Apprenticeship toolkit

Using open badges

Do you remember earning badges for swimming or for outdoor activities in the Scouts or Guides?

You can use open badges in a similar way to motivate apprentices to acquire skills they need in the real world and to establish a pattern of lifelong learning.

The differences are that open badges are digital files stored in a digital location called a backpack and have many advantages over traditional reward systems.

As image files, open badges provide rich, visual evidence of the apprentices’ achievements that can be shared across the web with future employers.

Open badges offer flexibility. You can use badges to reward completion of bite-sized units of learning outside the formal programme, such as a module on e-safety.

Equally, you can use badges to capture an individual’s progress across a more complex programme of study.

Providers of any size or type can benefit from the standards-based, open accreditation framework that underpins open badges. This has been developed by the not-for- profit organisation, the Mozilla Foundation. Later versions of Moodle also support badges.

Read more about open badges.

Examples of effective practice

This video shows how Loughborough College uses badges to accredit the Your passport scheme

Sussex Downs College has created a Digital Badge Academy to support employability and to offer a way of accrediting skills often unrecognised by formal qualifications; skills that are essential to succeed at college and beyond.