Recognition of learning in a ‘Skills ePortfolio’

The achievements in learning are recognised in various ways.  In order to show commitment to high ethical and professional values and to lifelong learning, one is required to join a professional body associated with their field of expertise. The membership in such professional organisation can be obtained, for instance, by completing the qualification exam and developing and maintaining a ‘Skills ePortfolio’ where the evidence of acquired skills can be displayed. On other words, one must provide evidence that he/she gained the experience and the qualifications to demonstrate that they have the abilities to become a member. The evidence may include the qualification certificates and other forms of recognition of learning.

Since the announcement of Mozilla’s Open Badge Infrastructure project in September 2011, the initiative was picked up by many educational and corporate organisations which issue open badges to recognise various types of learning, e.g. formal, non-formal and informal.

Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) is a platform that supports badge issuing, collection and display. This tool provides an opportunity for everybody to create records of their achievements and make them visible to the world. One of the applications of this technology is in building a collection of badges in a ‘Skills ePortfolio’ as recognition of the ‘key skills’ development in a particular industry. The benefit of creating of such ePortfolio is that candidates can align badges to display acquisition of those skills which are most sought after by an employer. Employers, in turn, can specify particular badges to prioritize candidates.

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An open badge must reflect the brand and validity of issuing organisation. Each open badge displayed in an ePortfolio has the metadata attached (‘baked’) to it that provide the detailed information to an employer on how this badge has been earned. This information includes transparent criteria, evidence and issue/expire date. Some additional information, e.g. alignment to a particular framework, requirements or training plan, may also be included in the metadata. Moreover, the badges in an ePortfolio can be enhanced by personal commentary and reflection.

The students in some universities in the world, for example, Fox School of Business at Temple University, are required to develop their ‘Skills ePortfolios’ where they can display their professional development badges

Open Badges is an open standard developed by Mozilla Foundation that allows other developers create Open Badges platforms and add-ons to popular web applications to enable them to become issuers and displayers of badges. Open Badges Factory, Mahoodle (integration of Moodle and Mahara), WordPress are the examples of such platforms and web applications.

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