Open Digital Badging Xperience 1.0

The Open Digital Badge  Experience (ODBX) course is designed to be the best single learning opportunity to fill the badging knowledge niche in an adult learning organization.

Filling the badging knowledge niche will provide organizations with new opportunities to promote their learning events, increase engagement and learner retention while also providing learners with a valuable portable credential they can be proud of. After this course, learners will have the knowledge they need to fully implement an effective ODB initiative in their organization.

ODBX is Proudly Sponsored by 

“Digital badges aren’t just a new kind of credential. They give organizations a way to express any credential in a digitally verifiable and machine-readable way. We see great promise in expanding the use of badges for continuing education and professional development credentials and have found ourselves well aligned with IACET’s goals to use ODBX to inspire increasing adoption of digital credentials in the professional world. ” - Wayne Skipper, Founder/CEO, Concentric Sky - makers of Badgr.

To leverage the amazing benefits of 21st century credentialing technology, organizations must have someone prepared to implement these powerful tools in the right way which is what ODBX is designed to do. The ODBX is divided into two sections, an asynchronous online preparatory course  and a one day highly interactive onsite or live virtual event.

  • The online portion of the course provides learners with the opportunities to learn the basics of open digital badging in a user friendly online asynchronous environment. This means you can take the program any time you prefer. The program is designed to take approximately six hours to complete.  Once you register, check out your My Courses section in the portal to access the online course.
  • The one day live in person or virtual preparatory portion is designed to focus on application of concepts learned in the online portion and provide higher level learning opportunities to attendees. Attendees will have access to Open Digital Badging experts and design their own program. Space is limited to 20 attendees per event. Participants now have ability to attend the live ODBX course virtually through our virtual learning environments with MicroTek Learning CentersA computer equipped with a webcam, microphone and speakers/headset are required since these workshops are highly interactive.


This course is designed for those who need knowledge and skills involving open digital badges at a basic, intermediate and advanced level. This program is applicable for training coordinators, managers, chief learning officers or others who desire practical knowledge and skills regarding ODB.

Completion of basic, intermediate, and advanced-level training will yield an open digital badge from IACET.

Each onsite/virtual live event is limited to 20 persons to ensure high levels of collaboration and interactivity.

Earn Stackable Digital Badges for ODBX

Earn these stackable credentials to document your knowledge and skill involving open digital badges.

  • Earn the ODBX Basic Badge by successfully completing the asynchronous online learning modules and assessments.
  • Earn the ODBX Intermediate Badge by successfully completing one of the live ODBX programs onsite or vitually.
  • Earn the ODBX Advanced Badge by successfully documenting you have created an ODB program for your organization.


Introduction and Analysis of the Need for ODBX 1.0


In 2016, members of the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), formed a taskforce to study the issue of open digital badges (ODB) and decide how to best help its members with the new innovation and fulfill its leadership role in the global adult learning ecosystem. A taskforce was formed that ultimately led to the creation of a metadata standard for open digital badges.  In addition, the need was identified to help members and other adult learning stakeholders learn about ODB credentials and how to effectively use them in adult learning environments. The IACET 1-2018 Standard for Continuing Education and Training requires processes involving record keeping and transcripts.  Open Digital Badging is a natural extension of these elements of that important standard.


A survey of 225 IACET accredited learning organizations in 2018 shows only 23% of respondents use digital badges.  76 percent do not use badges or do not know what a digital badge is.  Orbis Research reports, “Global Digital Badges Market is anticipated to grow with a healthy growth rate of more than 29.3% over the forecast period 2017-2025.” (Orbis Research, 2018) These factors contribute to the view that learning interventions and other resources are needed to assist organizations with understanding open digital badges and how they can be optimally used in today’s adult learning environment. This course limits its scope to how ODBs are used in adult learning environments.  This course does not provide focus on alternative learning environments like k-12 and university undergraduate programs.

Instructional Design

IACET’s instructional design research for this course revealed that a blended learning environment would be needed because the amount of content exceeds what could be accomplished onsite in one day. The blended approach will work well to facilitate the flipped classroom strategy where learners engage in the basics online, and come to our live event onsite or virtually to learn collectively with their peers and instructors.

  • The asynchronous online component covers the fundamentals of ODB while
  • The live component focuses on individual and organizational application of ODB.  The live portion of the program is designed to be application-based and use higher level constructivist learning strategies that allow learners to meet their own learning needs regardless of whether they are basic or advanced.  The onsite experience also leverages group dynamics and social learning to solve problems, provoke thought, and answer questions that are more difficult to do in an online environment.

Each event is limited to 20 persons.

PART 1 - Online Course Content and Outline

After this portion of the course the learner will able to:

  • Identify major components of an ODB.
  • Recognize how ODBs work.
  • Define how ODBs can be used in curriculum and instructional design.
  1. Introduction to IACET and ODB
    Description: This module will introduce the learner to IACET, and define their role in the ODB ecosystem. 
  2. What are badges and how do they work?  
    Description: This module will introduce the learner to open digital badges with a summary of the technology, uses, and metadata.
  3. Philosophical Characteristics of ODB
    Description: This module will introduce the learner to some of the principles of open digital badges which contribute to best practices.
  4. ODB Technical Standards and Structure
    Description: In this module, the learner will be introduced to the technological standards involved with ODB.
  5. IACET’s ODB Metadata Standard and badges
    Description: This module introduces the learner to the open digital badge metadata Standard used by IACET. It provides rationale for how the Standard is applied and provide a working framework for the IACET / ITCC Badging Taxonomy.
  6. ODB Program Design
    Description: This module introduces the learner to major components of badge design that drive transparency, communication and marketability of knowledge, skills and behaviors.
  7. Instructional Design Basics and ODB
    Description: In this module, the learner will explore fundamental principles of instructional design necessary for making the most of an ODB program.

PART 2 - Live Onsite or Virtual Event

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (7.5 hours, ½ hour for lunch and three 10 minute breaks.)

After this portion of the course the learner will able to:

  • Apply ODB concepts to their own ODB program.
  • Design an ODB program and configure badge metadata.
  • Develop a plan for how ODBs can be used to expand marketing and promotion of an organization's credentials.
  1. Introductions: .5 hour
    Description: This introductory session will establish group rapport while attendees explain the badging context in their organization. (Do they have a clear vision, are they exploring, what are the programs they offer that could reveal a badging strategy? Summarize attendees’ pre-seminar materials: What have they done? What questions can be answered since doing this exercise?  What problems are attendees facing, and who has similar issues? What questions remain in their overall badging strategy?
  2. Badge Program Design: 2 hours
    Description: This session is designed to encourage attendees to begin defining and organizing key factors in developing their ODB strategy.  Attendees will work collaboratively and with the instructors to define important elements and considerations in an ODB strategy.
  3. Badge Platform Features and Capability– Q and A:  1.5 hours
    Description: This session is designed to introduce attendees to the key differentiators across badge platforms.  It will not be a basic introduction or sales pitch.  The sessions are used to expose unique facets of badging platforms and the tools they offer.
  4. Badge design and implementation: 2 hours
    Description: This session of the course will allow attendees to either begin building their own badging infrastructure, or work with the facilitators as they demonstrate how to implement a badging strategy.
  5. Takeaways: .5 hours
    Description: This session is designed to summarize the day’s events and allow the group to learn collaboratively from other attendees about their ODB strategy. Attendees will learn important and new ideas that drive value.

Interested in Sponsoring ODBX?

View a sponsorship prospectus here.

Meet the Instructors

Dr. James E. Willis, III was introduced to open digital badges at Purdue University when he worked as an Educational Assessment Specialist in Information Technology. He later worked on a MacArthur Foundation grant as a Research Associate and Project Coordinator for Open Digital Badges in Higher Education in the Center for Research on Learning and Technology at Indiana University. Since 2016, James has worked as an educational consultant with the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) where he wrote the Badging Standard, supplementary materials, and educational materials for the Open Digital Badges Experience. During his time at IACET, James also coordinated with the Information Technology Certification Council (ITCC) to produce a Badging Taxonomy. James has published on open digital badges in journals like the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy and EDUCAUSE Review, and in books like Foundations of Digital Badges and Microcredentials (Springer) and Digital Badges in Education: Trends, Issues, and Cases (Routledge). He has been an invited speaker on open digital badges for diverse audiences including the Council for Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, STEM Education in Virtual Words Workshop Series, the 2016 Digital Badge Summit, and the Open edX Technical Conference at MIT. He was also a co-leader for the 2nd International Workshop on Open Digital Badges in Education at the Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference. James holds a PhD from King’s College London. 


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