Already using digital badges? Take a look at our digital badge good practice guide.

Three digital badges. They are tiered as bronze, silver and gold. Each badge has a large leaf at the centre and is coloured to reflect the tier of badge.
Digital badge collection

A digital badge is an online visual representation that signifies an accomplishment, skill, or competency. In the past, badges have been physical objects made of metal or cloth and worn on clothing and issued by an awarding body. Today, digital badges have developed into icons supported by metadata that mimics the visual representation of a badge and the reliability of the awarding body.

What is badge metadata?

Metadata binds a badge icon to supplementary information. The Open Badge Standard specifies what supplementary information is required.

  • Badge recipient
  • Badge issuer
  • Criteria for earning the badge
  • Evidence of achievement
  • Issue date

So, metadata provides credibility to the badge. It facilitates its verification and understanding and operability across digital badging services.

Gold medals are not made of gold. They are made of determination.

Dan Gable – Former Olympic gold-medalist

Why did we choose Canvas badges?

Canvas Badges, formerly Badgr, has been selected as an appropriate platform to begin our investigation and assessment.

FeaturesCanvas Badges
(formerly Badgr)
CredlyOpen Badge Factory
GDPR compliant?YesYesYes
Open badge 2.0?YesYesYes
Open badge 2.1?YesYesNo
User management of badges?YesYesYes
Admin management of badges?YesYesYes
Admin management of users?Yes – Analytics Pro onlyYesYes
Badge import tool?YesNoNo
Badge designer suite?YesNoYes
Bulk issuing of badges?Yes – 50 only, unlimited with ProNo – Pro onlyYes
VLE integration?YesYesNo
Shareable?Yes – Pro onlyYesYes
Multiple issues at an organisation?Yes – Pro onlyYesYes
Badges retained after users leave UoSYes – with secondary email accountsNoYes – with additional payment

Where are we with digital badges at Southampton?

We are exploring the viability of digital badges for a formal pilot project. Working with stakeholders Digital Learning is developing a range of use cases across the university to determine the viability for our organisation.

With this being an exploration the selected platforms may change, or the university may decide that digital badges are not viable, in this instance, Digital Learning would work with each of our use cases to develop an exit strategy to sustain and support work that has taken place with digital badges.

Pre-pilot use cases

What if I want to use digital badges?

You can! Contact Digital Learning to discuss implementing digital badges in your programme. Badges can help motivate and create a sense of play whilst fostering engagement.