Sivis Study Centre, Finland

Sivis Study Centre provides adult education and activities for nearly 70 member organisations. These organisations consist from the fields of health, education and culture, citizens’ advice, nature and the environment as well as other specific areas of activity. The study centre’s aim is to develop and foster multiple civic activities and to support its members’ adult education activities. Sivis Study Centre employs around 30 people and has five offices in Finland.

Challenge

Marion Fields, coordinator for Sivis Study Centre, tells how Open Badges fit the field of voluntary work very well because there will always be a lot of informal situations related to voluntary work that contain learning.

“It’s easy to recognise learning with Open Badges and you don’t always need long certificates to do that. Badges make it also possible for the badge earner to reach new audiences, as you will be able to show your learning and competencies anywhere online! I think this is very convenient.”

“Associations have very extensive study modules as well. A lot of learning happens in associations that didn’t get recognised in any way previously and this is where Open Badges stepped in,” Minna Pesonen, educational coordinator for Sivis Study Centre continues.

Minna Pesonen, educational coordinator for Sivis Study Centre Minna Pesonen, educational coordinator for Sivis Study Centre Minna Pesonen, educational coordinator for Sivis Study Centre, Finland Marion Fields, educational coordinator for Sivis Study Centre, Finland

Solution

The work behind Sivis Study Centre’s Open Badges strategy started in 2013 as they took part in the TEKES (the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) project that was coordinated by Discendum (Open Badge Factory developers). The project got them thinking what type of Open Badges they could issue for their staff and what type of badges could be issued from different training and education activities. The strategy morphed between 2013-2014, as the project was active: “The TEKES project actually worked as a wonderful starting point for us,” Minna notes. “We had our own working group that was dedicated to taking our Open Badges strategy forward,” Minna continues.

The visual appearance was decided early on and it has stayed pretty much the same ever since. Sivis Study Centre focuses on issuing Open Badges from different training and educational sessions. At the moment they have two specific content lines that they issue badges from: educational competencies and association competencies. They are also considering issuing staff related Open Badges in the future.

Minna, who takes care of the technical part and issuing at the moment, says Open Badge Factory is user-friendly and provides good reporting tools. The study centre uses especially the Badge Application feature of the service. She chuckles: “Open Badge Passport is also outstanding compared to Backpack! I like looking at the Gallery section to see what type of Open Badges are being issued around the world.”

Present and Future

Sivis Study Centre has ideas for new Open Badges related to informal learning and some are already ready for issuing. They are satisfied that they’ve taken Open Badges into usage. “As always, when we are talking about a new concept or service, it has taken a bit more time for us to take the idea of Open Badges to different associations. But this was expected and we will stay dedicated to Open Badges and getting more associations involved.” Marion concludes.

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