Our Thinking

Using Open Badges to Recognize and Verify Learning

Luke Kempski

David Leaser, Senior Program Manager, Innovation and Growth Initiatives, IBM

In the information technology industry, micro-credentialing is helping employers and professionals keep pace with rapid change. At IBM, David Leaser promotes innovative way to recognize skills and achievements within the IBM community of professionals, employees, channel partners and customers. This new approach is transforming how IBM delivers training and how individuals demonstrate their knowledge and skills.


Currently, IBM is adopting the Open Badges standard as an innovative way for IT professionals to validate their learning activities, skills and achievements. Organizations issue Open Badges and individuals earn and display them. Open Badges can be earned for completing courses, passing an exam, publishing expertise and creating apps. For IBM, it is a faster way to get new skills into the marketplace rather than building and requiring an entire certification program. David explains how they work.


Open Badges make sense because they take advantage of the dominant trends in the IT industry, including cloud computing, social media and big data. The combination of metadata, verification and social media makes Open Badges even more powerful. For the learner, earning badges increases engagement and helps communicate ongoing learning and skills to the talent marketplace. For IBM, professionals who are highly skilled with their products bring value and results to their employers and customers.


Open Badges are certainly not exclusive to IBM. They are free to any organization for creating, issuing and verifying digital badges. To learn more about them, go to the Mozilla Open Badges website. You can learn more about IBM’s growing use of the Open Badges from David Leaser’s presentation at the Training Industry Conference and Expo. David sums up IBM’s Open Badge initiative by discussing the measurable goals for three important groups.

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