Goodbye Backpack, Hello Badgr? Open Badge Platforms

In August 2019, Mozilla announced that it is retiring its Open Badges Backpack platform and moving all user accounts to Badgr, a platform created by the company Concentric Sky (CSky). CSky was the lead author of the Open Badges 2.0 specification on behalf of the MacArthur Foundation. Accredible, Badgr, Badgecraft, Cred.ly, Open Badge Factory and many others –  the landscape of badge platforms is complex and shifting. How can institutions and individual users select which platform to choose? Regardless whether you are simply curious or ready for taking the next steps in collecting or issuing digital badges, this post offers pointers to navigate the landscape of open badge products.

Badgr is an open source platform that offers unlimited digital badges for free. Premium services include Badgr Pathways that allow to organize micro credentials towards a degree. Learning management systems such as Canvas and Moodle have integrated Badr as a service that enables to automatically issue open badges to students as they complete modules or courses.

Cred.ly is a platform for collecting and issuing badges that offers free and premium services. Organizations can brand their badges and the overall experience. Cred.ly has several partners with open learning credentials including the Lumina Foundation.

Badgecraft is a badging platform for open badges that focuses on features that facilitate recognizing informal learners and adult learning. Features include a visual ‘Badge Map’ and ‘Badge Collections’ tools.

Related Products: Several e-portfolio products offer open badges as one component of the platform. An example is CourseNetworking as an online learning and collaboration environment. Other products that comprise badging in their complex service bundle are campus-wide data warehouses such as Campus Labs.

All badge platforms comprise services for issuing open badges as well as collecting them. As all of these platforms implement the open badges standard, any badge will be displayed on the platform-specific users’ profile, but can also be shared to other sites.

To learn more open badges read our introduction to digital badges and the book review of ‘Designing Effective Digital Badges’.

About the Authors

Dr. Stefanie Panke is an instructional analyst at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a PhD in applied linguistics for a thesis on the design and implementation of web-based educational resources. One of her passions is design thinking – watch her play with LEGOs to conceptualize website navigation menus. As an edtech research specialist she keeps up-to-date of new trends and tools in her role as social media coordinator for the international education conference AACE.

Allie Alayan has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Indiana Wesleyan University and a masters in clinical psychology from Wheaton College. She is currently a Senior Researcher for the Center for Learning and Innovation at Indiana Wesleyan University. Allie has conducted research surrounding video learning and self-explanation. 

 

 

 

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