Professional context: Military-training in a big city of Spain

This big state office (with 903 employees) located in a big city of Spain was Military–training group, involved in virtual learning environment courses. The 67 persons contacted were part of a group enrolled in the Virtual Learning Environment Program, so quite familiar with computers and learning technologies. From this group, only 11 were able to engage in the pilots (the dropout registered was one of the highest). Typically the employees had a degree and their age was between 41 and 60 years old.

These military participants developed a good increase on informal learning (IL) recognition during the pilots. The higher importance was given to “Reading” and the lower to “Trial and error” and “Online tutorials”. In general, comparing with other cases, they show higher level of agreement relatively to the need for IL activities in: “learn to perform particular tasks” and “developing a deeper knowledge”.

Even though the drop out was high, the learners who participated were in majority active users (69%) and 49% of their activity was completed in both platforms, an average of 4 informal learning activities (ILA’s) per user. The number of activities per day was the higher scored (8) as the number of competences per ILA (4). They had also recorded the highest percentage of collected activities made public, with 90% of published users’ competences and 80% of ILA’s associated competences. They have also showed a high number of users’ competences.

These participants showed the higher receptivity to the idea and they thought it promote important reflections about their learning’s. They thought TRAILER tool could bring benefits to manage competences in an institution. Personally they considered its most value was to give them an opportunity to visualize learning. Regarding the tool, they emphasized some issues as the weakest: activity type with limited choices, and competences definition are too complex. They considered the tool needed usability improvement and that the piloting phase was too short to test it more realistically.

The person who acted as employer, a Captain and military academy teacher, considered that the TRAILER tool could act as a facilitator in the selection process and identification of new skills.

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