Achievement programme “Discover Yourself”
Developed by Lithuanian Association of Non-formal Education
The achievement programme “Discover Yourself” is a specialised online system based on open badges standard. With a help of this tool, digital badges are issued for the completion of certain tasks and the improvement of the chosen competences.
Voluntary service is a form of volunteering. It is a volunteering programme designed to carry out volunteering activities as well as to develop volunteers. Volunteering helps people to develop as personalities, acquire new knowledge, improve their personal skills, boost self-confidence, increase responsibility, learn to deal with personal problems and help others to solve their problems. From September 2015, the Youth Volunteer Service is a part of the youth guarantee initiative’s project “Discover Yourself” in Lithuania. “Discover yourself” is coordinated by the Department of Youth Affairs under Ministry of Social Security and Lithuanian Labour Exchange. Voluntary service is open to any young person who is between the ages of 15 and 29 and not in education, employment or training. The duration of voluntary service in the “Discover Yourself” project is from 1 to 4 months. Young people undertake to volunteer from 4 to 8 hours per day, up to 25 hours per week and up to 100 hours per month.
The achievement programme is open to “Discover Yourself” participants who are involved in the Youth Voluntary Service – volunteer at one of the host organisations. To participate in the programme, a young person must first participate in the project and then commit to volunteering at one of the host organisations for at least one month. If all these conditions are met, the mentor explains the volunteer how to join the achievement programme online and how to complete tasks and earn open digital badges.
The logic of the system
The achievement programme is aligned to the eight key competences for life-long learning: learning to learn, digital competence, civic competence, cultural awareness, entrepreneurship, mathematical competence, science and technology, mother tongue and foreign languages.
Each competence has 3-level badges and the mandatory number of tasks to complete:
- Level I – 1 task. Mandatory completion of the task;
- Level II – 4 tasks. Minimum number of the tasks to complete: 2 of 4 chosen tasks;
- Level III – 6 tasks. Minimum number of the tasks to complete: 3 of 6 chosen tasks.
A volunteer can choose any competence area to start with. They would start from the level I badges and can level up by gaining more experience during the voluntary service. Mentor can support volunteer to define specific tasks from the second level badges and in this way badge adapts to the specific volunteering context.
The programme allows volunteers to monitor and evaluate their achievements as well as show to the world what they are capable of and what qualities they have. Badge earners can manage their achievements using a Badge Wallet application developed during the “Trusted Badge Systems” project. The volunteer is free to choose which achievements to share and where. The platform offers a feature to share badges and achievements with friends via social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. The badge owner can transfer his/her improved skills to his/her CV and receive a certificate of achievement.
Badges for career and development
The Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the Lithuanian Association of Non-Formal Education work in close cooperation with employers and aim to ensure the recognition of non-formally acquired competences and the open badge system as such. Already now volunteers can get 0,25 points (out of 10) during admission process to the University. This achievement programme is endorsed by Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists and Lithuanian Labour Exchange.