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BlogOpen badgesHow to write a good badge description?
Awero team
Open badges

How to write a good badge description?

2 Aug, 20:26
Badge description tells the badge viewer about the specific learning and achievement that this badge represents. When providing details about the competence or achievement, you may include the following:
  • Context of the achievement. Where and when did specific learning happen? What new knowledge, skills or change has happened as a result of learning? What kind of specific achievement was reached?
  • Tasks completed. What did the badge earner complete to qualify for this badge? What roles or activities did the badge earner undertake? What evidence did the badge earner submit to claim this achievement?
  • Assessment procedures. Which assessment procedures were in place to verify the badge evidence? Who was involved and how was the assessment carried out?
  • Unlocking new opportunities. What new opportunities does this badge lead to? Mention all the valuable things that this badge unlocks.
  • Links to a wider framework. Though this information can be included as a separate data field in the badge, it does not hurt to mention if this badge shows any skills that are part of a larger competence framework or education standard or connects with a specific level of education (see ans example of how to align badges with the DigiComp 2.1 framework). When you add this information it will be easier to assess prior learning in relation to the relevant EQF level.
  • Time spent to achieve the badge. This information is important because it gives information about how long has been ‘worked’ to achieve this badge. If a person worked 3 hours or 6 months to achieve the badge, that makes a difference.

Tips to consider when describing badge achievement:
  • Badges will be viewed by diverse audiences: badge earners, future employers, formal education staff and so on. Is a certain style of writing acceptable for the context where the badge will be used or viewed?
  • Playful badge descriptions can motivate learners, but may be taken less seriously in more formal contexts. It is good to test badge samples with targeted audiences. The style also depends on who verifies the badge achievement and the evidence.
  • A badge description can be written in first person style if the badge achievement and evidence are self-approved by a badge earner. Where badges are issued by staff, the third person’s perspective can be used to describe the earner’s achievements.
  • Since badges will be displayed on the web, it is good to have a badge description that tells just enough information to understand the achievement and its context.
  • Badge metadata is machine-readable. This means that badge information may be discovered by search algorithms and filtered accordingly. Be aware of some keywords that potentially help find a badge easier.

Along with the badge description, this is perhaps the second thing that the badge viewer will look at. Criteria should be very clear for both the badge earner and any external badge viewer:
  • Criteria should set specific objectives for the badge earner – what needs to be done and what needs to be achieved. It should describe what evidence should be provided: text, image or any other type of file.
  • Assessment flow. It should clearly set out how it will be assessed: by the earner, by peers or by the educator or programme manager.
  • Try to create criteria that are not too complex. Instead, split a complex badge into more easier-to-achieve badges.
  • Some badges may not require uploading evidence, but they may require earning other badges before this particular one. Mention it in the criteria.