Today, Instructure of Salt Lake City announces the successful acquisition of Concentric Sky of Eugene Oregon. Concentric Sky is the primary force behind the Open Badges 2.0 micro-credentialing framework, and the makers of Badgr, a custom digital badging system. Currently the default micro-credentialing tool within Canvas LMS, Badgr will be rebranded as “Canvas Badges” as it joins the Instructure Learning Platform. Financial details of the acquisition were undisclosed. 

“With Badgr, the Concentric Sky team has developed the gold standard for verifiable, skill-aligned micro-credentials, fast becoming the currency between learning outcomes and employment opportunities,” said Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure. “This deal enables us to continue to expand the Instructure Learning Platform to support the evolving needs of all types of educational institutions and the diverse student populations they serve.”

Prior to the acquisition, Badgr was the native badging solution for Instructure for the Canvas LMS, and is used by over 10,000 organizations spanning 38 countries and tens of millions of users around the world.

Founded in 2005, Concentric Sky has nearly 90 employees and serves millions of users by providing recognition from over 25,000 organizations spanning 160 countries. Concentric Sky has been a long-time contributor to the field of open technology standards, joining forces with the MacArthur Foundation to lead the development of Open Badges 2.0 in 2015 and co-founding the Open Skills Network in 2020.

“From day one we’ve been focused on helping learning organizations connect people to opportunities and delivering a more equitable future by changing the way the world recognizes achievement,” said Wayne Skipper, founder and CEO of Concentric Sky. “The power of the Instructure Learning Platform is its commitment to openness and equity, and our two companies share a fundamental belief in the importance of open technology standards for advancing equity in education. Instructure has demonstrated a strong desire to carry that work forward and I feel confident that together we can accelerate our mission to advance learning at every level.”

The Instructure Learning Platform is an open and extensible learning ecosystem enabling a digital learning environment for educators, students, and institutions. Canvas LMS will continue to support the integration of other third-party credential management and badging solutions.

Canvas LMS customers can upgrade to Badgr Pro’s advanced suite of tools in “Canvas Credentials,” a new offering for unlimited badging, leaderboards, analytics and personalized pathway progress visualizations. Canvas Credentials allows schools to award badges that verify and track academic achievements, including competency-based education.

According to Instructure’s 2021 State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education survey, 84% of respondents defined student success as work/career readiness, a rise from 78% in 2020. Skills-based learning also emerged as a priority, with 70% of respondents saying that having definable skills is more important than course titles or a degree.

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