Using Open Badges to support student engagement and evidence based practice

Fiona Harvey


The use of Open Badges as a scaffold for developing digital skills with staff and students has been part of the student engagement work at the University of Southampton. The Innovation and Digital Literacies Champions (iChamps) have been working with staff and students across a range of disciplines to formulate projects, deliver workshops to other students and support staff in developing their digital skills. This model has now been adopted by other academic units and this case study will focus on Geography. This paper introduces how open badges and e-portfolios have been used to support the development of digital literacies skills and enhance student engagement. Although the model had been in use for some time with the iChamps, it has only been during the REACT project that we extended the use of these digital tools for a particular cohort of students. In this case study, we report on our initial findings of the experiences of implementation with a first-year undergraduate cohort of Geography students and compare this to our very engaged iChamps. We also include successes of and challenges to this approach, in an attempt to encourage other institutions to develop Open Badges and evidence-based learning for themselves.

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