Problem: The "Open Badges", or medals, developed by Mozilla with support from the MacArthur Foundation, seek to end the difficulties encountered by students or professionals in proving knowledge or skills that are not certified by traditional diplomas, but can be learned both in and outside school, virtually or through live activities. Founded in 2011, the platform seeks to facilitate the recognition of the different projects, interests and passions of its users as well as 21st century skills such as collaboration and creativity.
Solutions: The platform provides an "Open Badge" to volunteer students who develop activities, complete online or classroom based courses, work as volunteers or participate in projects. The medal certifies that the receiver has acquired certain skills or functions and contains within it information about the activity, who the student was taught by and the criteria used for the granting of the medal. The student can share this medal on social networks, job sites or on the website itself. They can also create an online portfolio that contains information on all "Open Badges" mastered. This enables their skills to be taken into account in assessments by potential employers, for example.
The use of certification helps employers by giving them the ability to check if a job applicant knows how to develop a necessary activity in their business or possesses the right social-emotional profile which is expected within their team. Already, institutions offering courses, such as museums, research centers, schools and community organizations can provide online awards to recognize the work of professionals or students.
The tool is useful for students to demonstrate knowledge they have acquired outside of school, but can also be incorporated by educational institutions as a motivation strategy or even to diversify their student evaluation methods.
Outcomes: The use of the platform helps students procure opportunities for education and work. They can also choose the courses they would like to do in order to develop their career and life. In addition, the platform facilitates the offering of digital certificates to persons or institutions that offer courses and activities, whilst allowing employers access to professionals with the characteristics they desire.