The Open Badges are indicators of digital skills acquired or results achieved by a person. The Open Badges differ from the purely visual representations of Badge or certificates because they contain within them structured information (metadata) that qualify the Badge indicating the entity that issued it (issuer), the criteria adopted for the assessment of said competencies, the support evidence the student has provided, any expiry date of certification, and other information, useful for automatic processing.
The technology supports a wide range of types of Badges, developed in collaboration with whomever releases them. The Badges can refer to vertical skills (e.g. computer programming) or soft skills (ability to communicate or problem-solving, etc.) They can be issued from formal educational institutions (schools, universities), non-formal and informal learning, professional associations, corporations, volunteer associations: from any community organization. (rif. http://openbadges.org/, https://www.badgealliance.org/why-badges/ ).
(pron. Bèster, neologism for: «what makes me better and the best») is the digital platform by CINECA based on Open Badges, which supports lifelong and lifewide learning and recognition and validation of skills acquired through formal learning pathways, non-formal and informal learning.
CINECA has created the platform Bestr to facilitate the free circulation of knowledge and reduce skill-gap between the demand for skills expressed by the labor market and the skills base developed by the educational system.
For Open Badges issued through the platform Bestr, CINECA will not charge end users.
SERVICE AND USE
Use of public content of Bestr
Bestr makes provision for public web content accessible to any internet user through the sites:
The user has the ability to read and access all public pages in the platform. In particular he/she can access the list of Badges published.
Sharing the public pages of Bestr through social networks
Content made available on Bestr public pages is freely usable, also by unregistered users. Such content can be freely shared and disseminated through social networks or any other means chosen by the user.
At the end of a training and assessment path, users can get a new Open Badge representing the achievement of their educational goals.
The Claim is the process offered by the Bestr platform which allows a registered user to acquire a new Open Badge.
The process begins with an invitation to Claim (by e-mail). If the user accepts the invitation, he/she has to access the private area of Bestr using his/her credentials (or register to acquire them) and confirm the acceptance of the Badge.
There are two ways to register to the Bestr platform.
This is the creation of a user account on the local Bestr database.
Currently, only the user who receives an invitation to Claim can register locally to the Bestr platform.
The local registration, which involves verification of the email address of the user, enables the phase of claim and subsequent login to the platform.
The data required for registration are:
date of birth
password and password confirmation
The locally registered user may request the generation of a new password.
Registration through federated access
Users belonging to an Identity Federation providing a unique digital identity can register to Bestr, even without an invitation to Claim.
This registrations enables subsequent logins and claims and it requires only one information:
since other personal data required by the platform (i.e. givenName, surname, email) are retrieved from the federated server and locally stored on Bestr database, where the user cannot modify it. The password is not required, since authentication happens on a server outside the Bestr platform. Bestr doesn't receive nor store password information used by external servers.
If a federated user happens to have previously registered locally on Bestr, or to have claimed a Badge using the same email address now used for federated access, logging in through federated access is equivalent to a local log in as the reviously created account will be automatically identified and merged. From now on the user will be able to login both locally and through federated access.
End users and IDP administrators may send support request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Request for information and invites
The user has the option to request to be updated with news regarding the services offered by the platform Bestr. The invitation request will also include a communication from the staff of Bestr regarding when the registration feature will also be open to users who do not have an invitation to the Claim.
Users can request a Badge they think should be assigned to them, by filling up a Badge-specific form with their name, surname and email. Such form may be openly available or it may be communiated only to those potentially interested. Data entered by the user in this form will ony be used to verify the actual right of the user to receive the Badge by sharing such data with the issuer.
Bestr will then send the Badge Claim email through which the user will be able to register to Bestr as explained above. Only after the proper registration to the website and the verification of the email address, the user will be considered a Bestr user and will receive the associated communications.
The registered user has the ability to login to the platform Bestr and access to all services reserved to him/her.
Managing the user profile
Registered and authenticated users have the ability to manage their personal data and the visibility (public vs. private) of their user profiles.
The authenticated user has the option to change his/her password.
Profile sharing (Backpack)
A registered user who has acquired at least one Badge is equipped with a profile page showing Badges acquired. The user has the option to change the visibility of this page by selecting from:
public page (default after the acquisition of the first Badge)
private page -visible only to the user himself.
Sharing and downloading Badges acquired
The user has the ability to share Badges that he/she received through the platform Bestr.
Sharing to the most widely used platforms is available: social (social sharing) and external sites (embedding).
Registered and authenticated users can securely download Badge acquired through the platform
Bestr in png format according to OBI standards.
Proposal for a new Badge and contact
Anyone interested in working with Bestr for the publication of a new Badge can contact the staff of Bestr through a web form.