Last week we began work on the assessment and certification solutions for the Turkish language.

Assessment and certification are both key components of language learning for any learner, but ever more so for those in the business and vocational domain, who wish to see their efforts converted into certificates which they can promote on their CVs or LinkedIn profiles. Employers, too, who are inundated with faultless CVs are increasingly eager to see evidence of achievements and skills that applicants claim to possess.

Certification 2.0

Udo Hennig recently attanded the Open Badges conference at Koblenz University. Returning with the latest information, it is becoming clear that we are entering a new wave of certification which, like many innovations, has its roots in the digital economy.

Trust and security have often been key issues in the world wide web and, as a result, solutions have been put forward on how to boost trust in the face of anonymity. Solutions include instant feedback and ratings from users.

Another option is something we use on other websites: SSL (Secure Socket Layer). This is a secure internet connection so that a website user knows that any data transferred between their computer and the server is secured. How do they know this? An icon appears in the URL browser, and a user can follow this link to a central site where the certification can be immediately validated.

The key aspect here is the immediate validation.

This same approach can be used for digital certification and assessment.

The OpenBadges framework is at the forefront. Click on the infographic to find out more:

infographic_openbadges_mini

 

We are proposing a system which incorporates two components of language learning:

1. Language learning log

The log will monitor the hours spent on the learning interface and the extent of the interactions undertaken. We will also integrate algorithms to assess whether the time spent was actually spent interactively … or whether the user simply logged in and made a cup of tea.

Interaction will be tracked securely from our servers. Users can track their progress and can see for themselves how many hours they have spent. They can then share this data with teachers or make the page publicly visible via a URL if they want potential employers to check their credentials.

2. Assessment results

Test results will also be made available to the user. Again, if the user wishes, they can make this available to the public via the same URL.

At this point the user can download a badge or request a certificate. Badges can be added to online profiles, such as Mozilla’s Backpack or LinkedIn’s AddToProfile with a direct URL to the evidence. The weight of the certificate will then be based on four things:

  • The level achieved
  • The evidence of participation in terms of hours and interaction
  • The course descriptions and criteria
  • The reputation of the developers of the course, for example, Pendragon Educational Publishers

All of these can be validated immediately via the URL. Let’s say a future employer is looking through a CV. They can check what grade the applicant received, the hours he spent and the course requirements – instantly.

With LinkedIn’s AddToProfile system users can add the information to their profile with one click:

linkedIn_language_badge

Development

In our last meeting Jeroen and I sketched out how this will all work on our servers. So far, we have started developing the databases and Jeroen has tested initial php scripts to interact between the interface and the servers. This approach is compatible with the Open Badges framework.

The development is highly innovative and I would wager that we are the first to implement a digital badge for language learning – one which can be referenced directly to internationally recognised levels of attainment: the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the European Qualifications Framework.

For more questions about this, please feel free to contact the developers at:

info@handsonturkish.com

 


 

 

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HandsOnTurkish is an EU-funded project from a consortium of publishers, programmers and language learning experts. Learn Turkish online or download the apps (available for iOS and Android).


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