The objective of this document is to provide a conceptualframework for understanding what Open Badges are, where do they come from, what they could become in the future and how they relate to other concepts and initiatives. This framework does not pretend and does not intend to be neutral. It is designed within the perspective of building an open and inclusive society where the citizens are fully empowered to act and transform education and employment, rather than merely adapt to them. It is a framework for action, individual and collective.
Soft skills like critical thinking, innovation, skilled communication, collaboration, leadership etc. are seldom validated and recognized formally. Open Badges are used in the GRASS project (Grading Soft Skills) as microcredentials of learners' soft skills - digital tokens indicating criteria, evidence, validation, and recognition of different soft skills demonstrated by learners of different age and in different contexts.
A 3-year research project financially supported by the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) of the European Commission (project reference number: 543029-LLP-1-2013-1-RS-KA3-KA3MP), focusing on representing soft skills of learners of various ages and at different levels of education in a quantitative, measurable way, so that these skills can become the subject of formal validation and recognition.
Friday 8 May, Cineca organised at the Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR), a conference on Open Badges and ePortfolios to which Badge Europe was invited to present its vision on Open Badges as a means to reinvent ePortfolios.