Open Badges to Motivate Engagement. ‘Eastern Partnership Youth Forum’.

By Agency for International Programs for Youth, Latvia.

2nd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum brought together 240 young people, youth workers and educators, representatives of governmental institutions, entrepreneurs, researchers and other experts from 27 countries. The event was filled by speeches, big discussions and creative workshops in a very promising atmosphere. Delegates participated in learning spaces where they developed their knowledge and also got some new information about youth employment situation in EU and Eastern Partnership countries, recommendations, possibilities and expectations of potential employers. In this activities participants had also a chance to earn digital badges from Bagdescraft.

During the Forum participants were engaged in various quests, workshops, conversations, development meetings and informal conversations. New experiences and learning were inevitable and all of it was shown visually by collecting Open Badges. Posters informing what kind of learning can happen and which Open Badge can be acquired in a specific place at the certain time were placed all around the working space.

Eastern partnership youth forum

Participants received a ‘Personal Record of Achievement’ in order to follow the progress of personal learning. Once a person was completing some task or attended some specific activity, there was a chance to earn an Open Badge. Participant just needed to leave own name at that learning space or workshop and Open Badge was issued by e-mail and symbolic sticker was issued right on the spot.

Knowing that people learn a lot through receiving feedback from others, every participant got some feedback stickers, which was given to anyone deserving it. Feedback receivers were unlocking badges after collecting at least 3 feedback stickers from others.

Feedback stickers

Forum provided a lot of opportunities for networking. That is why a Matrix of Connections was prepared as part of the ’Personal Record of Achievement’. Once person will collect at least nine contacts for potential professional partnerships, he or she can earn an Open Badge recognizing networking skills!

Matrix of connections

And after all, lets not forget to have some fun. Participants could acquire some less serious badges too! It is always healthy to laugh on some situations and suggest some feedback to each other in a humorous way.

Fun Badges

In order to receive badges quicker, Forums team invited participants to accept the first badge ‘Ready Steady’, which arrive to e-mail inboxes of participants. After accepting the badge, participants were redirected to the Forum’s badge system at Badgecraft.

What is unique about this badging experience?

  • Badges helped to capture learning

  • They motivated engagement and participation

  • Created opportunities for peer feedback

  • Gamification added playfulness to the atmosphere

Vitalie Cîrhană, participant, "MilleniuM" Training and Development Institute, Moldova
Being a participant in the Eastern Partnership Youth Forum I experience Open Badges and noticed that this tool can be used in trainings organised by our organization in order to increase motivation of youngsters and help them to understand what they learn and develop during the training.

Agne, co-organiser, Agency for International Youth Cooperation, Lithuania
If not Open Badges I would not attend so many activities. After trying few activities I felt I accept the invitation to play with badges, discuss, explore, try, experience the activities.

Giorgi Kakulia, facilitator, Freelance Trainer and Consultant, Georgia
"Use of the learning badges brought learning dimension of the of the 2nd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum to another level. As badges kept participants excited and motivated to learn more, interact more, discover more and at the same time stay entertained. Badges played an important role in motivating participants for more active participation in the Forums activities, thus badges as a tool for encouraging learning, participation and raising motivation proved to be a success."

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