One of the outputs of EAGLE are the following policy recommendations (PR) for the introduction of the EAGLE platform and associated changes in learning on the job. The recommendations concentrate on the needs of small municipalities. They are tailored to make the adoption of EAGLE as easy and gentle as possible. The recommendations address the management level of small municipalities. >> More about scope and target group
The following policy recommendations are also be available as a PDF document.
To overcome known barriers is an important step for the introduction of the EAGLE learning solution. Three common and important barriers, which have been identified in the EAGLE project, are described in some detail in the following.
Make sure users have basic IT skills: Users need to be familiar with IT in daily use. Especially the handling of a GUI (Graphical user interface, such as that found in the windows Operating System) and a browser are minimum requirements.
Provide time for personal learning at the workplace: Offer time slots for your staff to become familiar with the platform.
Reduce prejudices: Previous e-Learning projects may have caused reservation against IT-supported learning. Make clear that EAGLE is not “just another” e-learning platform, but a highly efficient tool for informal and social learning through connection with colleagues and experts.
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.
Provide individual feedback on learning progress: Employees are eager to learn. But they request and need feedback on their progress in addition to the possibility of self-testing provided by the platform.
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.
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.
Observe copyright of third parties: It is important to point out that the respective licences have to be observed, if third party content is included (not only cited) in a contribution. The Creative Commons (CC) licence models can be helpful.
Handling of Freedom of Information requests: Two legal fields of information access could potentially touch the EAGLE platform, namely DIRECTIVE 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information and National Freedom of Information laws. However, if the platform content is handled as described in the full version of this section, it is not subject to these regulations.
Auditability of decisions/duty to preserve records: If any real case decision is directly influenced by content of the platform (e.g. the argumentation tool) this must be documented in the local case files as usual and not on the EAGLE platform.
Raise awareness among your staff to strongly consider trust and privacy: The EAGLE portal is provided with a scoping mechanism, which enables EAGLE platform providers to control access to personal data so that only authorized users have access to this information. Employees need to consider the scope of their action when creating content on the EAGLE learning platform.
Choose an appropriate model to operate the EAGLE platform: The availability of an appropriate technical platform is a precondition for the introduction of the EAGLE solution. This can be achieved by joining an existing EAGLE platform, having a service provider set up an EAGLE platform, or hosting an EAGLE platform oneself.
Ensure adequate IT infrastructure: Depending on the service level agreement with a platform provider, no specialised technical skills are necessary in the municipality. In the municipality itself only user administration with editorial rights is required.
When deciding on using EAGLE, make sure that there are enough resources available. While the portal itself is open-source some further costs may occur: Check costs of technical provision and operation of the platform, licences fees (if applicable for additional relevant “not-OER” content), external trainers in the introduction phase. Last but not least, give voluntary users some time to become familiar with the platform. If they act as multipliers or content authors, grant them an appropriate amount of time for these activities or invest in some train-the-trainer course.
An evaluation of the concept 12 to 18 months after the introduction of EAGLE within your organisation is recommended. This evaluation should also include financial and qualitative aspects. It is an appropriate measure to validate the benefits of the concept – monetary and non-monetary.
Early involvement of the local council: As a decision-maker in a PA, inform the council, mayor or other relevant bodies early enough about the planned introduction of the EAGLE concept. Inform about key issues and the advantages. Check your local, regional or national regulations; normally there should be no obstacles. Induce a formal resolution, if necessary (in detail depending on local or national regulations). Give interested council members the opportunity for a guided personal experience with the platform.
Early involvement of the staff council: Involve the staff council as early as possible. Share all information about the planned steps – especially the information concerning privacy and data about learning engagement and success. Give staff council members the opportunity for a guided personal experience with the platform.