Chrissi Netantzi: Badges debate – positioning statement

Chriss Nerantzi

I am an academic developer with an open mind. How about you?

Strategies that have the potential to help individuals be in charge of their own learning and development are a must. Open badges are an innovation that provides an opportunity to think differently about learning and development, personal and professional.

All innovations go through a phase where some embrace it and others either reject change or struggle to see the opportunities they present. We all know that one size does not fit all. Different things will work for different people. Also, things change all the time. Seizing and indeed creating opportunities that have the potential to change and transform the way we live, learn and work is vital! Coming up with creative solutions that have perhaps worked or not worked in other contexts is how we humans got to where we are today.

If badges are not your cup of tea, don’t be quick to dismiss them! Open-up your mind, explore, investigate and experiment! You will be surprised what you might discover! We are at an explorative stage… but then when are we not. Our endless curiosity gives us wings, it always has, it always will.

Let’s suspend judgement and be open to the possibilities badges present for personal and collective growth in higher education and more widely.

If somebody feels motivated to engage in an activity, learn something or get a badge for just being with others, isn’t this a good thing? After all, the value of something is the value we place on it. If individuals experience the value of badges, the collective will too. It is just a matter of time.

I am an academic developer with an open mind. How about you?


P.S. In advance of the debate, you might find it useful to check out some of the excellent work JISC is doing in this area at and  Also access two powerful individual stories at  And if you would like to read even more about open badges, explore the annotated digital badges research bibliography at If you have found further related resources and/or would like to share your story with us, please use #TLC2015 on Twitter.