Recognising Informal Elearning with Digital Badging: Evidence for a Sustainable Business Model

Patrina Law


Digital badging as a trend in education is now recognised. It offers a way to reward and motivate, providing evidence of skills and achievements. Badged Open Courses (BOCs) were piloted by The Open University (OU) in 2013. The project built on research into the motivations and profiles of learners using free educational resources which the OU makes available through its OpenLearn platform (Law, Perryman & Law, 2013). This research found that an increasing proportion of learners are keen to have their informal learning achievements recognised (Law & Law, 2014). Based on these data, a suite of free BOCs, assessed through the deployment of Moodle quizzes, was launched. This paper reports on evaluation of the BOCs and what we now know of the strategic importance of informal learning recognition. The initiative aligns with University strategies to provide accessible routes into formal learning for those who might not otherwise have the opportunity.


open educational resources, OER, digital badges, elearning, MOOCs

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