Preparing and publishing your evidence
When applying for an Open Badge you need to give evidence of your learning. Each badge page has an explanation of the minimum evidence required. The evidence you provide is the most important part of your badge. As well as being used to determine if a badge should be awarded to you, it will be seen by anyone you show your badge to. They can use it to check whether you did the minimum to get the badge or whether you did exceptionally well.
Your evidence will be published and publicly available. Don’t include anything in your evidence that identifies other people or examples of practice that others could be uncomfortable with.
Use the badge criteria and evidence requirements to help you
You must meet the criteria before you can apply for the badge. Read each item in the criteria carefully, make sure that you meet these and carry out any tasks asked of you. The evidence requirement for each badge is compulsory and you must make sure you understand what you must provide to show you meet the criteria for the badge. This includes information on how much to write and any additional material you might need to provide.
Give yourself time
If the criteria ask you to work through a learning resource, give yourself enough time to complete the learning. You should not attempt to rush through an SSSC learning resource from start to finish. Spread your learning out gradually over several days or weeks to help you remember and apply your learning.
Avoid writing directly into the application box
We recommend that you type your evidence using a word processor on a computer or a note app on smartphones/tablets rather than write directly into the application box. You can copy and paste it into the box or attach it later. This will keep your work safe if you lose your internet connection or get distracted.
Carefully plan what you are going to write
Use each point from the badge criteria as a heading. This will help you structure your evidence. Write something for each point in the criteria eg if you are asked to work through a learning resource, you might say “I worked through the resource for half an hour each day between Monday 1 April and Friday 5 April and spoke to my manager about my responses to the exercises within it”. Stick to the criteria and don’t mention anything that isn’t relevant to it.
How to explain what you’ve learned
We would like you to tell us what your learning means to you. Or what difference your learning experience has meant to your role. The key to this is reflective writing. Consider including answers to the following questions alongside your portfolio evidence:
- Experience – Describe the learning experience, what happened? What did you do in reaction to it?
- Knowledge – What do you know now that you did not know before?
- Skills – What can you do now that you could not do before you had the experience, or can do better now because of the experience?
- Reflections – What were your feelings and thoughts? What did you do well? What would you do differently? What values did you use?
- Application – Think of a situation that you could apply what you have learned.
You don’t need to cover every one of these or write about all your learning. Just focus on what you felt was most important for you and your practice and use these questions as a guide if you get stuck.
For help with reflective writing, take a look at page 15 and onwards of our ebook about maintaining your ongoing learning and development.
None of us learn through a single method and the way we evidence our learning shouldn’t be any different. Don’t restrict yourself to text. Use as many methods as you feel comfortable with eg text, photographs, documents, video and audio.
Always write in first person
Use words like ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘my’ when writing about your learning. Avoid ‘you’, ‘our’ or ‘we’ as it is not clear whose learning you are talking about.
Show your work to someone
Discuss the badge criteria, evidence requirements and the evidence you have prepared with your manager or a colleague before submitting your application. Ask them to check if it meets the criteria and give you feedback on what you need to change or include if it doesn’t.
You will want someone to check your spelling and punctuation as well. Your application won’t be declined because of this, but the people you show your badge to probably won’t be impressed by poor spelling and punctuation.