Evaluation of Virtual Learning Environment for the Professional Training in Public Administration

Monia Natascia Sannia, Giancarlo Ercoli, Tommaso Leo


In this paper, we describe a framework for the evaluation of a virtual learning environment in the Public Administration context. We describe the question of e-learning education of the Italian Public Administration employees and we analyse the characteristics of these learners [11, 13, 9]. These adults do not belong to the Internet Generation but they have to use the new educational tools, with the problems that this implies [9, 10, 15].
Citizens expect transparency and services personalization, efficiency and quality by the Public Administration. The Public Administration began this modernization process aimed at the improvement of the administrative action. The aim is to meet the needs of citizens that live in a complex society. This entails a re-examination of the role and the logic of work that find in the employees a master key for their success [6]. Therefore the most important element for this modernization process and for the reformation of the administrative action is the education of the employees [12, 14].
The European Council invited the member States to adopt the methodologies of e-learning for the education of their staff [4, 5]. In the last years a large number of employees have received training with the methodologies and the instruments of on-line education.
The European Public Administrations had adopted on a large scale the e-learning for the education of their employees because this is a modality of in service-training that removes space and time bonds. Moreover this allows the utilisation of new educational techniques.
The learning policies adopted by the governments highlight the importance of education in adulthood to be competitive in the knowledge society [4]. This type of education is oriented to provide and to develop the ability that can be utilised in a professional field, not to make up for knowledge opportunities missed at the time of compulsory school education.
It is essential to provide the employees-learners a good quality learning object and Virtual Learning Environment [1, 2, 3]. For these reasons we had worked out a framework to evaluate the quality and the pedagogical efficacy of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) from the point of view of lifelong learning. The evaluation offers feedback to developers, tutors, teachers and the other involved people, and it is an important part for the guarantee of quality [7]. We are interested in finding general principles that are useful in the planning of the learning environment for the Public Administration employees.
We describe the pedagogical implications of the adoption of e-learning in adult education, the reasons for its broad use in Public Administration.
The virtual environment is a social space, and in this system a set of people (students, tutors, teachers, administration assistant, etc) interact, with different roles and needs.
For this reason the evaluation of an e-learning environment embraces the evaluation of the process of delivery, the maintenance and the people involved [8]. The evaluation instruments could be created in order to estimate the quality expected, looked for and reached. For these reasons it is necessary to detect indicators able to find the minimum criteria of quality [3]. In a Virtual Learning Environment there are different elements that can be considered in order to evaluate the quality of the learning system, we have considered these:
â?¢ The quality of communication system.
â?¢ The quality of support services and the didactic staff.
â?¢ The quality of administrative services.
â?¢ The quality of learning objects.
We also analyze the learnersâ?? needs regarding on-line education. The aim of this study was to find a learning environment suitable for Public Administration employees.


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e-learning; lifelong learning, corporate learning; evaluation; virtual learning environment

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International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC) – ISSN: 1867-5565
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