- For more information, see Clarifying Credentials: What’s the Difference Between CLRs, LERs and Wallets?
Open Badges are the world's leading format for digital badges. They are verifiable and shareable, containing detailed information about the achievement and what the recipient did to earn the badge.
Open Badges are a flexible and portable way to recognize learning that can sit alongside traditional qualifications and professional accreditation. Open Badges are a specific type of digital badge conforming to the Open Badge standard, created by the Mozilla Foundation and currently defined by the 1EdTech Consortium.
Open Badges include information on the organization or individual who issued the badge, the criteria that the badge has been assessed against, evidence when the badge was issued, a verifiable reference to the recipient, and several other required and optional properties. Some badges contain links to detailed evidence, expiration dates, searchable tags, and alignments to educational standards or frameworks.
The Comprehensive Learner Record Standard™ (CLR Standard™) is the next generation of secure and verifiable learning and employment records supporting all nature of academic and workplace recognition and achievements, including courses, competencies and skills, and employer-based achievements and milestones.
The CLR is a technical specification designed to support traditional academic programs, co-curricular and competency-based education, and employer-based learning and development—in any domain where it's important to capture and communicate a learner's and worker's achievements in verifiable, digital form. Designed to be used, curated, and controlled by the learner, the CLR Standard is a modern and web-friendly interoperable learner record structured for easy understanding yet flexible enough to support a wide range of use cases to meet the needs of learners and workers, registrars, and employers.
The 1EdTech CLR Standard has been selected by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) as the recommended standard for lifetime learning records.
What is the Difference between Open Badges, Comprehensive Learner Records, Transcripts, and Resumes?
Open Badges are a visual form of recognition that is easily shareable on the web, for example, via social media. Badges are one type of achievement that can be included within a Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR); many others exist. Educators designed the CLR to record more context about learning achievements and the learning journey than is possible with a digital badge. CLR Standard provides the opportunity to contextualize learning achievements and assessment outcomes within a specific program, credential, or sequence of learning activities as in a pathway. Interested parties can trust that an Open Badge and CLR represent a legitimate, authenticated achievement, the nature of which is described within the badge itself and linked to the issuing organization. Open Badges are verifiable so that a viewer can confirm the credential's issuer and expiration, if applicable. Open Badges can represent a more detailed picture than a CV or résumé and are verified before being displayed. Paper résumés and CVs are static and must be continually updated, while badges are inherently dynamic, as they can be presented in ever-changing combinations, creating a constantly evolving picture of a person’s lifelong learning.
What’s the difference between a Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) and a Learner Employment Record (LER)
A Learning and Employment Record (LER) is a digital record of learning and work that can be grouped with other individual LERs to describe their abilities when pursuing education and employment opportunities. The CLR Standard is a formally published and implementable specification available for adoption by technology providers today. LER is the term used to describe the concept that the CLR Standard implements. Put briefly, the CLR Standard is the implementable form of LERs. The 1EdTech CLR Standard and the Open Badge standard are two ways to publish LERs. It has been selected by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers as the official standard for digital learner records. For more information, read this blog on Clarifying Credentials.
Potentially, yes. Some LMS platforms natively support Open Badges, while others offer interoperability with specific badge and CLR platforms based on partnerships with the technology platforms. Contact your LMS or badge/CLR system solutions team for the most current information and ask for further details.
Open Badges and CLRs include information on the organization or individual who issued the credential, the criteria that the credential has been assessed against, evidence when the credential was issued, a verifiable reference to the recipient, and a number of other required and optional properties. Some credentials contain links to detailed evidence, expiration dates, searchable tags, and alignments to educational standards or frameworks.
An Endorsement is a specialized credential type of Open Badges 3.0 that signals positive support for an issuing organization, a credential program, or a specific achievement credential awarded to an individual.
Organizations with recognized authority over a subject domain, such as an accrediting agency or a licensing body, can endorse an issuer's credential program as meeting their required quality standards. Issuers can be endorsed as meeting or exceeding specific performance expectations the endorser may define. The recipient of an achievement credential can also be endorsed to signal agreement with the claims of knowledge, skills, and abilities expressed within.
Endorsements can also be used when an individual makes a self-assertion of knowledge or skill, and a validating organization concurs with the claims in the self-assertion through their endorsement.
Endorsement credentials include much of the same meta-data as achievement credentials, such as issuance and expiration dates. The endorser can also provide text comments that describe the endorsement. Endorsements may have their own graphic image representing the endorsing organization.
Endorsements are authenticated using the same cryptographic proofing methods as the achievement credentials, further expanding the ring of confidence and trust in the verifiable achievements.
Similar to physical counterparts, such as driver’s licenses and passports, digital credentials can be verified for authenticity. A verifiable credential, or VC, is cryptographically signed to be secure (tamper-resistant) and immediately machine-verifiable. Issuing Open Badges and Comprehensive Learner Records as verifiable credentials means the credential's authorship and the credential's owner can be verified and ensured to be authentic. The Open Badges 3.0 and Comprehensive Learner Record 2.0 standards by 1EdTech are native verifiable credentials, as defined by the W3C, that are consistent across domains like health care, travel documents, driver’s licenses, and education and work achievements.
Open Badges 3.0 and CLR 2.0 are designed as Verifiable Credentials (VC) based on the published W3C standard. OB and the CLR Standard define specific data contents related to learner-worker achievements, which are packaged in a format prescribed by the W3C. The CLR is one type of VC, and Open Badges is another. Verifiable credentials are high-level packaging standard (like an envelope) that contains data governed by other standards (like a letter within the envelope). When consumers view an issued Open Badge or CLR, they may initiate a verification process that communicates with the server that hosts the original badge metadata. The server verifies that the badge is valid and communicates back to the consumer with confirmation details.
At their simplest, Open Badges and comprehensive learner records are electronic files that contain metadata about the credential. Both Open Badges and CLRs are presented as JSON or JSON-LD files. Open Badges have a visual image (PNG or SVG) that contains the data, whereas CLRs do not have an image, though they can be shared within an image. These images and files can then be posted to a website, shared on social media, or imported into a digital wallet.
Why would a learner, job-seeker, or potential employer be interested in Open Badges and Comprehensive Learner Records?
When a learner seeks to transition to a new educational or professional opportunity, sharing their previous experience is an integral step in the process. Digital credentials can help both the sender and receiver ensure the record's authenticity and empower the learner only to share what is most relevant. From individual accomplishments and experiences to entire degrees, a record can be presented and verified electronically and quickly.
A digital wallet, sometimes called a backpack, is a service/platform that allows for the importing, storing, curating, and sharing of your digital credentials. Similar in concept to a physical wallet, or pay and wallet applications on a cellphone, a learner can decide what information to add and when to share it. A learner might choose to share all their credentials with a professional profile website, or they may choose to share some of their credentials with a prospective employer. When combined with open standards like Open Badges and Comprehensive Learner Records, Digital Wallets put the learner in control of their credentials, so they are not locked into any one platform.
Yes. Some PII that may be contained in the Open Badge and Comprehensive Learner Record metadata includes, but is not limited to:
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Evidence (student work such as reports, projects, test scores, or videos may contain private or personal information)
In many cases, this information is not displayed publicly by badge platforms, and often, student work used as evidence is secured behind authorization logins. However, an Open Badge image file will contain some or all of this metadata and the image file can always be opened and the metadata viewed.
NOTE: Open Badges have been intentionally designed to be forward-shareable, and the metadata inside the badge is intended to be publicly viewed by design. It’s your responsibility to discuss compliance obligations (GDPR, FERPA, COPPA, HIPAA, etc.) with your legal counsel in connection with your use of Open Badges platforms and tools. You may want to ask qualified advisers about some of the following practices: Make sure your Privacy and Directory Information policies provide notice of your disclosure practices associated with issuing Open Badges. Don’t include actual grades or individual test scores in an Open Badge. Don’t include sensitive information such as social security numbers, health, medical, or disability information in an Open Badge. Only include the minimal amount of personally identifiable information (PII) for your earners.
1EdTech is a non-profit membership organization that develops and manages a variety of educational standards for data interoperability, including the Open Badges and Comprehensive Learner Record standards. 1EdTech maintains the standard through its members and input from the broader community. It also tests and certifies products for their conformance to these standards.
The first step to issuing open badges is to have a badge platform. 1EdTech hosts a Trusted Apps Directory of products certified for 1EdTech specifications. This is an excellent place to start. If you are interested in building your own system to issue Open Badges and Comprehensive Learner Records, you’ll want to dive deeply into the standards. More information about the CLR standards can be found here: https://www.imsglobal.org/activity/comprehensive-learner-record. Information about the Open Badges standard is available at https://www.imsglobal.org/activity/openbadges.
To find out more information about Open Badges, you can visit openbadges.org.