Motivate by good example
The participation of heads of the municipal administration and middle management on the platform is a good way to enhance the overall motivation to use the platform by all staff.
Create incentives for learning
In general, employees in PA are interested in advanced education and personal development. However, they should be encouraged to use new forms of learning (e.g. Process Map or Argumentation Tool). In the administration environment some incentive measures could help to promote this:
- Allow every staff member access to the platform in an easy way.
- Offer user, author and multiplier (a multiplier is a person which some advanced experience with the platform, helping newcomers with their first steps) training during the introduction phase and beyond.
- Encourage interested people to be a multiplier after the introduction phase. Make clear that this engagement is appreciated by the management.
- Allow (local/regional) face-to-face meetings or workshops of groups of authors and topic specific communities respectively at least once a year.
Provide individual feedback on learning progress
Employees are eager to learn. But they request and need feedback on their progress. From a technical point of view, EAGLE can do that with the so called “Automatic Item Generator” or the possibility to manually author a test (the platform used in EAGLE is TAO®). The results of each test are shown on the personal (confidential) dashboard. Make sure to provide personal feedback to your staff in addition and show them that their efforts are valued and appreciated.
Establish a sustainable learning environment
Very often, initiatives on IT-supported learning are not planned for a long enough time span or available learning content is insufficient to fully exploit its potential. Future projects thus should be embedded in a long term strategy. This means that the aims are defined not only as a short range introduction of a technical platform. At medium-term the change of the culture of learning on the job and advanced education in the municipality should be the result. This implies the transition from conventional learning forms to IT supported multimedia learning content. It further implies also the introduction of concepts that have not been used in the work environment in PA; e.g. knowledge community building, discussion forums, argumentation tool or Wiki alike knowledge bases.
The progress of this change should be evaluated in longer periods (one year or longer), using evaluation criteria which are clearly defined at the beginning.
Encourage community building
Support the development of discussion boards, specializing in specific topics, but reaching across many municipalities on the platform. Examples for best practises are given in D7.3 – Cross-European Collaboration Best Practices and Guidelines.
An important aspect is to retain the professional experience of staff members going into retirement. Inform them about the tools for preserving their experience with the platform and motivate them using it. Encourage the building of multi-agency communities for this purpose. Grant some time contingents as an appreciation for the successful generation of experience based OER. If retired persons are willing to prepare experience OER, grant them access to the platform.