What is a digital badge?

Badges have been used as a tool for motivation and reward for a long time e.g. Guides, Scouts, swimming etc. More recently, digital badges are being seen as motivation tools for online games, or reward aids for online forums to encourage discussion.

Open or Digital badges are a digital implementation of these physical badges, and can be achieved by completing specific tasks and goals set by the issuer, for example a University.

The issuer will create a set of criteria they want the badge earner to complete before the badge is awarded.

The metadata within the digital badge contains details of who issued the badge, when and what tasks had to be completed to earn that badge.

The badges can be shared on blogs, online portfolios and CVs.



Metadata is information about information. It’s attached to all digital products such as digital photo’s, MP3 files and word documents. The metadata on files essentially tells us the who, what, where, why and how of a file such as the author, the size, date created etc.

Open digital badges capture essential information about learning and achievements by storing this metadata inside the badge image. If made public, this information can be accessed and viewed by anyone. Verified issuing organisation and attached evidence by badge earner improves credibility of badges.


How do I earn badges?

The University of Derby is currently running a pilot phase across a few select departments. You will receive notification of digital badges through your University of Derby e-mail address. These badges are then linked to an Open Badges page for you on a University of Derby domain.

  • Log in to this with your University Network logon. You will be required to activate your Open Badge account when you first log in.
  • Once you have logged in to see your badges, click onto My Badges.

  • Here you will see all the badges that you have been awarded by the University.

  • Clicking on Show This Badge will bring up the individual details of each badge that tells you what it was awarded for and a description of what you had to do to achieve it.


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