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Open Badges for value recognition in Higher Education

Bestr is the first italian digital platform leveraging Open Badges to valorize Lifelong & Lifewide Learning. Bestr is developed by Cineca, an Interuniversity Consortium born in 1969 and now formed by 70 universities, 6 Research Institutions and the Italian Ministry of Education (MIUR). Cineca’s activities include high performance computing for the scientific community, designing and developing management systems for universities and the abovementioned Ministry, as well as information systems for businesses, health care organizations and Public Administration. Cineca's systems support the digitization of most Higher Education processes: student enrollment, diploma supplement, the programming of didactic activities, elearning, tax payments and more – each of those strictly compliant with Italian laws. Over 80% of italian universities use at least one system by Cineca. Since early 2000s Cineca has developed a strong competence in elearning systems and in 2015 it started the Bestr project. Bestr's purpose is to make informally and non formally gained skills visible as Open Badges, to expose them on the web platform for learners to choose among them and to use them to build their unique paths. Thanks to the xAPI standard, Bestr acts as a hub connecting Student Information Systems and elearning systems, allowing automated issuing of Open Badges upon any set of learning statements (e.g. course completion, earning of a degree, etc) and automatic recognition of credits in SIS after Open Badge awarding. Three use cases for Open Badges within the Italian higher education system will be presented.



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