About Beuth University:

Beuth Hochschule or BHT Berlin is the second largest University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany and is home to
over 12,000 students and provides over 70 accredited bachelor's and master's degree programs in a wide range of applied engineering, natural sciences, and economics programs. Beuth University was created in 1971 through the merger of four state-owned Berlin engineer academies: the engineering academies Beuth, Gauss and Construction and the Engineering Academy of Horticulture. Beuth University is professionally-oriented, with classes organized in small groups and key skills such as teamwork and social skills emphasized. For business and industry, Beuth University is an attractive partner for cooperation and joint projects. Applied research is at the center, with patents originating from the Beuth labs. The aim of the university is also to increase the proportion of female students continuously, with a current enrollment of about 30 percent women.

Overview:

Ilona Buchem, Professor for Digital Media and Diversity at Beuth University, is working with a team to design a badge system in Moodle and BuddyPress for the qualification program for migrant academics. The badges will display key competencies, skills, and achievements to help migrant academics succeed in the German labor market.

Open Badges will be issued based on:

(1) a competency matrix for professional, social, and personal competencies;
(2) a method and instrument for assessment of formal and informal competencies called ProfilPASS;
(3) assessment made by coaches who provide individual coaching for the participants; and
(4) recommendations from the advisory board which comprises leading industry organizations in Germany.


Setting:

The badge system is part of the qualification program at Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin. The target groups are migrant academics who obtained their academic degree abroad, now reside in Germany, and have difficulties finding jobs that match their qualifications. The focus is on supplementary qualifications in the ICT/IT field due to the shortage and need for skilled workers in this area in Germany. The qualification program is part of the federal network "Integration through Qualification" (IQ Network), which is the largest networks of organizations working on integration of migrants in Germany. The project is part of IQ Network Berlin which is coordinated by the Berlin Senate of Labor, Social and Family Affairs.

Learning Recognized:

One example would be recognizing professional competencies, e.g. IT skills, which have been acquired informally, perhaps as part of self-employed work. Another example would be recognizing social competencies, such as leadership skills, which will be observed by the coaches during the qualification program.

Evidence:

Evidence will include samples of work or referrals from coaches.

Assessments:

Observations will be used, as well as interviews and systematic competency evaluation with the instrument called ProfilPASS.

Challenges:

The key challenge is how to balance standardization (efficiency) with personalization (quality) of the badging system.

Next Steps:

Currently, work on the badging matrix is underway, which specifies the criteria and necessary evidence for each type of badge.