Opening up education with Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices, the rapid growth of on-line course delivery via open source virtual learning environments like Moodle and Ilias, as well as MOOCs and different business environments are among the recent major developments in the process of digitalisation of education. The Covid19 pandemic amplified those processes significantly on the change, need, offer and usage point of view as well. The lockdown crisis showed clearly that the content and methodological part of on-line education could much better and quicker adapt to the situation than the rigid paper based educational administration to certify and recognize those content achievements on-line in all levels. Therefore, in the light of the last few months experience the next steps in this direction would evidently be the quick development of digital certification and credentialization techniques, standards and systems.
The first objective of the DISCO project was to build on the possibilities of the open standard of Open Badge 2.0 to work out a meaningful VET and CPD data structure of course and content typology (VET level, VET sector, target, length, etc.), based on EU VET standards, on the OEPass – Open Education Passport project’s research findings, on the newly developed EDCI (Europass Digital Credential Infrastructure) standards for interoperability, and on the partners own national standards and classifications. The result provided a grid of extra metadata accompanying a Badge. This system enabled a better mapping and manageability of their badges for VET and HE providers and other stakeholders.
The second objective of the project was to develop an open source sample displayer platform (repository), where educational providers and learners alike could collect (issue, earn, store, view) their badges with more meaningful and more comprehensive searching possibilities, than internal repositories (like Moodle or Canvas) or third party products (like Badgr) are offering now. Owning the displayer repository by consortium partners enabled us bridging it to EDCI, as well as the rights to further develop the software.
The project is carried out:
- An analysis of state of the art technical development in the last year, changes in EU and national VET policies, best practices regarding digitally signed credentials, open badges and displayers in relation with vocational, higher educational and adult educational use. Also, how it is reflected upon in teacher and educational management training. It will provide a common understanding and terminology regarding credentials, micro-credentials, Open badges, EDCI in national and the EU level.
- Development of a displayer platform, focused on the online credentials of the European VET scene, providing services for all stakeholders (earners, issuers and validators).
- A 30 hours course on open badges and digitally signed credentials. The course is aimed at the issuers and validators and directly supports the implementation of the DISCO VET displayer platform in the institutions, but it will also be available as OER to anyone interested in the theory and practice behind open badges and digitally signed credentials. The course will be available on an LMS developed by the partnership and will be piloted during a 3 full day training event.
- A strong validation of the platform, using events and collaboration with experts. The resulting User guide and Lessons Learnt Kits will transform them into a complete, organic and easy to communicate set of multimedia publication, that helps OB researchers and developers to understand the benefits and of a system developed in DISCO VET project, and to be able to build on the results of this project.