OAMK – Sustainability badges for sustainable travel and tourism


Speaker: Lotta Pakanen, Senior Lecturer , Oamk

Please tell us about yourself

Lotta Pakanen: Hello, my name is Lotta Pakanen and I work as a senior lecturer in Oulu University of Applied Sciences within a professional teacher Education Our unit educates vocational teachers and also higher education teachers

Why did you choose Open Badges?

Lotta Pakanen: I have been working with open badges for over 10 years And the reason I like open badges is that they highlight the skills that could remain hidden otherwise, for example, in our context, we offer a lot of courses and formal learning, but we use open badges to highlight the skills that are, that are needed in the working life. So the open badges offer something extra in our environment.

Tell us about your badge system?

Lotta Pakanen: Our badge system is called sustainability badges for sustainable travel and tourism. And we offer people who are already working within the tourism sector or want to work in that sector. The possibility is to get their skills recognized and validated within the companies and within the working life. And we are building this badge system in cooperation with other Universities of Applied Sciences in Lapland and in Turku and also the University of Lapland and then a vocational educator called REDU And our project has been going on for about year and a half and we have still this year left and our badge system is almost ready to be published and is being piloted within our web courses.

What’s a good example of a key badge in your system?

Lotta Pakanen: Our key badge is called the basics of sustainable Travel. And you can achieve this badge by joining our web course, but also by demonstrating your skills within the badge application. So this badge is available in two ways. And I think that’s why it’s a good key badge because it offers many ways to get your skills recognized and validated.

Best Practices? What’s next for you?

Lotta Pakanen: We have many good practices within our project. And I will give you three examples of the good practices. One is that we did a survey in the working life within the tourism companies and we asked what kind of skills are needed in today’s tourism sector and tomorrow’s tourism sector and our badges, they reflect these skills and competencies that the companies brought up. The other good practice is that we did a need analysis. So we ask the people who the badges are being built for What kind of badges would they consider very useful? What kind of information should those badges include and things like that? And the result of this need analysis was that our badges are in three different languages. And the third one is that we wanted to make the badges as concrete as possible. And we didn’t want to make the badge application And we didn’t want to make the badge application too wide. And that’s why we use many micro tasks within the badge application. So that application is quite easy to fill in when you are busy within your working life. But it also reflects the real working life situations in the best way.