Archive of European Projects

Open Badge Network
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

CONTEXT / BACKGROUND Recognising non-formal and informal learning is increasingly seen as a way of improving lifelong and life-wide learning. More European countries are emphasising the importance of making visible and valuing learning that takes place outside formal education and training institutions, for example at work, in leisure time activities and at home. Yet, despite a number of initiatives and recommendations on the recognition of informal learning (c.f. European guidelines for validating non‑formal and informal learning, CEDEFOP) there is a wide gap between the recognition of formal and informal or non-formal learning. Access to the recognition of informal learning is patchy and the outcome of recognition process is too often treated with suspicion. The Mozilla Open Badges, an initiative launched by the Mozilla Foundation in September 2011, provides a response to the needs for the recognition (formal and informal) of learning (formal and informal). Open Badges are portable and verifiable, allowing learners to showcase work, document skill sets and competencies, and create a robust portrait of their abilities wherever they were acquired: whether in school, in the community, on the job or online. Millions of badges have already been delivered and the initiative has received the support from leading organisations in the field of education, business, policy and citizenship. OBJECTIVES The aims and objectives of Badge Europe, BEU (pronounced “Be You”) are to exploit the benefits of Open Badges to: - To create the conditions for a Europe-wide and world-wide recognition of learning achievements; - To open and facilitate the systematic access to the recognition of non-formal and informal learning; - To place formal and informal recognition of learning on a par; - To create new employment and learning opportunities for all; and - To bring a European contribution to the leadership of the world-wide Open Badge movement. ACTIVITIES BEU will be developing a network of organisations and practitioners to: - Promote the use of Open Badges for the recognition of learning; - Develop Open Badge initiatives at institutional/local/city/regional/national levels (e.g. Cities of Learning, developing the example of Chicago Summer of Learning - http://explorechi.org); - Promote Open Badges at policy levels; - Develop innovative practices in learning and employment; and - Make recommendations and implement improvements to the Open Badge Infrastructure, technologies and services. Those activities will be carried out directly, with the support of Open Workshops (6) and of a MOOC. (Massive Open Online Course ) OUTCOMES The main outcomes of the project are: - Developing a trustworthy infrastructure to increase job market fluidity and a seamless environment for the recognition of individual skills to full qualifications; - A European Open Badge Network led by a steering committee composed of associate partners to contribute to the outcomes of the project and prepare its self-sustainability; - A dynamic Inventory of Open Badge Initiatives and resources; - A series of guidelines, green, white and discussion papers on Open Badges for Individuals, Open Badges for Organisations, Open Badges in Territories, Open Badges and Quality management and Open Badges and Policies; - Guidelines for bridging ECTS/ECVET/Europass documents with Open Badges; - Recommendations for the improvement of Open Badge Infrastructure, technologies and services; - A Research Report on Open Badge Implementations; - A Community Portal, bimonthly Newsletter and regular webcasts; and - A series of Open Workshops and a MOOC; EXPECTED IMPACT - Empower individuals to make their competencies and talents visible; - Empower teachers with the means to challenge traditional assessment models; - Provide early school leavers with the possibility to have their competencies recognised and further developed in a setting more appropriate to their goals, styles and desires (self-study, home schooling, school of second chance, apprenticeship, etc.); - Recognise the competencies acquired at work into a currency that is valuable on the job market; - Increase transparency and establish trusted communication between employers, jobseekers and education providers; - Increase the confidence of adults to participate in lifelong learning by providing a simple and straightforward mechanism to have one’s current competencies recognised, as a foundation for further learning. LONG TERM BENEFITS The long term benefits are a more inclusive learning provision, a more open employment market and an increased trust in the data relative to individual achievements (CVs, diploma transcripts, etc.) PARTICIPANTS Beuth-Hochschule fuer Technik Berlin (Germany) Coordinator Cambridge Professional Development (UK) ADPIOS (France) EDEN (UK/Europe) Discendum Oy (Finland) Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (The Netherlands) Radom Institute (Poland) Digitalme (UK) ARTES (Italy)
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