Healthy Future project, Open Badges as part of the competence-based learning

The ITK-2018 exhibition and conference were held at the hotel Cumulus Resort Aulanko in Hämeenlinna on 11-13 April 2018. The ITK Conference is a unique event for digital education and learning in the education sector.

Lecturers Oona Haapakorpi from Omnia and Henna Ström-Kallio and Hanna Arminen from Ekami presented the results of the Healthy Future project. Oona Haapakorpi is responsible for the professional content of the project.

From the left Henna Ström-Kallio and Hanna Arminen from Ekami

Healthy Future projects is a development project for the food service industry, developing 43 Open Badges for Sustainable Development and two professional e-books with the criteria for the HoReCa industry and learning material published in four languages (English, Finnish, Croatian and Italian).

This development project is the first of its kind in vocational education in Finland. The project has deepened co-operation between Omnia and Ekami educational institutes and has inspired a united, open-minded operating model between them: e.g. Guild Schools, especially Cooks Guild Schools (in Finnish Kokkikilta), whose main theme is digital development. In the Guild School model, the active students acquire different professional skills and prepare for working-life using a variety of social media tools.

A press conference in hotel Cumulus Resort Aulanko in Hämeenlinna

Oona Haapakorpi and Henna Ström-Kallio held a press conference about Open Badges for Sustainable Development in teaching (11.4.2018).  Omnia and Ekami (Oona Haapakorpi, Henna Ström-Kallio and Hanna Arminen) also had a lecture on the same subject as a “poster” (#ITKPosteri293) 12-13.4.2018. However, the first presentation by Oona Haapakorpi on the subject was held on ITK-Webinar 4.4.2018.

Henna Ström-Kallio and Oona Haapakorpi held a press conference in Hämeenlinna 11.4.2018

The Open Badges for Sustainable Development were introduced as part of the competence-based learning during the press conference. Open digital badges are a new online standard to recognize learning and achievements.  They are a digital method to prove evidence of competencies. As they are an open standard they are not tied to any specific service or platform. Healthy Future project’s Open Badges are based on the criteria for the catering qualification.

During the project we have done 39 Open Badges and 4 Meta Open Badges in four different languages (Finnish, English, Italian and Croatian). The Open Badges for Sustainable Development are integrated in the Finnish national curriculum for restaurant and catering. In this national curriculum in the compulsory parts of the qualification competence requirements corresponding 20 Open Badges for Sustainable Development can be found. In the optional parts of the qualification there are competence requirements corresponding 12 Open Badges for Sustainable Development and competence requirements corresponding yet another six Open Badges for Sustainable Development can be found in the general qualification modules (in Finnish called YTO). The Open Badges for Sustainable Development are divided into three colours defining the areas of ecological sustainable development (blue), social sustainable development (green) and economic sustainable development (turquoise).

A pathway from high school to vocational learning

One of the ideas is that a student can apply for an Open Badges already during high school. This gives students direct skills for restaurant and catering studies. At the same time, the students will have a clear idea, e.g. what the cooks must know about sustainable development. Digital know-how helps students to verify their skills and make their competence visible in their portfolio. Open Badges provide a meaningful game approach to learning the subject.

By using Open Badges we correspond to the challenges that the vocational education reform sets: student’s progress in individual study paths and the competence-based learning. Learning is most effective when it is multichannel and social. To develop the learner’s competencies and commitment and to increase his/her interest, the learning materials and environments should be accessible to students in inspirational ways. At best, competence-based learning can be enhanced by utilizing digital tools and using gameplay elements as an inspiration for knowledge retrieval.

The Healthy Food Choices for a Sustainable Future – Healthy future

The Healthy Food Choices for a Sustainable Future is an international Erasmus+ KA2 project. The project is developing cooperation between vocational culinary schools and colleges and working life in the fields of health, tourism & catering and environmental technologies mainly in Finland, Croatia and Italy. The idea of the project was born of the need to develop the professional skills of students’ sustainable development by combining digital competence marks, the Open Badge, in vocational education. With Open Badges, knowledge can be accumulated regardless of time or place, and it supports the student’s competence base and self-guidance.

Healthy future project’s focus is to develop sustainable development activities in the catering industry. This consists a healthy diet that produces climate-friendly meals. The purpose is to increase the use of vegetables to reduce carbon footprint. At the same time, we have increased and developed student entrepreneurship, international studies and competing activities.

The project is co‐funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ program.

The project partners are Omnia and Ekami from Finland, from Italy and Centar za odgoj i obrazovanje Slava Raškaj Zagreb and Hotelijersko‐turistička i ugostiteljska škola Zadar from Croatia.

Are you interested to know what our future activities are? Do you want more info?

Oona Haapakorpi
Ruokatuotannon lehtori, Omnia