The GBIF Secretariat has awarded digital badges to 10 participants who completed training on biodiversity data publishing support and promotion. This initiative pilots a new approach for certifying skills and expertise within the GBIF community.
The badge recipients are among the nodes staff members who sought to attain the credentials following a training event in Madagascar before the 2015 Governing Board meeting.
The two-day training event comprised refresher sessions on publishing data and introduced the indexing of sampling-event data. The trainers assessed participants’ performance on technical support to biodiversity data publishers and on their capacity to promote data publishing prior to awarding the badges.
The choice to use Mozilla Open Badges hinged on its use of free software and an open technical standard to certify trainees’ achievements. Recipients of the badges can choose to display them on their social media pages and online CVs, either independently or in combination with badges acquired from other sources.
“Our main impetus for using digital badges was to go beyond trainee and satisfaction surveys and get a more accurate measure of the real impact of GBIF’s training activities,” said Alberto González Talaván, senior programme officer for training at the GBIF Secretariat. “We wanted to offer additional visibility to trainees and recognize their talent, and Mozilla Open Badges help us achieve all these goals.”
The GBIF community has also responded positively to the use of digital badges. SiB Colombia (the Biodiversity Information System of Colombia), which acts as the GBIF national node, plans to use the model in training events.
“At SiB Colombia, we believe in continuous capacity building for data publishers,” said Daniel Amariles, GBIF node manager. “Mozilla Open Badges is an interesting model and would help recognize training activities and encourage the community to strengthen their capacities.”
GBIF expects to use the badges to support the Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) programme and to recognize the contributions of project partners.