Digital Open Badges – Microcredentials to Increase Competence in Sustainable Tourism
Shorter forms of learning opportunities than traditional qualifications, such as micro-credentials, are being developed rapidly across Europe and around the world. These opportunities are made available by a wide variety of public and private providers in response to the demand for more flexible, learner-centred forms of education and training. Micro-credentials are owned by the learner, can be shared and are portable. They may be standalone or combined into larger credentials. Digital Open Badges – Microcredentials to Increase Competence in Sustainable Tourism are being developed for the Finnish tourism and hospitality professionals and those currently outside the labour force in order to support flexible forms of upskilling and validating their skills and competences.
Digital Open Badges is a national project developing microcredentials for the tourism and hospitality sector in Finland. The project (2022-2024) is funded by The Service Centre for Continuous Learning and Employment’s (JOTPA), and it is coordinated by Oulu University of Applied Sciences.
Micro-credentials certify the learning outcomes of short-term learning experiences, for example, a short course or training. They offer a flexible, targeted way to help people develop the knowledge, skills and competences they need for their personal and professional development. They also have the potential to offer education and training opportunities to a wider range of learners, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
The aim of the project Digital Open Badges – Microcredentials to Increase Competence in Sustainable Tourism is to create a badge constellation to identify and recognize competences related to sustainability in the tourism industry. Target groups involve people working in the tourism industry and people outside of working life who have received training in the tourism industry.
The badge constellation is linked to national and EU-level reference frameworks, and it is based on competences required in working life. The constellation is built to be scalable, in which case badges belonging to the same constellation can be validated through online trainings and displays at different educational levels; vocational education, university of applied sciences and university. In addition, MOOC online trainings are being designed based on the criteria for sustainable development and the badge constellation.
The digital Open Badges for the tourism and hospitality sector in Finland supports professionals and people outside working life to acquire, update and improve their knowledge, skills and competences they need in the labour market. By performing digital open badges, people can make their competences visible as well as reduce any possible knowledge gaps; Open Badges can serve as promotion of one’s own employment and demonstration of competence to the current employer.
For employers and companies in the tourism and hospitality sector, the Digital Open Badges can be useful in profiling in sustainable tourism, and they offer a cost-effective alternative to sustainable development certificates. Also, the adaptation of digital Open Badges for the tourism and hospitality sector in Finland will provide opportunities in taking into account the special features and particular skills needs within the sector in different regions, such as Lapland and or Turku archipelago.
Digital Open Badges, Oulu ProLearn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5UdneXOSqk&list=PLc3cU2bgOu7ZEnyqefbqTcZFUIGWidJ7x
BadgeTour. VET Micro-credentialing in the tourism sector. 2023. https://www.badgetour.eu/ Halttunen, Timo. 2022. Upskilling and reskilling workforce in tourism for sustainable development. https://sites.google.com/oamk.fi/kestavamatkailu/blogi