Mozilla Open Badges, adding a “reputation layer”?

“Learning today happens everywhere. But it’s often difficult to get recognition for skills and achievements that happen online or out of school.”

Mozilla is hoping to bring something to the learning-table – “open badges”. Mozilla Open Badges helps “solve that problem, making it easy for any organization to issue, manage and display digital badges across the web” as they say on their website: This is billed as new method of recognising and rewarding skills learned, both in and out of the classroom. Learners earn the badges which display their achievements and 21st century skills across the web, unlocking learning and employment opportunities. The badges system is open source and available to all.

Is this something that can be integrated with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) to show progress and learning?

Here are some more links/resources on the topic:

  • Mozilla Open Badges: “This (BrowserID) opens the door for users to create a single user-centric identity across the web, with tools like Mozilla Open Badges adding a “reputation layer” that provides a complete story about what they know and have achieved. All through an open, standards-based infrastructure that puts user sovereignty, privacy and security first.”
  • WebProNews: “By turning our accomplishments and skills into a digital achievement, more people might be pushed to achieve something greater. We already have people spending ungodly amounts of time to earn achievements in video games so the same should be true for a person spending a lot of time to learn astrophysics. ”
  • HackHigherEducation: “The proposed Open Badges Project challenges not just certification, but also assessment. What does it mean that anyone can issue any sort of badge? Does a badge offer a better representation of skills or competencies than having a formal degree? If so, when? Will these badges be meaningful — to students, to schools, to employers? Will they be accepted? If so, by whom?”

Steve Wheeler recently wrote on the subject of Running a MOOC:

“The question of open, free of cost participation in a MOOC is a given. But what about those who wish to receive some tangible form of accreditation at the end of the programme? Who provides that?”

While the Mozilla badges could be one way to show the quality of learning, there is no form of checking (at the moment?) of the quality of work completed to gain the badge, so is this just like obtaining a certificate to say you attended the course rather than getting a certificate to say how well you did on the course?