2017-Jan-12 OB Working Group Minutes

2017-Jan-12 OB Working Group Minutes

Open Badges Working Group

12 January 2017




Recording (available for 30 days):


  1. Welcome and Introductions

    • 1EdTech staff

    • Acknowledgements

      • Thank you to Nate Otto for leading the Badge Alliance work on the current OB specification

    • Working group logistics

      • 1EdTech Intellectual Property statement:

      • First two meetings of 1EdTech Open Badges Working Group are open to members and non-members of 1EdTech

      • Agendas, minutes, key documents, and other resources will be posted in the 1EdTech forums (free account needed) for the working group and the Open Badges Community Council


  1. Opening Remarks, Mark Leuba 1EdTech

    • Open Badges Working Group Goals and Objectives

      • Focus of this working group will be technical. Broad program-level topics around Open Badges will take place in the Community of Practice SIG led by Sherri Braxton-Lieber.

      • 1EdTech is committed to digital credentials and balancing the needs of the broad community and the open standard with the needs of 1EdTech members.

    • Governance Process - Open Badges Executive Board

      • Oversee the strategy and operation of the working group and set its priorities.

      • Comprised of 1EdTech contributing members who are market leaders.

    • Community Council and Liaisons

      • This is the channel by which 1EdTech provides information, and receive feedback, from the community at-large, including non-members.

      • One goal is to provide an online space for Community participants to share information about their project or organization. More information to come.

      • Anyone working with Open Badges who has interest in being part of the Community Council should contact Jeff or


  1. Overview of Open Badges specification

    • Nate Otto provided overview of current specification

      • Lots of work in 2016 to validate existing use cases and prepare it for handoff to 1EdTech at end of year

      • Key elements of a badge include the Assertion (an achievement awarded to a specific person), a BadgeClass (the achievement), and the Issuer Profile.

      • Recent key updates to specification include full adoption of JSON-LD and Linked Data for data model, more metadata embedded within most data objects, new features for endorsements and verification, and others.

    • Key resources:


  1. Next Steps

    • Mark Leuba explained 1EdTech role in validating and certifying compliance with specifications. A validator tool will be available for the public to use for testing; 1EdTech members can apply for proof-of-certification - and receive certification in the form of a badge - to platform companies whose products are proven compliant with the Open Badges specification.

    • Markus Gylling discussed potential work in reviewing OB 2.0 draft, managing it through the 1EdTech approval process, starting with re-validating use cases. While the assumption is that the current proposed specification is solid, the specification might be revised slightly following examination of the working group and/or to align with 1EdTech format.

    • Early work on 2.x


  1. Reminder

    • 1EdTech Quarterly Mtg and Summit on Digital Credentials & Badges Summit, February 27 - March 2, Orlando. Details:

      • Summit: Feb 28

      • OB Community Council: Mar 1 (open to public)

      • OB Working Group f2f: Mar 2

    • Early registration deadline Jan 16


  1. Next Meeting

    • Thursday, Jan 19, 1:00pm EST



Anthony Newman, Purdue

Bob Grogan, eLumen

Brenda Perrea, Colorado Community College System

Cara Jenkins, 1EdTech

Casey Wright, Purdue

Charles Touron, US Dept. of Army

Chris Andrews, Indiana Univ

Dan Hickey, Indiana Univ

David Leaser, IBM Global

Eric Korb, TrueCred

Grainne Hamilton, DigitalMe

Kate Radionoff, Madison College

Mark Leuba, 1EdTech

Mike Macklin, Colorado St Univ Online

Mitch Bonnett, US Dept. of Army

Nate Otto, ConcentricSky

Sherri Braxton-Lieber, UMBC

Steve Gance, Washington State Community and Technical Colleges


Here are some slightly more

Here are some slightly more detailed notes on the status section that I took:


Overview of Open Badges specification (Nate begins)

Specification & documentation: 

Specification repository:

Issues and Use Cases in 2.0 

Open Badges 2.0 Update Pull Request (see all the changes from 1.1 to 2.0 on Github): #99

History and Context

Open Badges 0.5 was published in September 2011 by the Mozilla Foundation

Open Badges 1.0 was published in April 2013 by the Mozilla Foundation

Open Badges 1.1 was published in May 2015 by the Badge Alliance

Open Badges 2.0 was published December 2016 by the Badge Alliance, and enters an implementation phase led by IMS.

Open Badges 2.1+ will be published by IMS


The 2.0 Recommendation is the final publication of the Badge Alliance. 

The specification is a vocabulary for publishing data about achievements on the web. See the data classes (Assertion, BadgeClass, Profile). In addition to base 3 classes there are a number of supporting embedded classes. E.g. Evidence


Badge Alliance released the document, no one has implemented yet, so next steps will be what this group does with the specification, guiding implementation and strategy for validating.


It represents the final step in a transition from "plain" JSON to JSON-LD and adds a number of new embedded metadata features and security improvements.

  • Improved Linked Data / JSON-LD support for increased portability and compatibility with other standards
  • Embedded evidence and criteria
  • More flexible recipient identifiers beyond email
  • Endorsement
  • New image metadata for accessibility
  • Internationalization and multi-lingual badges
  • Improved alignment to external frameworks and objectives
  • Security improvements for hosted and signed verification


The IMS Open Badges Working Group and Executive Committee are now the official channel to advance the standard and coordinate elements of its implementation.


Markus asks about embedding, can 2.0 badge be completely self-contained or are there exceptions?

Nate: Yes, prior it had 3 different references, now we can embed references within each other, possible in the future to include other IRI schemes besides HTTP, right now BadgeClass and issuer Profile may only see supported implementations for HTTP IRIs. 


Dan Hickey asked about the new endorsement feature and if that question extends to endorsements. Nate: Yes, endorsing a badge class purpose is to say it's a "good badge." Endorsement can be made for any badge issuer and any badge object (e.g. issuer, badge, assertion). Endorsements allow comments. Important use case is verifying properties about an issuer profile, building a web of trust. Will take lots of work to implement.


Mark says IMS will be issuing badges to compliant platforms detailing how we have complied to the OB spec. IMS plans for ongoing maintenance of Mozilla validator