Summary of Emilia Romagna study visit to the Basque country and anticipation of follow-up report

My colleague Grazia Guermandi from Regione Emilia-Romagna (RER) already told in her blog-post how useful was the visit to Bilbao on October 2-3, 2017!
As she wrote, we aimed to gain deeper knowledge of the Basque Ikanos project and the local telecentres network KZgunea
In particular, we were interested in four topics:

a) use of DigComp to develop training offers;

b) self-assessment methods;

c) digital competence certification;

d) opportunities for collaboration and the re-use of tested solutions.

Our Basque hosts in turn wanted to learn about Pane e Internet (PeI) experience with DigComp and opportunities for collaboration. So during the visit both Italian and Basque participants gave presentations to each other.

Summing up what we found

Overall we were very impressed by the strategic and transversal character of the Basque digital competence initiatives, which address through coordinated actions multiple targets: from citizens to SMEs, from students to teachers and advanced factory workers. And by the systematic use of DigComp, which plays as a red thread crossing through most, if not all of these initiatives.

Concerning the use of DigComp (a), we learnt how the “Basque Human Resources 4.0 Initiative” (inside Basque Digital Agenda 2020) developed a methodology for designing training modules for digital skilling needs of organizations facing industry 4.0 transformation. DigComp is used as reference framework, by creating “sub-competences” for specific industry 4.0 jobs.

As for self-assessment methods (b), the Ikanos self-assessment tool was illustrated quite in details. It is available in English, so do check it out!

On digital competence certification (c), BAIT was presented, the evolution of the Basque IT certification system (IT Txartela). More on this below.

In regard to opportunities for collaboration (d), we learnt about the long history and the current functioning of the KZgunea project. With KZgunea director and her assistant, we identified and discussed the similarities with Pane e Internet (mostly in overall aims and training approaches) and the differences. These are mostly in funding levels (KZgunea has a much larger budget) and related organisation aspects: Pane e Internet doesn’t hire staff in the PeI points, whereas KZGunea has a significant number of contracted e-facilitators and trainers.

Topics for future exchanges and collaboration 

Two opportunities for further collaboration were identified. As Grazia mentioned, RER is considering to re-use the Ikanos self-assessment tool in Emilia Romagna for the new Pane e Internet project phase. KZgunea in turn asked to know more about RER’s usage of DigComp to redesign basic digital literacy courses. They were also interested in PeI’s successful experience with involving high-school students in e-facilitation activities (with “alternanza scuola-lavoro” scheme) and in the profile of e-facilitators in Emilia Romagna.

An anticipation on BAIT certification from the upcoming follow up report on Ikanos

Ervet is preparing a follow up report about some topics of the study visit, which is also partly an update of the TE 2015 DigComp Guidelines' section on the Ikanos project. The report will address the use of DigComp in the Ikanos self-assessment tool, the new professional digital competence profiles for industry 4.0 and the Ikanos orientation guide for intermediaries. It will also inform about the Mikroenpresa Digitala initiative and about KZgunea operation.
Here we anticipate an update, also from the report, about the new BAIT digital competence certification service.

In 2016, Ikanos in collaboration with Tecnalia Research and technological development centre, started the revision of IT Txartela (the certification system for ICT skills, operating in the Basque Country since 2002). It is now launching BAIT (acronym for “Validate your digital competences!” in Euskara language), designed with a fully competence-based approach, in line with the DigComp framework. It aims also to extend the scope of certification to the digital knowledge and skills that people acquire increasingly outside of formal learning environments.

Key features of the BAIT model are:

Performance-based assessment: the evaluation is based on the user’s performance in digital challenges that have to be solved.

Exercises and real situations: the challenges concern situations that users will face in a professional context. Real tools (e.g. word processor, spreadsheets) must be used to accomplish assessment tasks.

Summative evaluation and verification: the test must be carried out in a limited time and under supervision to ensure compliance with regulations.

Evaluation with technological support: the BAIT web platform offers users test registration and access to test execution. Users receive feedback and are able to visualise their progress during the test. User history is updated automatically after the test is completed.

Evaluation analytics: the information gathered from tests is used to improve the system itself.

Adaptive Assessment: test implementation is designed to provide the same precision in results with a shorter test version, which may be needed to avoid boredom/frustration and to reduce test duration for some user categories.

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