What is BADGES?
The Badges project wants to install a standardized European validation and award system, by issuing electronic badges on quality learning approaches and validation of non-formal learning in these cultural/heritage contexts. Digital badges are online representations of achievements of various types of learning, resulting in a better visualization of the learning and development of competencies. In cooperation with various partners, the consortium unites heritage sites and public institutions, public relations agencies, and learning concept developers specialized in validation of non-formal and informal learning.
Informal or non-formal learning is not always visible and is not always considered valuable. The cultural heritage context, however, has a great potential for this informal learning and lifelong learning. Therefore, a European consortium, coordinated by the LandKreis Kassel (DE), starts a new Erasmus+ project: BADGES for quality learning approaches and validation of non-formal learning in cultural and heritage sites. The BADGES project aims at giving heritage learning the place it deserves in ‘lifelong learning’.
Who can earn a badge and how?
A lot of museums and cultural heritage sites are rightly playing the education card nowadays. But most of the educational activities are solely focused on youngsters and school children, and on gaining (historical) knowledge. Furthermore, learning is hardly ever ‘acknowledged’ and ‘validated’. Therefore, the BADGES project aims at involving adults in this process, and at providing heritage learning on sites and in public institutions.
All visitors of the participating heritage sites can earn a badge. Imagine a youngster or an adult visiting a participating museum, a nature park or an historic site, where they can watch, listen, act, participate and … learn. At the end of the visit or, back at home, he/she gets the opportunity to give proof of what he/she learned and is awarded with a … digital badge!
What is the added value of Badges?
Adults visiting heritage sites or experiencing a heritage context may derive learning outcomes for their experience. Often they may not be aware of it but nonetheless learning happens everywhere. Heritage in many ways may be seen as a powerful and rich environment for learning. Apart from learning about the specifics of the heritage experience or site they may also acquire competences for the acquisition of which the heritage context is an inspiration. You may learn to express yourself better or you may become competent in discovering new concepts and talk about them with others. Many of such learning results often remain invisible and therefor often remain unnoticed and eventually they fade out. By making the learning outputs visible and noticeable for others the learning process appears to last longer, be more effective and are more easily shared with others even in the long run. That is basically the idea behind the Badges project that promotes learning and aims at providing meaningful evidence of the learning processes visitors experience when visiting heritage sites.