New Learning (NewLearning)

The ‘New Learning’ initiative is a professional and personal capacity development programme, which intends to level new forms of participation and empowerment through innovative teaching methodologies. ‘New Learning’is available to all the AMA – Agency for the Public Services Reform I.P.  Staff and to all the entities represented in the Citizen Shops and Company Shops. This programme may be reused by all public organisations.

Description of target users and groups

Partnering Entities: The New Learning initiative has been endorsed by four institutions during its first phase (2008),:

  • the Fundação para a Divulgação das Tecnologias de Informação (FDTI),
  • Novabase
  • PT Inovação, and
  • Vodafone.

At this time, there is a protocol with the Social Security Institute, for the initial technical instruction related to the Multi - services Desk (BMS). During 2012, the creation of new protocols expanding to other entities is expected,. The synergies created will allow for a enlargement of the scope of New Learning, as well as for the improvement of the methodologies and training availability for the specific necessities of all of its recipients.

Recipients: The New Learning initiative is addresed to the staff of AMA and other entities, public and private, that are responsible for their functions in Citizen Shops and in the remaining decentralised structures. Simultaneously, the staff of partner entities, as well as other AMA teams working in common projects and other requests, are also potential recipients of the New Learning Initiative.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Status Report

The New Learning initiative is a project in constant evolution, be it for the introduction of innovative elements in the pre-existing trainings, as well as for the use of new methodologies and the development of new solutions.

At this moment, the the New Learning Initiative Training Catalog comprises the following syllabus is comprised by:

  • Initial Behavioural Training:
    • FlcAt1: The Citizen Shops: Mission, Values and Service to the Citizen (blended-Learning)
    • FlcLGE1: Citizen Shops: Mission, Vision and Internal Procedures (in Person)
  • Initial Technical Training:
    • FltP1: The multi - services desk: assumptions and procedures (blended-Learning)
  • Continuous Behavioural Training:
    • FCcAt1: The Customer Service at the Citizen Shops(blended-Learning)
    • FCcAt2: The Customer Service at the Company Shops (blended-Learning)
    • FCcAt3: Conflict Management (blended-Learning)
    • FCcAt4: The Customer Service at the Citizen Shops (eLearning)
    • FCcAt5: The Customer Service at the Citizen Shops (e-Learning)
    • FCcAt6: Complaints Management (eLearning)
    • FCcLGE1: Leadership and Team Management in the Citizen Shops (blended-Learning)
    • FCcLGE2: Leadership and Team Management in the Company Shops (blended-Learning)
    • FCcLGE4: Team Constitution and Dynamics (in Person)
    • FCcLGE6: Leadership and Team Dynamics (eLearning)
    • FCcLGE7: Time Management (eLearning)
    • FCcLGE8: Developing Motivation for the Team (eLearning)
  • Continuous Technical Formation
    • FCtAE1: Electronic Administration (in Person)

Putting these initiatives in parallel, and looking forward to further adapt and improve its products and services to various recipients, the New Learning initiative has also developed, since 2011, a series of materials, supported by different media, such as the Formation website (www.rcc.gov.pt/novaprendizagem), the New Learning Newsletter, the Guides @prender (learn) and the Pedagogic Videos.

Taxonomy

The New Learning Initiative is a professional and personal capacity development programme, which intends to level new forms of participation and empowerment through innovative teaching methodologies, focusing on the use of new information and communication technologies as well as on the training models in eLearning, without letting by the valuable contribution of in-person learning.

Brief Description

The New Learning Initiative is a professional, social and personal capacity development programme, on the Information and Communication technologies dimension. Its bet lies in the conception of specific technical-educational resources for the training in class and in an eLearning context, correctly prepared to deliver autonomous learning to the students, or to be a supportive tool to the other processes of training courses followed by our recipients. Additionally, we look forward to promoting a continuous learning scheme, useful and relevant for the professional practice but also significant to the personal development of the recipients.

Detailed Description

The implementation of a designed training offer, to the universe of recipients defined as potential beneficiaries of AMA training, was a great challenge. The geographical range necessary (with services – such as Citizen Shops – all over the country), the problems of time management and the intrinsic differences between the recipients, made it necessary to proceed with a methodological fitness and relaxation of the teaching models.

Therefore, AMA takes on the use of new technologies and mixed training models, ranging from in-Person to eLearning, according to the technical-pedagogical contexts in which the necessities are identified. We are equally able to provide both self-study and collaborative study schemes, to entitle different types of formation experiences, that can be adequate to the various learning styles of our recipients.

Independently of the contexts or formation models devised for each situation, the Training Department (DF) at AMA, always tries to develop an active pedagogical strategy, looking out for the interests and necessities of the students and promoting reflection about the real developments of each one of the practitioners, further encouraging the students to embrace their personal and professional commitments, applying their knowledge to daily life at work.

The relaxation and fitness of the training processes also brought about the necessity of developing internal competencies for the conception and development of pedagogic multimedia material. This kind of contents, fundamental to the self-learning and eLearning processes, were initially contracted to our reference partners (PT Inovação and Novabase), but the high costs associated, the enlargement of the program range as well as the need to periodically update the material (also with costs), caused an incorporation of necessary capabilities, by DF, to implement a “Content Factory”.

This procedure for developing multimedia contents is based on a simplified framework, by using authoring tools that allow for the creation of multimedia pedagogical materials, even without specific qualification in informatics (namely programming).

Technology solution

To implement and develop the New Learning Initiative, as a whole, it was necessary to use various technological tools:

  • LMS – Learning Management System. It’s a eLearning platform in which the virtual learning environments used are implemented for eLearning or blended-Learning. New Learning uses, since 2008, the FORMARE platform, thanks to a protocol established with PT Inovação, responsible for the development and maintenance of the above mentioned platform.
  • Training Website (Sharepoint 2010). The training website is encompassed in the public area of the Common Knowledge Network (RCC), and sports all the basic capacities of Sharepoint software.
  • Software for development of multimedia contents (Photoshop, Camtasia, Articulate and Flip Viewer). These tools are fundamental for the conception of the educational multimedia resources used for the New Learning initiative. Photoshop is used for image editing, be it in terms of the conception of content layouts or to create buttons, boxes and characters. Camtasia is a screen capture and video editing programme that allows not only for the creation of training videos, but is also very useful for the development of tutorials and demonstration of computer software. Articulate is a tool that allows for the conversion of Powerpoint presentations into Flash format. This is the main tool to develop the training modules, allowing exporting od the content to a format that agrees with SCORM norms and, therefore, easily integrated in any LMS. FlipViewer is a tool to create ebooks used fundamentally for the dissemination of manuals and tutorials.
Technology choice: Standards-based technology

Main results, benefits and impacts

There are five aspects considered as critical factors of success in the implementation and development of an eLearning methodology:

  • Rely on specialised people or on the qualification of the resources that will manage, in the organisation, the eLearning teaching methodology, creating multidisciplinary staffed synergies between technology and pedagogy, ,including participation from the recipients.
  • Design the syllabus devising the specific necessities of participants, with a strong immediate (or short-term) application, supported by pedagogic contents developed by using different learning strategies, with metaphors from the workspace and considering the organisational culture of the institution.
  • Fragment the resources of knowledge and training courses so that these are easily attended by the participants and more rapidly specified, build and made available, even at the individual level, facilitating its revision, adaptation and reutilisation by other recipients and/or contexts.
  • Gather continuous information from all participants (students, tutors, coordinators and agents) about the various levels of the training experience, with the objective of adjusting deficiencies and incorporating improvements, in real time, for the current and following training projects.
  • Involve, since day one, all the hierarchical structure, for a greater motivation and co-responsabilisation.

The New Learning initiative forecasts, for 2012, the realisation of all of its already existing courses in a continuous way, to the benefit of all of its staff in the Citizen Shops and Company Shops.

Moreover, it will continue to deploy the enlargement of its scope of intervention, with the design of new courses on themes framed on the interests of our recipients, according to the research on training necessities for this year. In parallel, it will also continue to innovate, both on the methodologies and the material levels used in the initiative.

Lessons learnt

Since the beginning of the New Learning Initiative, in 2008, the Training Department provided training to 2009 students, totaling 152 training actions. These actions correspond to a total of 1272 hours of online training and 1676 of in-person training.

More than 569 hours of in-person training and 473 hours of online training have been materialised only in 2011.

All the formation promoted in the scope of the New Learning Initiative is audited and evaluated, the feedback by the recipients themselves being the most important data when it comes to the quality of the implemented actions.

In this domain, the results have been extremely satisfactory, considering that, for 2011, we verified a global average evaluation of the courses score of of 88.09 % of approval. The initial formation courses score 90.92 %, technical courses 90.93 % and the continuous formation courses 86.11 %. All of those are considerable and very positive figures, considering that most of the courses (specially continuous ones) were set in motion for the first time in 2011.

Scope: Cross-border
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