The open learning movement is changing how we view and validate experiences both in and out of the classroom. Mozilla's OpenBadges initiative enables us to leverage the badge concept to engage and challenge our staff and students to become truly lifelong learners.
Rather than looking at learning as a totality, badges allow us to break down learning into logical, bite-size chunks (micro-achievements) that we can use to engage our reluctant learners, reward our hard chargers and recognize growth over time, regardless of age, experience, or discipline.
And badges need not be a linear progression, in actuality, they excel in geometric and organic environments where learners direct their own path to achievement. Take a look at the image below for this idea placed in the context of a video game design & development curriculum.