L - EARN
Educational badges to earn and validate competencies
Type of the tool
☒ Self-assessment tool
Recognition dimensions addressed by the tool
☒ Social Recognition
☐ Formal recognition
☐ Political recognition
Level of influence of the tool
Target group(s) for the tool
☒ Youth workers
☒ Youth leaders
☒ Young people
☒ Youth organizations
☐ People from different social clusters
☐ Higher Education Institutions
To what problem does this tool target?
On today’s ultra-connected and rapidly-changing world, people learn both on their own, as well as from each other, youth organisations, youth workers, trainers, experts and communities, and they learn in non-formal and informal contexts more effectively. Learning badges are the online representation of competence or achievements you have earned. It motivates the behaviour of learning, recognizes achievement and establishes credibility.
This tool “L-EARN” is developed for young people involved in any youth organization, youth work activities and youth and volunteering projects. The badges can be earned by anyone who is volunteering for a youth club, youth project or programme or demonstrating specific knowledge, skill and attitude and abilities in a youth organization.
Badge system allows one to verify skills, interests and achievements through credible organizations and attaches that information to the badge image file for future access and review.
We have paid attention to the following skills:
- Public speaking
Special attention was given to the soft skills under the category of Interpersonal skills. Such competencies are sometimes underestimated. We made each of them measurable and confirmed by other people in order to make the validation stronger.
How does the tool work?
Visit our online platform here: https://www.badgecraft.eu/en/wallet/projects/7909, where you will explore the map of our badges. You need to register at the platform https://www.badgecraft.eu/ and have your personal account before starting to earn badges. You can scan the QR code from the gallery to find the project.
We have 3 levels for each competence: 1st is “Newbie”, the second level is “On my way” and the 3rd, the highest level is “Guru”. You may start from the Newbie, and after going the other levels. Some badges require some other specified badges, in order to start unlocking.
Start unlocking the badges, by completing the tasks.
After completing the requirement of a certain badge, you need to provide a proof of that, which are different from badge to badge.
We will contact your direct supervisor or other team members with whom you worked with in order to get some extra validation by them if the badge task requires based on what proof you have provided.
Once you will match the completion requirements of every badge, you will unlock the specific digital badge. Then you can make your badges visible on your profiles or social media feed.
Start unlocking as many badges as possible in order to add them in your CV and social media accounts, which will make the potential employer easier to get an idea of your abilities.
Badges are possible to earn and store also in the mobile application, which you may download and start opening new badges on the go. Search it and have your badge wallet with you.
How can we create a new situation and bring change by using the tool?
Our main issue is that it is hard to make visible the soft skills that we get when volunteering in a youth project or organization, being involved in non-formal education and learning.
This tool is based on applying badges in non-formal learning.
Sharing your badges showing the competences gained in volunteering and youth work will lead to real opportunities like connecting with potential collaborators, other volunteers, youth workers, earning social credits or get a job.
Volunteering brings capabilities and competencies that are much needed in the modern job market and among employees.
Badges let us see that learning goes beyond the classrooms and formal education. Skills like creativity or teamworking become as important as math or science or knowledge of the law. Badges show our non-formal learning is more than a collection of test scores and grades, but as of learning pathways rich with detail and information. This allows volunteers and learners to guide their own learning, youth workers to better engage and motivate young people, and employers to find the unique talents and skillsets they need.
Badges cultivate social and connected learning, which happens through sharing. They let the learner to be recognized and transferred across different volunteering spaces and non-formal learning environments.
Badges make learning more adaptable to change and open to innovation. And most importantly badges make learning a lifelong pursuit. By letting us realize that learning happens anywhere and share it in the places that matter, badges cultivate values of open sharing and innovation in learning today.
Who does the validation?
Badge issuer, in this case, the Social and Youth Workers NGO, serves as an endorser of this credentials. As a community developing youth organization, SYW undertook the role of validation of the competencies which leads to earning the badges.
Any youth organization can join to this tool and start to earn our badges for volunteering. For that, the organization needs to become a collaborator in the system of badges by writing an email to SYW NGO (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The validation of competences will be done by the supervisor of volunteers who directly worked or coordinated the work of those young people involved. The proof of a completed task or gained skill will be the main basis of getting a badge.
Young people across Europe gain essential competencies through non-formal learning activities, but also on a daily basis. Recognition of youth work and non-formal as well as informal learning is an important issue in the field of youth. When reading about recognition, you may stumble across keywords such as 'validation of non-formal and informal learning', 'Pathways' or the 'Youth Report' ... You will soon realize that recognition incorporates a wide range of developments that are connected to political documents, tools, studies and events.
This tool is specified particularly for Armenian NGOs, where voluntary engagement in youth work is widely spread. Other European organizations may also use this platform and the issued badges.
Once you start your volunteering journey, it will take 1-2 months to open your 1st badge at any of the competences.
More information about open digital badges is available in Badge Wiki here.