Focus

Learn PAd: Una Soluzione Orientata ai Processi per l'e-Learning nella Pubblica Amministrazione

The processes behind the functioning of modern Public Administration (PA) are characterized by increasing complexity and continuous evolution. In most cases these processes require a collaborative activity shared among different offices, both within an administration and also across more organizations. Moreover, as related laws and regulations are frequently modified, the administrative processes are constantly transformed requiring the intertwined adaptation of related services and data.
At the same time, with the aim of improving PA efficiency (and hence better spending public money), civil servants are exposed to increased pressure from society to constantly improve their service quality while budgets decrease. To do so, they are challenged to understand and put in action the latest procedures and rules within tight time constraints, while adapting to a quickly changing context (new laws and regulations, societal globalization, technology evolution, etc.). Thus, public administrators are never done with learning how to carry out their tasks, and effective training is essential to maintaining and improving the quality of public services.
To address such challenges, PAs need to invest in socio-technical infrastructures facilitating knowledge management and continuous learning for both the individual employee and the organization as a whole. Business Process (BP) artifacts are the key notation to capture, analyze, and improve the business knowledge in a complex organization. A BP streamlines the activities to be performed in daily work into their overarching process. More importantly, a BP usually also represents a knowledge platform with the organizational goals. Thus, the adoption of BPs within a PA can support an improvement in efficiency and its evolution towards the culture of Learning Organizations.
Learn PAd: Model-Based Social Learning for Public Administrations is a FP7 European collaborative project (2014-2016) funded under the objective ICT-2013.8.2 Technology-enhanced learning and coordinated by ISTI-CNR. The project targets the adoption of advanced process-oriented technology-enhanced learning solutions in PAs, by use of model-driven methodology promoted in software-engineering community.
The Learn PAd approach is centered on the usage of semi-formal models of the business processes, organization structures, documents and other knowledge items within a PA. The developed model-based approach enables formal verification of models and contents quality, reasoning and recommendations based on ontologies, traceability between processes and motivation items. Learn PAd platform uses Wiki technology to enable its users to easily enhance the knowledge models with textual contents and provide feedback to modelers such as indications of unclear model-based knowledge items or suggestions for model improvements.
The approach is instantiated into an open-source e-learning platform enabling process-driven learning and fostering cooperation and knowledge sharing. The platform supports multiple learning paradigms in the specific context of a PA workplace, and provides a KPI framework to measure civil servants and organizational improvements given by the usage of the platform.
Finally, the approach has been validated on a realistic scenario at Regione Marche (SUAP process : "Sportello Unico Attività Produttive") with actual civil servants recruited from several PA offices. The results are encouraging in that the approach was appreciated and its learning effectiveness was comparable to a mature platform in use for several years and even better in some aspects.

Learn PAd Contacts
Project coordinator: Antonia Bertolino (email: antonia.bertolino@isti.cnr.it)
Project website: http://www.learnpad.eu (email: info@learnpad.eu )