Open Badges…


1: Myth: Open Badges are not serious – they are gamification gimmicks. In other words they can only be used for low-stakes credentials in the informal learning space.

Bust: FALSE! Many Universities are using them to represent full Degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels.


2: Myth: Open Badges cannot mix with formal qualifications, like degrees.

Bust: FALSE! Open Badges complements formal credentials by adding granularity and comprehensiveness to the degrees, often adding values by adding nuances of soft skills, attitudes and personality traits not captured by qualifications. They are stackable by design and can be used to represent diverse learning pathways across formal and informal learning experiences. 


3: Myth: Open Badges are not recognised as valid credentials by employers.

Bust: FALSE! Employers are seeking rich and granular signals as differentiating factors in candidates. The trend is increasingly to “hire for fit and train for skills”. In addition, employers are adopting Open Badges themselves to recognise internal L&D programs or external product certifications (IBM, EY, Microsoft).


4: Myth: Open Badges are not sufficiently accredited and distributed as a recognition technology.

Bust: FALSE! Open Badges are a legitimate learning technology standard, officially stewarded by IMS Global. The momentum behind Open Badges has been building since its introduction in the market in 2012 and today more that 25 million Open Badges have been issued across a varied credentials spectrum; academic learning, vocational training, personal and professional development, as well as technical certifications and professional associations.


5: Myth: Open Badges are stand-alone digital credentials that do not integrate with existing legacy systems.

Bust: FALSE! Open Badges are an open, interoperable technology that can be easily integrated with LMS (Canvas, Moodle, Mahara), SIS (Workday, Ellucian, Oracle) and ePortfolio platforms (Portfolium, Digication, PebblePad, Pathbrite). Open Badges are also easily shareable across the various social media platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.


Stay tuned for more Badges posts coming soon!


For more information, please contact:

Simone Ravaioli

Director Strategic Partnerships