THE INCREASING NEED OF VALIDATION OF NON-FORMAL AND INFORMAL LEARNING. THE CASE OF THE COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE “WEBM.ORG”
IADIS CELDA 2010 – Timisoara, Romania 15-17 October 2010 Sabrina Leone, Giuliana Guazzaroni, Laura Carletti and Tommaso Leo Università Politecnica delle Marche – Ancona, Italy The increasing need of validation of non-formal and informal learning. The case of the Community of Practice “WEBM.ORG”.
Items <ul><li>Social Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Definition of formal, non formal and informal learning </li></ul><ul><li>Active citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>Competence or competences? </li></ul><ul><li>Validation of competences in the EU and in Italy </li></ul><ul><li>The case of the CoP WEBM.org </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
Social Learning <ul><li>New technologies allow common web users to create and share contents and to aggregate themselves </li></ul><ul><li>in informal social networks. </li></ul><ul><li>User as an important node of knowledge creation. </li></ul>
Social Learning <ul><li>Web 2.0 technologies, based on interaction, contribution and collaboration, have altered the characteristics of the learning environment, enhancing the concept of social learning. </li></ul>Web 2.0 resources can be effective educational tools, increasing informal learning opportunities.
Formal learning… <ul><li>… is education organised for specific learners with specific learning objectives, outside the formal established system. </li></ul>Non-formal learning… … is a hierarchically structured, chronologically graded educational system running from primary through tertiary institutions. Informal Learning… … lets persons acquire attitudes, values skills and knowledge from daily experience, within the individual’s environment. (UNESCO, 1999)
Active citizen <ul><li>… is an autonomous individual capable of self-learning and participating in both </li></ul><ul><li>civil and civic society. </li></ul>Active citizenship is linked to education as an essential social change agent.
Competence or competences? <ul><li>In a learner-centred vision: </li></ul><ul><li>the notion of learning linked to the notion of “ competence ” is the result of authentic tasks that learner carries out and is engaged in; </li></ul><ul><li>meaningful learning is the outcome </li></ul><ul><li>of the individual’s direct and active participation and interaction. </li></ul>
Competence or competences? <ul><li>In a work-oriented vision the term </li></ul><ul><li>“ competences” refers to: </li></ul><ul><li>the integration of education and work systems; </li></ul><ul><li>professional knowledge and know-how to be included in a school curriculum. </li></ul>
Competence or competences? <ul><li>In a social vision: </li></ul><ul><li>the approach is characterised by full awareness of action, understanding of its meaning and possibility to choose among alternative behaviours; </li></ul><ul><li>expertise is based on full participation. </li></ul><ul><li>The essential question is to appraise competence or competences. </li></ul>
Validation of competences in the EU Many EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Danemark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain) are stressing the importance of making visible and valuing learning that takes place outside formal and training institutions. Validating non-formal and informal learning is ever more seen as a way of improving lifelong and lifewide learning.
Validation of competences in the EU At communitarian level common principles on the validation of non-formal and informal learning were adopted in 2004. In 2009 CEDEFOP published the “European guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning”, an evaluation tool for validation for stakeholders’ voluntary use.
Validation of non-formal and informal learning in EU: overview (CEDEFOP, 2007) EU COUNTRIES DEGREE OF VALIDATION IMPLEMENTATION SPECIFICATIONS Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom. High Validation has become (or is close to) a practical reality for individuals (from the level of general policy statements to tangible practices). Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Sweden. Medium Validation is emerging as a practical reality (recent set up of a legal or policy framework for validation). Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Slovak Republic. Low Validation is an initial stage of development (learning gained outside formal education may be recognised by stakeholders, but there is little in terms of policy or practice to facilitate its validation).
Validation: EU vs Italy The “European guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning” are a first attempt to disseminate a common approach in EU countries . In Italy the training system has become complex and multifaced, characterised by regional discrepancies, notably referring to low/medium-skilled workers.
<ul><li>In such a context ECM in Italy is adequately regulated and substantially between formal and non-formal learning… </li></ul><ul><li>… while WEBM.org experience is in the context of informal learning. </li></ul>Italian ECM Continuing Medical Education Formal learning Non-formal learning ECM
Self-organisation in lifelong learning A group of 20 peditricians , over 6 Italian regions, launched in 2005 the WEBM.org CoP to meet their need of professional growth, having no answer from the Italian fragmented education system. The WEBM.org is a closed group, characterised by a web2.0-based permanent exchange of knowledge, information and practices on daily and real criticalities met in their work.
The CoP WEBM.org: web 2.0 technologies mix TYPE TOOLS HOW e-Portfolio Google Docs It gathers information about individual professional activity (health cases, training processes, useful scientific articles, web sites). It collects group activities (weekly/monthly online or residential meetings). Blog Wordpress It collects the CoP’s activities. Microblogging, Social Network Twitter, Facebook, For quick signalizing of something members are working at. Cross-Platform Google Wave For brainstorming before creating a new learning project. Social productivity tool Manymoon Learning projects in progress are inserted here to define different tasks, timing and milestones. Virtual classroom DimDim, WebEx Online meeting and discussion. Course authoring Udutu Completed learning projects are published here to have a repository. Devices Smartphone, iPhone, iPad Not structured (reading databases in mobility).
WEBM.org: knowledge process <ul><li>socialisation > individuals exchange </li></ul><ul><li>tacit knowledge; </li></ul><ul><li>externalisation > individuals link </li></ul><ul><li>tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge; </li></ul><ul><li>combination > individuals unite explicit ideas to create knowledge; </li></ul><ul><li>i nternalisation > individuals extract knowledge from newly created organisational tacit and explicit knowledge through learning by doing. </li></ul>The collaborative context makes tacit knowledge emerge through a cyclical four-steps process:
WEBM.org: a knowledge learning system The CoP WEBM.org represents a knowledge learning system based on frequent and repeated interactions for members’ self-training and competences acquisition… … though their efforts are not formally recognized by the Italian ECM (Continuing Medical Education) system.
Self-appraisal vs official appraisal ECM system in Italy is regulated and structured within the limits of assessable learning, and informal learning is not always assessable. Learning processes within the WEBM.org CoP is recognised by the members as meaningful and relevant, even if it is not officially acknowledged. The European debate on validation of non-formal and informal learning is mainly targeted on recognition of competences of low/medium-skilled workers, even if the LLL is required at all levels in a knowledge-driven society.
Conclusions <ul><li>Learners will be more and more proactive and conscious citizens able to build their Personal Learning Environment and move towards Personal Learning networks, interacting to co-construct their individual knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>People will be able to study, work and socially interact from different places, without being phisically present. </li></ul><ul><li>It is essential to integrate ICT dimension in the system of validation of competencies acquired by non-formal and informal learning. </li></ul><ul><li>The validation system has to consider learning developed by spontaneous ecologies of knowledge and relevant for the whole scientific community of reference. </li></ul>
Acknowledgements <ul><li>The authors </li></ul><ul><li>would like to thank </li></ul><ul><li>the pediatricians of WEBM.org CoP for </li></ul><ul><li>having shared </li></ul><ul><li>their experience </li></ul><ul><li>and for their kind support. </li></ul>Source of images: http://www.dreamstime.com/free-photos
<ul><li>Thank you </li></ul><ul><li>for your kind attention. </li></ul>