Toward an Open Architecture for the Recognition of Learning Achievements

In 1999, the Bologna Declaration proposed a European Higher Education Area in which students and graduates could move freely between countries, using prior qualifications in one country as acceptable entry requirements for further study in another. This launched the Bologna qualification reform process, which has now been adopted by 50 countries.

bologna open recognition declarationIn 2008, a broad coalition of educators, foundations, and Internet pioneers launched the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, urging governments and publishers to make educational materials available freely over the internet. Before and since then, an open educational resources movement has been growing significantly, featuring initiatives such as the annual Open Education Conference in the US, the international OERu, the Paris OER Declaration by UNESCO in 2012 and, of course, Creative Commons, with us since 2003.

Now, in 2016, a new coalition of learning stakeholders is issuing the Bologna Open Recognition Declaration: a call for a universal open architecture for the recognition of lifelong and lifewide learning achievements.

We are witnessing a growing awareness in large parts of the political, educational and employment sectors as well as in the public opinion, of the need to establish a more open, transparent, reliable and trustworthy approach to the recognition of learning achievements. Despite progress over the last few years, the recognition of learning remains patchy and uneven across countries and sectors.

Open Badges, the open standard for the recognition of learning achievements has proved the power of a simple, affordable, resilient and trustworthy technology to create an open recognition ecosystem working across countries, educational sectors, work, social environments and technologies. Open Badges have demonstrated that we have the means and the opportunity to put an end to the disparities of the recognition landscape. Connecting and informing competency frameworks, they become the building blocks of an open architecture for the recognition of lifelong and life wide learning achievements. They create the conditions for individuals to be in control of their own recognition, to establish their identity and agency, whether formally (within institutions) or informally (across communities).
Open access to knowledge and education is widely recognised as an irreplaceable factor for social and human growth and an indispensable component to consolidate and enrich citizenship, capable of giving citizens the necessary competencies to face the challenges of the new millennium, together with an awareness of shared values and of belonging to diverse social and cultural spaces. The importance of education and educational cooperation in the development and strengthening of stable, inclusive, peaceful and democratic societies is universally acknowledged as paramount.
We now need to add open recognition to this list.

But formal education is not accessible to all citizens and does not meet all needs. Many argue that formal education represents only a small fraction of the learning that takes place across an individual’s lifespan, most of which goes unrecognised. The creation of an open space for the delivery and recognition of lifelong and lifewide learning is a key enabler for the promotion of social inclusion, employability and mobility of the world’s citizens and the development of our planet. Ultimately, the ability to recognise one’s learning achievements, whether social or professional, is a key factor in building personal agency and establishing trust within a community.

Institutions of higher education, have accepted the challenge and have taken a major role in constructing a more open educational space, but this is not enough. The achievement of greater compatibility and comparability of the systems of higher education can only be part of a more global policy to recognise all forms of learning, including the emergence of systems that encourage the informal recognition of informal learning.

We now need to expand this work beyond the borders of higher education, to create a continuum across all learnings, lifelong and lifewide. This can be supported by encouraging the adoption of more open currencies to capture and share learning achievements whether in formal, informal or nonformal settings.

The October 2016 meeting of the ePortfolio and Identity Conference in Bologna saw participation by a consortium of authoritative experts and scholars from many different countries and provides us with very useful suggestions on the initiatives that can be taken. We must in particular look at the objective of increasing international cooperation at all levels of education.

Our consortium is coordinating its actions to reach the following objectives in the short term, which we consider to be of primary relevance in order to establish an Open Architecture for the Recognition of Learning Achievements:

  1. Open recognition for all: First, we encourage everyone—learners, educators, citizens and organisations—to actively participate in and take ownership of the emerging open recognition movement. Participating includes: taking personal responsibility in one’s own learning and in the recognition of others’ achievements, contributing to the design, implementation and/or exploitation of local and/or global systems of recognition.
  2. Open recognition technologies and infrastructure: Second, we call on the community of learning practitioners and technology developers to establish a trustworthy system of human and machine verifiable learning credentials and to adopt open standards facilitating the comparability and transferability of learning credentials.
  3. Open recognition policies: Third, we call on governments, public authorities and educational stakeholders to implement inclusive policies facilitating and encouraging the recognition of learning achievements whether in formal, non-formal and informal settings, with bridges between all three. Those policies should ensure the existence of multiple developmental pathways, increased flexibility and accessibility and the inclusion of socially excluded and disenfranchised groups.

We, the undersigned, invite all individuals and institutions to join us in signing the Bologna Open Recognition Declaration, and, in doing so, to commit to pursuing the three strategies listed above. We also encourage those who sign to pursue additional strategies to open the recognition of learning achievements to all. With each person or institution who makes this commitment — and with each effort to further articulate our vision — we move closer to a more open, inclusive and trustworthy world.


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The Declaration was officially launched in Bologna October 28, at ePIC 2016.

  61 Organisational Signatories

Organisation
Country
AL AWAEL
Algeria
DIDACTICA
Algeria
Moodle Pty Ltd
Australia
Selor
Belgium
Docenty
Brazil
eCampusOntario.ca
Canada
Griffiths Sheppard Consulting Group Inc.
Canada
Learning Agents, CanCred.ca
Canada
TakingITGlobal
Canada
ADPIOS
France
AFPA
France
ALCADOM
France
CIBC de l'Eure
France
CRI
France
eplefpa vire
france
ganapati
France
Id6
France
IRFAEST
France
Open Law*, le Droit Ouvert
France
Pply
France
Culture Goes Europe - Soziokulturelle Initiative Erfurt e.V.
Germany
Mind2Innovate (MindInn)
Greece
LCETB
Ireland
Associazione Agrado
Italia
CINECA
Italia
Futuro Digitale
Italy
GrowBit
Italy
IQC S.r.l.
Italy
IUL / INDIRE
Italy
University of Milan
Italy
University of Milano Bicocca
Italy
YOBOX Esperienze Formative
Italy
Association of Non-formal Education in Lithuania
Lithuania
Badgecraft
Lithuania
NGO Creativitas
Lithuania
Edvolution
Mexico
StudentFirst
Nederland
Breakthrough
Netherlands
Gear Up
Netherlands
AT&TMSG - Alda Telecom & Telecommunication Mindanao Site of Global
Philippines
Ha Moment
Portugal
Other Signs Lda
Portugal
Independent Education Consultancy
Scotland
Arendsig Akademie
South Africa
Saguaro Learning Technologies
Spain
Aeternity
Sweden
Taha Assistance
Tunisia
MyKnowledgeMap
UK
Validbook Foundation
Ukraine
Dynamic Skillset
United Kingdom
We Are Open Co-op
United Kingdom
Browser ITS
United States
PESC
United States
University of West Florida
United States
PreThinc
United States of America
Learning Machine
USA
Newton Street Study Group
USA
PD Learning Network
USA
Badge Alliance
USA and International
DigiSkills Cymru (UNISON)
Wales, UK
WEA YMCA CC Cymru
Wales, UK

265 Individual Signatories

from_name
Organisation
Country
Emmanuelle Fargues
université de Tours
Afghanistan
Mohamed SAAD LAIB
DIDACTICA
Algeria
Abir Ghenaiet
Independent researcher
Algeria
RudolphMiX RudolphMiX RudolphMiX
Antigua
Daniel Dorian
Armenia
NartOnerreawl NartOnerreawl NartOnerreawl
Aruba
Dylan L Thorne
Australia
Scott Beattie
CQ University
Australia
Nayana Parange
University of South Australia
Australia
Patsie Polly
UNSW Australia
Australia
DonaldEligh DonaldEligh DonaldEligh
Bahrain
Gregorynot Gregorynot Gregorynot
Bangladesh
MichaelCet MichaelCet MichaelCet
Belarus
Marie Evrard
Belgium
cocaporn cocaporn cocaporn
Belgium
Eveline Vlassenroot
imec-mict-GhentUniversity
Belgium
Bert Jehoul
Selor
Belgium
Koen DePryck
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Belgium
Michel Metzger
Brazil
Hirbis R. M. Girolli
Docenty
Brazil
Richard Roberts
Canada
Jeff Raine
Canada
Guy GF Fortier
CamProf
Canada
Joanne R Kehoe
eCampusOntario
Canada
David A Porter
eCampusOntario.ca
Canada
Jeff Griffiths
Griffiths Sheppard Consulting Group Inc.
Canada
Don Presant
Learning Agents, CanCred.ca
Canada
Valerie Thomas
Talent Cloud
Canada
Geoffroi Garon-Epaule
UQAM
Canada
John S. Daniel
UWC
Canada
Jennifer C Clarke
Wild Mountain Thyme Productions
Canada
Bettytof Bettytof Bettytof
Chile
Alexplede Alexplede Alexplede
China
HaroldReera HaroldReera HaroldReera
China
Keithbap Keithbap Keithbap
Cook Islands
GeorgeFrore GeorgeFrore GeorgeFrore
Cook Islands
Zdenkica Stanec ZS Stanec
Virtual school
Croatia
Tudur Evans
Tudur Evans
Cymru
Michail Dim. Drakomathioulakis
Cyprus
Allenepeecy Allenepeecy Allenepeecy
Cyprus
Irene Papalazarou
Emphasys Centre
Cyprus
EKATERINI COSTA PROKOPIOU
LIFE GUIDANCE TODAY
CYPRUS
CharlesCluse CharlesCluse CharlesCluse
Denmark
MichaelPearp MichaelPearp MichaelPearp
Denmark
Scottdit Scottdit Scottdit
Dominican Republic
RodgerdronA RodgerdronA RodgerdronA
Ethiopia
Muhammad ovais ahmad
Finland
Eric Leon Rousselle
Discendum
Finland
Mireille MB BEZIADE
France
nathalie GUILLEM
france
Anouk Lederlé
France
FRANCOIS JOURDE
France
Patrice Petitqueux
France
nicolas Ménagier
France
Denis Pansu
France
eric ed duchateau
France
Alexandre Benassar
France
Jean-François Raquin
France
Vanessa Badja
France
Jacques DUBOIS
France
Christophe VIGNERON
France
Élise ET Thevenin
France
François MILLET
France
sylvie SylSrn SORIANO
France
Florence Gonzague
France
Serge Ravet
ADPIOS
France
Nicolas NB Brunet
AFPA
France
Mary M.A ALEXIS
ALCADOM
France
Nicolas Loubet
Cellabz
France
sophie sb busquet
cfa st lo there
France
Jean-Marie Eden
CIBC Eure Normandie
France
Anna VETTER
CIEP
France
Florence Bazzoli
Cnam
France
Pascal PF FEUILLET
ComUE UCLdV
France
Eric Cherel
CRI
France
Gaëll Mainguy
CRI
France
Fabien Paquereau
DRAAF pays de la Loire
France
Sébastien SR Robit
DRAAF/SRFD Hauts-de-France
France
Emmanuel EB BON
Enseignement agricole normand (DRAAF de Normandie)
France
François Lemoigne
EPLEFPA Saint-Lô Thère
France
samuel sb broult
eplefpa vire
france
Christophe DELAMARE
Fermes d'Avenir
France
vincent mermier
FERRANDI Paris
France
Philippe Petitqueux
French agricultural education
France
Sophie Touze
French Minister of Higher Education
France
Stephane SLF Leforestier
ganapati
France
Pascal PC Chaumette
Id6
France
Jean-Marie Gilliot
IMT Atlantique
France
Jonathan JP PAPAURÉ
Indépendant
France
Victoria C Fontan
Institut Bioforce
France
habib mohammedi
IRFAEST
France
Benjamin Chow-Petit
La Myne
France
mathieu muselet
Ligue de l'enseignement
France
Jeannick JA ARONDEL
Lycée des Métiers Nature
France
Aurélien AF FOUCHEREAU
Lycée professionnel agricole
France
Jean-Luc JLL Jean-Luc LAGADEC
Ministère Agriculture
France
Caroline Bélan-Ménagier
Université Confédérale Léonard de Vinci
France
Daniel Markgraf
Germany
Saskia Krebsz
Germany
Rolf Reinhardt
-
Germany
Zafar Saydaliev
Culture Goes Europe - Soziokulturelle Initiative Erfurt e.V.
Germany
Dominic Orr
FiBS Research
Germany
Nikitas Kastis
Mind2Innovate (MindInn)
Greece
Yannis Papagerasimou
N.C.S.R. "Demokritos"
Greece
Marcoerymn Marcoerymn Marcoerymn
Guatemala
ClydeDoott ClydeDoott ClydeDoott
Hungary
GradyTrela GradyTrela GradyTrela
Iceland
Haroldpef Haroldpef Haroldpef
Iceland
AgeneDyeve AgeneDyeve AgeneDyeve
India
WilliamFit WilliamFit WilliamFit
Iraq
Laurence Van der Haegen
Ireland
Bettytof Bettytof Bettytof
Ireland
Brian Mulligan
Institute of Technology Sligo
Ireland
Phillipbom Phillipbom Phillipbom
Israel
Michele Di Paola
Italia
Alessandro Furlati
Italia
Tania Martinelli
Italia
ELENA MORANDINI
Italia
Laris Guerri
Associazione Agrado
Italia
Chiara Carlino
Bestr - Cineca
Italia
Sandro Cacciamani
Bestr - CINECA
Italia
Daniele Cocilova
Cineca
Italia
Paola R Ferrari
University of Pavia
Italia
Massimo Giannini
University of Rome Tor Vergata
Italia
Fabio Nascimbeni
Italy
Lucia Mazzoni
Italy
Simone Ravaioli
Italy
Alfredo Serafini
Italy
Miriana Tizzani
Italy
Francesco Pierantoni
Cineca
Italy
Stefano Menon
Fondazione Politecnico di Milano
Italy
Michele Forbicioni
IUL / INDIRE
Italy
Marco Recchioni
Università degli studi de L'Aquila
Italy
Paolo Cherubini
University of Milano Bicocca
Italy
Laura Appiani
University of Milano-Bicocca
Italy
Dariusz Grzadziel
Salesian Pontifical University
Italy / Poland
Darrellfum Darrellfum Darrellfum
Lebanon
MichaDip MichaDip MichaDip
Liberia
Jamesrof Jamesrof Jamesrof
Liberia
Nerijus Kriauciunas
Badgecraft
Lithuania
Timothywed Timothywed Timothywed
Madagascar
Duanebal Duanebal Duanebal
Madagascar
Chrisnot Chrisnot Chrisnot
Malawi
Robertsip Robertsip Robertsip
Maldives
Jimmyeagen Jimmyeagen Jimmyeagen
Mali
Carlostries Carlostries Carlostries
Marshall Islands
BryanHob BryanHob BryanHob
Marshall Islands
JustinBar JustinBar JustinBar
Marshall Islands
Leonardo Alexander Guzmán Jiménez
Mexico
Jordi Rosquillas
Edvolution
Mexico
Gerard Pruim
Nederland
Pieter A. van Knippenberg
202P
Netherlands
Milo van der Linden
Code For Europe
Netherlands
Marielle van Rijn
LearningROCKS
Netherlands
Frans Ward
SURFnet
Netherlands
Bobbyhok Bobbyhok Bobbyhok
Netherlands Antilles
BradleyLoona BradleyLoona BradleyLoona
Norway
RobertBroap RobertBroap RobertBroap
Oman
James Buckingham
TESOL Arabia
Oman
Миланаsot Миланаsot Миланаsot
Palau
Terrycag Terrycag Terrycag
Panama
José Arturo de la Rosa Vidal
Master training Microsoft education / comunidad Templaria
Peru
Brianhiply Brianhiply Brianhiply
Philippines
Jeffrey Olivar Alda
AT&TMSG - Alda Telecom & Telecommunication Mindanao Site of Global
Philippines
Jhon Mateo Magkilat
CGE Erfurt e.V.
Philippines
Maja Kuna-Parrish
ICRC
Poland
Davidthise Davidthise Davidthise
Portugal
Filipa C Mendes
Consultant
Portugal
Sérgio H Gonçalves
Ha Moment
Portugal
Flávio Peralta
Ha Moment
Portugal
Daniel José Oliveira
Lisboa City Hall
Portugal
Helder Touças
Lisbon City Council
Portugal
Williamset Williamset Williamset
Qatar
Olga Smolyaniova
Siberian Federal University
Russia
Glenncic Glenncic Glenncic
Saudi Arabia
Joe Wilson
Independent Education Consultancy
Scotland
AntonioTum AntonioTum AntonioTum
Senegal
Christina J van Staden
Arendsig Akademie
South Africa
Javier Leiva Aguilera
Spain
Lisette LG Ganoza Valenzuela
Compartia
Spain
Andrea Ximena Castaño
Individual
Spain
Itziar Garcia Blazquez
Mondragon Unibertsitatea
Spain
Yashar Mansoori
Aeternity
Sweden
Dominique-Alain JAN
Switzerland
Nicolas Martignoni
Switzerland
Patrick E Parrish
WMO
Switzerland
Terryunemy Terryunemy Terryunemy
Tajikistan
Samantha M Frans
Buro Propz
The Netherlands
DavidWraxy DavidWraxy DavidWraxy
Togo
JoshuaGum JoshuaGum JoshuaGum
Tonga
CharlesClets CharlesClets CharlesClets
Tunisia
CharlesClets CharlesClets CharlesClets
Tunisia
Eduardofiede Eduardofiede Eduardofiede
Tunisia
Maja Kharrati
Taha Assistance
Tunisia
Robertcaw Robertcaw Robertcaw
Turkey
TimothyCek TimothyCek TimothyCek
Turkey
Jamessloff Jamessloff Jamessloff
Turkey
Asli Telli Aydemir
Guniversite
Turkey
Ceren Genc
Kiron OHE
Turkey
Bob Price
UK
Marlies Havenga
UK
Lloyd Huitson
UK
Patrina J Law
UK
Teresa MacKinnon
UK
Simon Grant
UK
Virgil Ierubino
Cambridge English
UK
Nigel D W Lloyd
CamProf
UK
Rob Arntsen
MyKnowledgeMap
UK
Bettytof Bettytof Bettytof
Ukraine
Bohdan Andriyiv
Validbook Foundation
Ukraine
Fiona Harvey
United Kingdom
Doug Belshaw
United Kingdom
Robert Stewart
United Kingdom
Gary M Watts
United Kingdom
Petra Pojerova
Humanitarian Leadership Academy
United Kingdom
Tristan dacosta
Mr
United Kingdom
Hannah M Scott
York St John University
United Kingdom
Peter D Wallis
United States
Keesa V. Johnson
United States
Shelley V. Adams
United States
Maria Esquela
United States
Trudi Jacobson
United States
Robert D Craig
United States
Steve Zuiker
Arizona State University
United States
Gerry McGreevy
Browser ITS
United States
Katherine S Woodmansee
Colorado Community College System
United States
Andy Stutzman
Drexel University
United States
Yakut Gazi
Georgia Institute of Technology
United States
Lydia Schuck
Hadley Institute
United States
Daniela Saderi
Oregon Health and Science University
United States
Kyle L. Peck
Penn State University
United States
mindy tulloss
redcross
United States
Randy Macdonald
TAO Foundation
United States
Kelsey L O'Brien
University at Albany, SUNY
United States
Tim Boileau
University of West Florida
United States
Justin Mason
University of Wisconsin-Extension
United States
Daniel P D'Alonzo
PreThinc
United States of America
Bruce Emerson
USA
Vijay M.S. Kumar
USA
Bernard Bull
USA
Sheryl L Grant
USA
Anh Nguyen
USA
Shelly A. Alcorn
USA
Jessica M. Pilsner
USA
Christopher D Andrews
USA
Rick West
Brigham Young University
USA
Martha S. Fruehauf
Hashtagzero
USA
Dan Hickey
Indiana University
USA
Dan Hughes
Learning Machine
USA
Philipp Schmidt
MIT Media Lab / P2PU
USA
Marc Lesser
Mouse, Inc.
USA
Peter Janzow
Pearson Acclaim
USA
Phillip D Long
University of Texas at Austin
USA
Katie Davis
University of Washington
USA
Noah L Geisel
Verses Education, LLC
USA
Nate Otto
Badge Alliance
USA and International
Williamunogy Williamunogy Williamunogy
Uzbekistan
GregoryOveda GregoryOveda GregoryOveda
Venezuela
RogerGuawl RogerGuawl RogerGuawl
Virgin Islands (U.S.)
Sarah K. Jones
Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales
Wales
Debbie Baff
Wales, UK
Richard D Speight
DigiSkills Cymru (UNISON)
Wales, UK
Mark A Isherwood
WEA YMCA CC Cymru
Wales, UK
Rhydian Williams
WEA YMCA CC Cymru
Wales, UK
Josephjag Josephjag Josephjag
Yemen