Up to now, Open Badge Passport has mostly been a free service for individual badge earners to store their badges and share them on social media. There was some interaction among earners, but organisations had no way to connect with earners other than to advertise opportunities to "Earn Badges".
That can now change with the introduction of organisation Spaces in Open Badge Passport.
Think of a Space as a mini Passport within Open Badge Passport. The owner can be an organisation or a group of organisations. It can be private or public. A Space is a community where organisations and earners can interact based on common interests.
Organisations can use Spaces to encourage, guide, manage and track learning with a growing suite of tools, including invitations, "key" (unlocking) badges, MiniMaps, groups connected to badges and activity reports.
Earners can use Spaces to find new learning opportunities and also get recognition for prior learning by creating Objectives, completing badge applications, joining new Spaces, navigating MiniMaps, issuing selfie badges and adding evidence of ongoing learning.
The Space community as a whole can help identify, recognize and validate learning with Follows, Comments, and Endorsements. With Spaces, badges can connect to processes that are important for both organisations and badge earners. Participants can develop goals-based "competency first" approaches that can encourage autonomous personal development supported by guidance embedded in a learning community. But culture and habit can die hard in learning and development. Until now, the typical way to "integrate" badges into organizational "learning processes" has been to issue badges on the completion of eLearning courses. How can we maintain a balance between an organization's interests and learner-centred development? Will introducing organisations into Open Badge Passport lead to the dominance of organisation-centric approaches and increased formalization, where badges become the kind of extrinsic completion rewards for passive badge earners that Alfie Kohn warns us about? Or can we use Spaces to encourage a more self-directed competency-based approach that motivates learners to think more about where they want to go and helps them navigate their own personalized development pathways?