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Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
PR31A: Workshop - Open Recognition Network and Social Capital Representation - OB Challenges (5)
Friday, 27/Oct/2017:

During this session we will look at two particular challenges: Open Recognition Networks and Social Capital Representation. This will be introduced by a presentation of a regional initiative, Badgeons la Normandie, which is confronted to those issues.

3. Open Recognition Networks

Key challenge: how to make learners, individuals and citizens the builders of Open Recognition Networks?

Statement: Current recognition networks are dominated by institutions of formal education. Already in the first version of the Open Badge infrastructure it was implicit that only institutions had the right to recognise learning while learners only had the right to be recognised by institutional authorities. Elementary informal recognition statements, Open Endorsements, can be combined with Open Badges and other verifiable claims to elicit recognition networks.

 6. Social Capital Representation

Key challenge: how to provide individuals, communities and organisation with dynamic representations of the assets composing their social capital?

Statement: the assets of a person is represented by the things they own and have produced, the trust they have endorsed and given. Open Badges and Open Endorsements are a means to provide a tangible representation of those assets that make it possible to provide some kind of tangible measurement of the social capital of person or a group.

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"Badgeons la Normandie" — Using Open Badges to develop a Learning Region

Philippe Petitqueux

DRAAF de Normandie, France

April, 6th 2017, the actors of agricultural education and the farming profession of the Normandie region called for a regional partnership to explore the potential of Open Badges to build a learning territory. They made a launch statement presenting their common goals : - Facilitating the recognition and valorisation of skills and learning, formal and informal; - Preparing learners for lifelong learning; - Identifying emerging skills, connecting them with the job market; - Implementing digital tools to foster the learner’s ability to act autonomously. After a few months of hard work and a lot of communication, they want to present their first results. Their presentation will focus on the strategy they decided to enforce to bring together individuals, institutions, associations and organisations working in education and training, employment and social integration in Normandy. A focus will also be made on the functions of Open badges they want to use : - badges as connectors - badges for making visible informal recognition - badges to valorize individuals or communities of practice and the services and digital tools they wish to develop to foster the adoption of Open badges. You can read their launch of statement and call for interest here : Badgeons la Normandie [http://www.badgeonslanormandie.fr/?page_id=230]

OpenAgri: New Skills for new Jobs in Peri-urban Agriculture: Using Open Badges for Urban Innovation

Chiara Carlino1, Rossana Torri2

1Cineca, Italy; 2Municipality of Milan

In the public agenda, food is no more considered just as a commodity or as a nutritional necessity; it is an emerging multidimensional policy challenge, which crosses ecological, social, economic and spatial dimensions. A sustainable and integrated urban approach is needed to deal with the main issues that must be addressed: an inclusive, coherent and reflexive urban-rural food governance system; a more solid social and physical infrastructure to reduce the distance between producers and consumers, and to promote circular economy; reliable markets for quality food producers, resulting in new opportunities for SMEs development; the need for experimenting new forms of entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector, and for creating new jobs and skills.

OpenAgri is an EU-funded project under the Urban Initiative Actions umbrella, lead by the City of Milan and gathering over 16 partners, from start-up incubators to social enterprises, from agriculture and food innovation experts to universities and technology providers.

At the core of the project there is an “Open Innovation Hub on Peri-Urban Agriculture”. The Hub will be a physical place, Cascina Nosedo, at the southern border of the city of Milan: with its buildings to be restored and opened to the public, and some acres available for cultivations projects and the like. But the Hub is also an integrated strategy to deliver innovation in existing and newly created nodes of the agri-food value chain, focusing on new skills, training, pilot projects for SMEs and startups ideas.

The project aims at improving interactions between traditional knowledge holders and other more innovative actors, between local and city-wide realities engaged in product, services or process innovation. It is also expected to foster cross-sector linkages and hybridization between different fields (agriculture, food industry, culture, education…) and actors (SMEs, NGO, PA) with the ultimate aim of testing an innovation-driven inclusive growth model.

How shall we highlight all the knowledge, skills, competencies that already are within the local territory and its actors, and those who will be created through the virtuous interactions activated by the Innovation Hub? How do we map all this value and make it readable as OpenAgri’s value while giving proper credit to the multiple actors who are cultivating, assessing and endorsing skills? How do we provide lifelong learners who will be engaged in the Hub’s activities with something tangible as a result of their path, of their willingness to get involved and share?

These needs lead to the engagement in the project of Cineca and its Open Badge platform Bestr. For OpenAgri the Open Badges features on Bestr will be expanded to include Learning Pathways: a learning pathway can be made up of many Badges by different issuers and may or may not lead to a macro-Badge identifying a professional profile or a specialization related to urban and peri-urban agriculture and the agri-food sector in general. The various skills and competencies growing in and around Cascina Nosedo will be mapped, as will be the different – possibly alternative to each other – ways to develop and assess them.

In this way the different training opportunities, that will arise in OpenAgri, will be matched to Badges and interconnected to form learning pathways that the learners involved in the project will experience, demonstrate and share.

The main challenge will be the mapping itself: we will deal with competencies varying from soft skills to entrepreneurial skills to very specific domain skills; competencies for which the partners are Learning Providers or Assessment Providers, and competencies still unknown to the partners, which will be brought to the table by the candidates for new projects to be realized at the Hub and for which Learning and Assessment opportunities will have to be found or created.

We will need a way to master the complexity while letting it express its potential. We’ll need to set boundaries related to the granularity level to which Badges may be meaningful (not too detailed, but not too broad nonetheless), and we need to define processes to let all actors interact fruitfully while maintaining a clear readable and valuable result in the eyes of learners and of the general public.

The presentation will detail the broader purpose of the project, the challenges expected in the implementation of the project’s competency system through Open Badges and the value that we expect this system will bring to the overall project and the territory.

Analysis of proposed expansion of TESOL Arabia’s open badge system from simple recognition of participation at face-to-face events to online evidence-based recognition of activities and artefacts that demonstrate application of professional practice

James Buckingham

TESOL Arabia, Oman

Introduction to general context

The “open badge” project to be presented is in the context of supporting the mission of the Non profit organisation (NPO) - TESOL Arabia (TA) and addressing recent challenges that impact on TA’s programming efforts. TA is an organisation whose mission is to address the professional development (PD) needs of its members, namely EFL teachers, most of whom are based in the UAE but who are also growing numbers in other parts of the Arab Gulf region. It is run by volunteers elected from its membership and is financed by both membership subscriptions and proceeds from its annual international conference and exhibition .

Impact of change

TA is facing at least two major challenges - a change in membership profile, and a change in UAE Ministry of Education policy. Both have significant implications for TA programming and by extension, the organization’s badge ecosystem. Membership statistics over recent years reveal a decline in its traditional membership base, UAE teachers, while membership from outside the UAE is trending upwards. The result is that membership growth has plateaued. Yet the bulk of the Organization’s programming efforts - face to face events - remain largely focused on serving the needs of only UAE teachers and participation rates at these events are on the decline, with only one exception - the annual TESOL Arabia conference - where members throughout the Gulf region bolster numbers. Part of the reason for this decline appears to lie in policy changes at the Ministries of Education level in the UAE and other countries in the Gulf region. Up until recently, Ministries of Education had a largely decentralized approach to promoting teacher PD. TA programming helped address much of what was then UAE teacher driven demand for PD programming, and UAE Ministries at least, formally expressed their support for such programming by promoting teacher attendance at TA events and taking a highly visible sponsorship role at the annual conference. At the advice of international organizations, such Ministries are now focusing on improving graduate education results. As a result, Ministries are now taking a more centralized approach to promoting teacher PD which has led to more funding being directed at organizing such PD with higher quality and in-house. These changes have precipitated a rethink of TA’s programming efforts. It is now apparent that they not only meet the PD needs of UAE based TA members but also those in other parts of the Arab Gulf. They also need to be more closely aligned with the new centralized PD programming efforts at the ministry level if TA wishes to garner the same or even greater Ministry of Education support.

Response to change

Online instruction strategies are now being pursued by TA as a means of addressing these challenges and “open digital badges” are seen as playing an important role in supporting this initiative. Since their introduction in 2014, “open digital badges” have been used by TA to recognize volunteer participation in TA events, especially the annual TESOL Arabia Conference. Proposed now is expansion of the existing badge ecosystem to include “evidence” based badges that recognize membership engagement in activities that demonstrate application of professional practice. This is more closely aligned with both TA’s fundamental mission and the Ministry of Education policy push to promote higher quality PD. Currently being entertained is the use by members of a basic professional practices framework to document and share their engagement in PD as criteria for earning such badges.

Challenges in design

A number of key challenges to realizing this initiative have been identified. Foremost is how to increase the likelihood of its successful implementation. The presentation seeks to evaluate the current plan in terms of recognising/ characteristics common to successful badge programs elsewhere ; reviewing how many of these already exist within TA’s current badge ecosystem; and identifying which characteristics if any should be included in the proposed plan. Equally important is conducting careful review of whether badge criteria should be compliance based (addressing a checklist of preconditions) or competency based (meeting clearly defined standards) or a combination of both. Identified here is a tension between realizing practical badge administration and realizing possible badge endorsement from Ministries of Education in the region.

Promoting inclusion in the design process

The presentation also proposes the use of “design thinking” practices as another means to increasing the likelihood of the successful adoption and sustainment of the plan. Such practise invites input from members during the design and implementation stages. This is done with the intent of not only improving the quality of the design, but increasing its ownership and subsequent dissemination.

Presentation will offer detail on the rationale for the current badge system changes and will welcome discussion on the planned badge initiative, its challenges, and its methods for promoting greater membership inclusion.

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